Stardust Shimmer

Five: Judgement of Thunder

In the Watchtower, all activity stopped as J'onn J'onzz collapsed. Exactly one second passed before controlled panic set in and some of the other heroes carried the unconscious Martian to the Tower infirmary.

"Is the green man okay?" Mr Terrific asked, what could be seen of his face filled with uncertainty. "I've never seen J'onn collapse like that..."

"J'onn?" Shayera asked as orange pupil-less eyes opened.

"There was an extremely strong signal of panic," the Martian rasped. "What it was and where I cannot truly say, but it was... compelling."

"It knocked you out," Shayera answered. "What was it?"

"I do not know," the Martian shook his head. "I can only remember... crying. Screaming. And a pillar of light surrounded in rotating drums and a man falling into it, with the absolutely certainty... of death. Someone died, and there was crying... and a... creature."

"A creature," Terrific echoed. "You fainted because of a creature."

Flash appeared in the infirmary, panting. "Superman's coming in!" the fastest man alive babbled. "He and Bats got their asses kicked by a ten-year-old and Big Blue's exhibiting signs of exposure to red sun and-"

"The child in question was a Psychic Duellist, controlling a dragon," Batman sharply replied as he followed the gurney wheeling in the prone Superman. "I checked with a Geiger counter. Somehow, someone managed to release red sun radiation around the entire block within half a second. Also, my comm-piece was taken in the fight."

"A ten-year-old beat you, Bats," Flash taunted.

"An eleven-year-old with a dragon and no compunctions about siccing it on Superman," Batman harshly retorted. "A White Night Dragon, and a Raiho."

Flash's expression turned to one of sympathy. "That's just tough."

"The only good thing is we can track that comm-piece," Terrific interrupted. "However... you and him got your asses handed back to you by a kid? What happened to you guys?"

The infamous Bat-glare made its appearance. "It was a dragon, and a man ridiculously good at hand-to-hand. If you will excuse me, I have a child to find. Thaw Superman out."

"A child?" Flash continued laughing as he followed the Dark Knight of Gotham out to the central mainframe of the Watchtower. "Duel Monsters or not, you got beaten by a kid!"

"We saw that kid," Batman called up several photographs of a cold, oval face of pale skin and eyes like chips of ice. "Setsuka Shimotsuki, Japanese descent, born in Neo Domino City... he stopped typing. "Parents, deceased."

Both heroes fell silent for a moment in solemnity.

The typing slowly continued. "Exhibited traits associated with Psychic Duellists since age five." the Caped Crusader muttered to himself. "Registered upon age of five. Parents also registered Duellists, began participation in tournaments upon age of seven. Parents died in suspected murder at their family home..." Flash jumped as the steel table bent slightly under Batman's grip, "...sent to Martha's Foster House, now in Metropolis heading for Gotham for... the Junior-Singles WRGP and... to locate next living possible guardian. Parents... father, Rafael Shimotsuki, formerly Eatos... mother, Seiran Shimotsuki, formerly... Diana Hunter. I knew Diana Hunter."

"You did?" Flash blinked.

"She saved me from something called a Gishki Levianima by equipping me with something called a Mage Power," Batman answered tartly as he continued typing. "Next possibly living family... great-aunt once removed..."

The typing stopped again. "No. Way."

Flash glanced at the mainframe, giving a low whistle. "I've heard of coincidences, but this takes the cake, Bats."

Martha Wayne.

"The arrangements, Nakamura San?" Setsuka reclined back in the large winged-back chair of the hotel lobby as the manservant gave his report.

"We would have to persuade Mr Wayne to relinquish all rights first, missy," the stoic manservant answered. "Even so, I believe it would not be a difficult task, seeing as he is already caring for... three adopted sons, at last count. Madame LeBlanc could persuaded to step in if he proves difficult. She is... a force of nature."

"Very well," she murmured. "Our lodgings for the tournament?"

"I have begun arrangements with the Hotel Gotham, missy. However, Mr Wayne's own head of staff, a Mr Pennyworth, has kindly extended an invitation to us to stay over. I presume you do not wish to accept it?"

"No, we should not." Setsuka replied in the negative. "And, our prospects of taking Seika in?"

"They are not promising, missy. Dr Fudo has also put in a claim."

Blue eyes lidded over. "Fudo... I see. The professor is a good man."

"Is this concerning your worries about Miss Seika's problems, missy?"

"Fudo Ryuusei will protect her, I know," Setsuka answered serenely. "We are both the same kind, after all. If that is the case, then we should sightsee before we are to leave this... city for Gotham. You say that you have been here before, Nakamura San?"

"When I was following your uncle, missy. I grieved over him in Gotham when they held the cremation and oversaw the scattering of ashes with your mother. Your father was there too, and I suppose that was the beginning of their unlikely courtship."

"Indeed," Setsuka's eyes were closed. "Fudo Ryuusei, Eatos can see you."

The boy with red and black hair walked into the room, his face solemn. "She's asleep now."

"I know. Blizzed informed me."

"I don't understand you," Ryuusei frowned. "What's your thing with Seika? I don't remember you having any interest in anyone for two years."

"Fudo Ryuusei," Setsuka answered. "I certainly don't need to justify myself to you."

Silence ensued for a few moments.

"They're not exactly after Mini Momentum, are they?" Ryuusei finally broke the silence. "They're after Seika as well. Papa knows, but he won't say."

"Perhaps," Setsuka replied as the manservant stood by her. "I do not understand what my parents' deaths had to do with the Momentum, but they are ultimately after it, for reasons as yet unknown. It was chasing after Momentum that they perhaps saw her manipulate it, and thereby extended their target. Are there any logical faults, Nakamura San?"

"None, missy."

"Papa was talking about fundamental interactions again," Ryuusei contributed. "Maybe Seika's ability has something to do with that."

"Whatever it is, people will always pursue her for power," a slender finger played with the edge of a card. "Nakamura San and I will be doing most of the work, since it looks like her fate and mine are linked. Fudo Ryuusei, for your sake I hope you can protect as well as you claim."

"I'll try," Ryuusei answered with the certainty of a child, mixed with the deep determination of one willing to stake their lives upon this fact. "I will."

"Are both of you packed yet?" Yusei Fudo turned up, looking at both of them. "We're leaving tomorrow, no point in last-minute rushes. Gear up for a long ride, both of you."

"We know," Setsuka answered, her tone laced with sarcasm. "Thank you."

Am I blue, Am I blue, Ain't these tears in my eyes telling you...

The pen broke in a black-gloved hand. "Stop that."

You are hardly serving as scintillating conversation.

"If you would get out of my head you could find all the conversation you need. And take the rabbit with you."

Unlikely, he is attached to you. Myself, I forget that you are someone with too many neuroses to count. So... you have a distant familial link to Psychics.

"It's more the fact that I have family still around, rather than that I'm related to Psychics." A disturbing thought came to mind. "Does Alfred know?"

Do you have the traits for it? Perhaps you could try.

"A billionaire take up a game? And a card game that's not poker, at that?"

"Who are you talking to?" Shayera's question made the Batman quickly realise that he was the centre of attention. "Never mind," she cut in before he could respond, tossing down the stack of files. "He's awake."

"Something happened up here at the Watchtower at the same time we were engaging the... dragon," Superman said as he walked up, quickly amending his statement once the Bat-glare was directed at him. "J'onn sensed panic from a different source than us around the same area, at approximately the same time as the shock-wave we felt."

"The one that produced red sun radiation," Batman agreed. "She knew. She was speaking a name...'Seika'. Something about hurting her... Seika."

"There was another girl present, very nice little girl," Superman recalled. "Maybe that's the mysterious Seika?"

"According to airport records, Dr Fudo entered the country with two Japanese girls," Shayera consulted the mainframe. "Setsuka Shimotsuki, and Seika Kannazuki, both orphans at Martha's Foster House. They had with them a reference letter filed by a Dr Yuuko Ichihara to refer to another Dr Jordan Lionel, who is based in Metropolis, his office being around the same block as where you followed them to."

"Month of frost, and month of the gods," Batman wryly translated the names. "Not a good omen."

"We'll break the DuelDisk first before we start the interrogation," Superman decided. "First, we have to see this Dr Lionel about Seika Kannazuki."

Star flower of the month of the gods, Zera chuckled. Do you realise? It's October. Where the gods supposed gather in Izumo Province, and there are no gods around.

"You stay out of this," Batman snapped, before realising that he was talking to empty air.

"Maybe you should go back to Gotham," Superman placatingly offered. "We'll get Question to cover your portion of investigative work, no worries."

"Kal, I'm speaking to voices in my head, I'm not sick," When he used the name, Batman was truly irritated. "Indicate that I am next time, I will buy a DuelDisk, and then I will test if I am really related to psychics, and after that the first person I will come after is you."

Silence met this plain threat, before...

"Hang on, Bats is related to Psychics?" Flash piped up.

"Setsuka Shimotsuki is distantly related to my mother," Batman slowly admitted. "By extension, her mother would be classed as my... cousin, once removed, and therefore the eleven-year-old is technically a distant niece of mine. Diana Hunter, her mother before the family changed her name, was present at the Sixth Battle City tournament, she helped me stop Apollymi Hunter."

"So... where are Ms Shimotsuki's parents?" Superman asked despite the Flash's frantic motions not to broach the question.


Silence met this blunt answer from the Bat.

"...Bats, you're not intending on adopting her, are you?" Flash had the sort of expression one could only get from dawning horror. "She kicked your ass! And she's eleven! Who knows what would turn out once your attempts at not screwing kids up goes through!"

"This just turned personal," Batman grimly answered.

"Duel Monsters," one finger traced a card pinned to the board. "Battle City tournaments, unlikely injuries, even more unlikely sightings conveniently explained by Solid Vision technology, the phenomenon called Psychic Duelling, Shadows Games... for all that was said, Arthur Hawkins was correct," a faceless man in a blue trench coat mused. "And... the singular conspiracy."

"Are you on to that again, Q?" Helena Bertinelli, better known as the huntress in her mask and outfit complained over the cell-phone. "Yes, we all know how irritated you were after that monster impersonated you, because Batman summarily proved how someone can be in two places at the same time, but this is getting old."

"Well..." he trailed off within the car, his grip upon the steering wheel tightening as yellow sparks danced across it. "Er, dear? I'm about to be electrocuted. Bye."


Snap crackle pop. The phone dropped to the ground in a natural state, i.e. as bits of useless circuitry, beside the heap that was its owner.

"How sad, Mr Question," the bulky metallic figure of some pink robotic menace followed the heels of Doctor Jordan Lionel. "You were so close, yet so far. Now, let's see what you have to say, shall we?"

Please review! Stay tuned for the next turn: Lightning Punisher! Duel, Acceleration!