Kaiba's mouth creased as he glared at the…vehicle before him. Not only had the thing crashed through the roof of his home, it had fallen into Mokuba's room. The young boy had run out of his room in the middle of the night, screaming about bombs and falling objects and ran to Seto in tears. When he arrived in the room, he wasn't expecting what he saw.
It was a large white one-wheeled vehicle. A purple seat was situated inside the wheel and a screen of some sort was programmed into it. Two armrests were connected to the seat, with the thrust and brake levers located inside them. A Duel Disk was connected to the left armrest, as if it was supposed to be used while riding the contraption. The wings connected to it were decorated in blue and yellow and there was a symbol painted on the back-most wing.
Currently, he had the thing moved to one of the garages located behind the house. Since he had some time before he had to work, Kaiba had decided to take a second look at the thing along with Mokuba.
"What the heck does 5D's mean?" Mokuba wondered aloud, taking a closer look at the strange motorbike now that he knew it wasn't dangerous.
"I don't care what it means," Kaiba snapped. "I want to know whose sick joke it was to fling this thing into my home and endanger my family!"
"I don't know. The security tape didn't catch anything except for a bright red light and then it fell from the sky," Mokuba shrugged, poking at the buttons near the computer screen. He pressed one of the buttons and the motor roared to life, causing Mokuba to cry out in shock.
"Mokuba, don't touch anything," Kaiba warned, not knowing if the vehicle hid something dangerous inside or if it was a ploy for something else. Mokuba didn't listen, his curiosity getting the better of him. He pressed the rightmost button, watching the computer screen turn on. He blinked as he heard a feminine voice coming from it.
"Duel Mode engaged. Activating Speed World 2."
"Eh? Duel Mode?" Mokuba repeated. Kaiba's eyes widened slightly in surprise as a white ring formed from under the motorbike. It slowly expanded until it reached the ceiling, covering the room in a holographic field. The white ring suddenly disappeared and the feminine voice spoke again.
"No opponent detected. Authorization denied."
"…What just happened? What do you think, big bro?"
"Let me see…" Kaiba murmured, taking a seat in the chair.
He looked at how everything was positioned, looking over the Duel Disk attached to the armrest. He examined the Duel Disk, narrowing his eyes at what he saw. He pushed the leftmost button near the computer screen. He heard a resounding click that came from the Duel Disk. Getting out of the seat, he picked up the contraption.
"Mokuba, keep this whole thing quiet," Kaiba said, walking away with the Duel Disk. "If this is what I think it is, then someone is going to pay dearly for it."
"What do you mean, Seto?" Mokuba questioned. He got no answer as Kaiba continued on his way. Mokuba took one last glance at the motorbike before following after his brother. Little did he know it would be just the start of a series of strange occurrences that were to come.
"Hey, guys! How's it hangin'?"
Joey Wheeler ran up to his friends, a big grin plastered on his face. Yugi, Tea, and Tristan were all standing outside the Kame Game shop, which was owned by Yugi's grandfather. The plan was that the group would all go out and have a fun time since Serenity's eye operation was a success. Joey wasn't allowed to see her straight afterwards, so he was forced to wait until the next day. Unfortunately, the Battle City Tournament was supposed to be held the next day, so Joey wouldn't be able to see Serenity right away.
"Everyone is accounted for," Tristan announced. He then grabbed his blonde friend in a headlock. "You're late! What took you? You said that you'd come as soon as the operation was done."
"I was checking up on someone else," Joey retorted, skillfully maneuvering out of Tristan's grip. "The guy helped me out and I still need to repay him somehow! Is that such a problem!?"
"Who helped you out? What trouble did you get yourself into this time?" Tea asked, wondering who was stupid enough to help Joey out of whatever situation he got himself into. Joey was usually the one to start fights, not stand on the sidelines.
"See, I ran into these creeps last night while I was on my way ta the hospital. They called themselves Rare Hunters," Joey explained. "They wanted ta duel me for my Red-Eyes and they wouldn't let me leave until I did."
"But you beat them, right?" said Yugi, assuming it was so since Joey was here before them and looked unscathed.
"No, I didn't duel at all," Joey replied. "I ran into this guy shortly beforehand. He dueled in my place."
"Why would he do that?" Tristan asked.
"Don't know," the blonde said, thinking back on the event. "But I'm glad he did. Turns out one of them Rare Hunters had Exodia in his deck."
"Exodia!?" the other three teens blurted out simultaneously.
"Three copies of Exodia, to be exact."
"THREE!?" they all shouted.
"How did this guy beat someone with three copies of Exodia in their deck!?" Tristan demanded, taking hold of Joey's shirt and shaking him. "The chances of drawing all five pieces were so high!"
"Duh, Tristan. He wiped out the guy's Life Points before he could get all five pieces," Joey said bluntly, as if it was the easiest answer in the world. "He whooped the Rare Hunter's butt in three turns without losing a single Life Point." Joey then started hopping on his feet, looking positively giddy. "Oh, ya should've seen the monster he summoned during that last turn. It was freakin' awesome!"
"What monster was it?" Yugi asked, clearly interested in meeting this duelist. Whoever it was, they were good in Yugi's eyes for helping Joey when he needed it most.
"Eh…" Joey trailed off, crossing his arms. He thought hard. "Dragon…something…It's on the tip of my tongue…"
"Can you describe it? Maybe I know what it is."
"No way, Yug. He said it was a one of a kind monster card. That and he did some weird type of summoning to get it on the field," Joey said, shaking his head. A light bulb then glowed above his head. "I remember now! Red Dragon Archfiend! That's it! With the black and the red, and the cool-lookin' horns and 'Absolute Power Force'! That dragon puts Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Dragon to shame!"
"A dragon putting Blue-Eyes to shame?" Tea repeated as her eyes narrowed, doubt lacing her voice. "You must be exaggerating."
"Red Dragon Archfiend?" Yugi reiterated, his face showing his skepticism. He cocked his head slightly as his eyebrows furrowed. "I've never heard of that card before."
"I've never seen it before either. Now that ya mention it, I've never heard of any of his cards before," Joey paused, putting a hand to his chin. "Vice Dragon, Strong Wind Dragon, Dread Dragon, Scarlet Security, Lineage of Destruction…I betcha he's got more awesome ultra-rare cards in his deck."
"Joey! Didn't you stop to think that this guy might be a Rare Hunter as well!?" Tea shouted at the blonde. "What if he was just using you? He might be trying to get your Red-Eyes from under your nose; or worse!"
"No way," the Brooklyn-accented male retorted. "He ripped up the Exodia cards the Rare Hunter had. Even if he was, I highly doubt he'd rip up a fellow member's cards."
"Are you sure you didn't just hallucinate this guy up?" Tristan drawled, his eyes narrowing suspiciously.
"Of course not! He's in the hospital right now!" Joey yelled back, butting heads with Tristan. "I could take ya ta him right now if you don't believe me!"
"Then why don't you?" Yugi suggested. "I really want to meet whoever this person is now. What's his name?"
"His name's Jack Atlas and he's a fan of mine," Joey said triumphantly, looking haughtily at Tristan. "He called me 'The Joey Wheeler'. He knows of my greatness and how I came in second in Duelist Kingdom!"
"Yeah, and I'm your mother," Tristan joked, still not believing a word Joey was saying. Joey pounced on Tristan, attempting to choke the life out of his friend to get him to shut up.
"Then how about I make ya cry uncle, 'mom'!?" Joey growled out.
Yugi and Tea laughed at Joey's antics. Deciding to meet Joey's "fan", the group traveled to the Domino City Hospital. Joey led them through the winding hallways before coming to the right room. He knocked three times on the door before opening it.
"Atlas? You awake?" Joey said, peeking through the crack in the door.
Joey spotted Jack looking out the hospital room window, holding his left hand over his right arm. His white trenchcoat and grey gloves were discarded, revealing the black tank-top he was wearing underneath. His pants were still ripped and one could see the bandages wrapped around his legs. The spiky-haired blonde redirected his gaze to the open door, looking a bit surprised to see Joey there.
"You!?" Jack exclaimed, turning around and facing the other blonde. "Why are you here?"
"Morning, Sleepin' Beauty!" Joey greeted him, giving off a big grin. "Last I checked on ya, you were dead to the world."
"Move it!" Tristan shouted, pushing Joey out of the way so the rest of the Yugi gang could see who Joey was talking to.
"…Who the deuce are you?" Jack asked, raising an eyebrow at the company Joey brought. A pencil-headed guy, a brunette with blue eyes, and the famous King of Games entered the room.
"These are my friends," Joey explained, rubbing his bruised arm.
"I'm Tristan Taylor."
"And I'm Tea Gardner."
"My name is Yugi Muto."
"And you know me," Joey finished. "Since they doubted my story about how ya beat the snot outta that Rare Hunter yesterday night, I brought them to prove it was true. How 'bout that, Tristan? He's not a figment of my imagination!"
"Okay, so I was wrong and he's real," Tristan said, raising his arms in a defensive way. Tristan then noticed the sharp glare Jack was giving him. "What?"
"Stop talking," Jack stated bluntly. This irked Tristan while everyone else blinked in confusion.
"What's that supposed to mean!?" the pencil-haired male snapped in retaliation.
"You sound like a brain-dead version of my best friend," Jack explained, closing his eyes and crossing his arms. "It's an insult to him, so keep your mouth shut."
"Why I oughta—" Tristan was about to charge at the elder teen, but Joey held him back. "At least I don't sound like an Australian Bakura!"
"So the King of Games himself is gracing me with his presence?" Jack said, his voice taking on a lighter tone than he had with Tristan. He ignored the angry shouts coming from Tristan as the male thrashed around in Joey's arms. "You're…a lot shorter than I thought you'd be. The photos make you seem a lot taller."
Yugi laughed nervously as a sweatdrop ran down his head, knowing that it was probably Yami he saw in those photos. Yugi mentally cursed at his small stature and hoped puberty would decide to kick in in the near future.
"It's nice to meet you, Jack," Yugi said. "I want to thank you for helping Joey."
"It's no problem. I was only trying to help, nothing more."
"So Jack, I heard from Joey that you dueled a Rare Hunter and won."
"I did. What of it?"
"Well, he told me a few of the cards you used and I've never heard of any of them," explained Yugi. He noticed how Jack stiffened up, as if worried about something. As to what he was nervous about, Yugi could only guess. "Is it alright if I take a look at a few of them?"
"…Actually, no it's not," Jack responded, his eyes drifting to the floor and trying to find an interesting spot to look at.
"Oh, okay then," Yugi replied. He then noticed the misplaced red color on Jack's arm. Taking a closer look, he noticed it was a symbol of some sort. It appeared to look like wings. "What's that mark on your arm?"
Jack quickly moved his other hand over the mark. "Nothing. Just a tattoo."
Yugi wasn't buying it. If it was just a normal tattoo, the blonde wouldn't have tried to cover it up that fast. There was something that Jack was hiding, but what he was hiding remained to be seen.
"Say Atlas," Joey said while still holding Tristan down. "You gonna enter the Battle City Tournament? I saw your duelin' and ya got a Duel Disk. I totally want ta face ya if ya are."
"I wasn't planning on it," Jack told the Brooklyn-accented blonde. "And even if I did want to, I wouldn't be able to."
"Let me guess; Kaiba docked your rating and you can't enter because of it?" Joey growled out. "I'll knock that egotistic bastard down a few pegs!"
"No…To be honest, I'm not even listed in registrar," Jack explained.
"What!? No way! A great duelist like you; not listed? That's a load of bull!" Joey shouted, pointing his finger at Jack.
"Really, you flatter me," Jack said uneasily, uncomfortable with what he was about to say. "I'm not that great of a duelist. After all, I haven't been in any tournaments and I started playing Duel Monsters only recently."
Jack mentally gagged. He could barely believe he said that aloud. He was never a fan of lying, but it was the only way to prevent himself from changing anything. It was bad enough he had met the King of Games, but if he ended up unintentionally revealing that he wasn't from this timeline to Yugi or his friends, the future would pay for it. No one would know of his dueling skills here. There was no "King of the Turbo Duels" or "Master of Faster" in the nineteen nineties and there wouldn't be for several decades.
But on the other hand, it was true to an extent if he squinted really hard at the fine print. He might be an amateur compared to Seto Kaiba or Yugi Muto if he ever dueled them for all he knew. He didn't compete in any tournaments in this specific timeline and he only dueled once so far in this timeline. It counted as partially true, right?
"HUH!? You sayin' you beat that Rare Hunter because you got lucky!?" Joey exclaimed.
"Perhaps," Jack drawled, smirking at the priceless look on Joey's face.
"Well if you do end up entering, I wish you luck, Jack," Yugi said, smiling kindly at the violet-eyed blonde.
"Thank you," Jack said, turning away. "Now if you don't mind, could you leave? I'd like to be alone."
Yugi nodded before looking at his friends. Joey dragged Tristan out of the room. Tea walked beside Yugi as they exited the hospital. Tristan went on a verbal tirade about how Jack was an asshole and Joey merely laughed at his friend's dismay.
"I don't know about you, Yugi, but that Jack guy seems kinda…off to me," Tea muttered.
"Maybe," Yugi said, a sweatdrop running down his head as he watched Joey and Tristan fight. "It did seem like he was hiding something. Guess we'll have to wait and see. Let's just focus on the Battle City Tournament for now."
Back in the hospital room, Jack held his Red Dragon Archfiend card to his face. He silently thought about why he was brought to past. If the Crimson Dragon wanted to prevent the Familiar of Red Nova from getting Red Nova Dragon, wouldn't it have just transported him to a safer location? What was the point in being sent to the past? Was there something the Crimson Dragon wanted him to do? Did he need something that could help him from this timeline? Was the Familiar still capable of getting to him? Thousands of questions without answers assaulted his mind, making his head throb. He looked back to the Duel Disk lying on the nearby table. He stared at the device for a good few minutes before sighing.
"I must be out of my mind…" he muttered to himself, picking up the Duel Disk. He went for the device's Graveyard slot and took out the clear card that was there. He looked at the small opaque area on the clear card, his thoughts racing at the possibilities. With it, he could potentially participate in the Battle City Tournament. But should he? He smirked, thinking about his possible chance to duel the King of Games in his prime as well as Seto Kaiba, Joey Wheeler, and all the other big name duelists of the time.
"Maybe the right answer has been in front of me the entire time," he thought. "Why waste the chance to actually be in the Battle City Tournament? Since I'm here, I'll make the most of it!"
"You know what? That settles it," he swore to himself aloud, placing the Duel Disk on his arm. "Screw time paradoxes and the space-time continuum; I'm entering that tournament! When am I ever going to have the chance to duel the original Duel Monsters legends? Now I can truly see how my skills stack up to theirs!"
By the time the next day came around, the streets of Domino City were flooded with young and veteran duelists alike. They gathered together and they all patiently waited for Kaiba to officially announce the start of the Battle City Tournament. Yugi had decided to meet Joey in Domino Square but when he arrived, the blonde was nowhere to be seen. However, Yugi did end up seeing another blonde among the crowd. He blinked a few times, thinking he was seeing things. When he realized it was Jack, he ran up to the tall blonde.
"Jack!" Yugi called out. Jack turned to face Yugi. He was now wearing a white trenchcoat over a pale blue shirt, complimented by black pants. The white coat reminded Yugi of Kaiba to an extent. Yugi looked up at Jack, smiling at him. "So you decided to compete after all!"
"Of course," Jack said, smirking and closing his eyes. "I thought it over and decided, 'why the hell not'? After all, it's a once in a lifetime chance and I highly doubt I'll get another one like this. Jack Atlas doesn't back down from a challenge!"
"How'd you get registered?" Yugi asked. "Didn't you say you weren't listed in the registrar?"
"I have my ways," Jack said slyly, his devious smile telling Yugi that whatever he did to the receptionist at the registration center wasn't exactly civil. "I've dealt with underhanded stiffs before. I've learned to be rather persuasive when I need to be…"
"So you threatened him to hack your name into the system?" Yugi answered as he deadpanned at the other blonde.
"I may have used some verbal threats here and there to do that, but the rare card I offered up as my ante sealed the deal," Jack explained. "Poor sap nearly fainted at the sight of mine. Then again, I'd expect no less from that card. At least I'm in now."
"You sure sound confident for a newbie," a female voice interrupted. Jack turned his head, finding a scantily dressed blonde woman with a curvaceous figure standing nearby and sneering at him.
"Hey Mai!" Yugi greeted the woman.
"Mai? As in Mai Valentine?" Jack inquired. He remembered a "Mai Valentine" being listed as one of the best duelists in the world, although not as high ranking as Yugi Muto or Seto Kaiba. She was still known for her glamorous looks and her sharp tactics, even after she had retired from the game.
"The one and only," she said, flipping her hair over her shoulder. "So newbie, who are you? You weren't with Yugi and company before."
"That's because we only met yesterday," Yugi explained. "See, Jack helped Joey out—"
"We're acquaintances, nothing more," Jack interjected, pointing a finger at Mai. "And don't underestimate me just because you've never seen me before. Anything's fair game."
"True, but I doubt you'll get far," Mai said, waving off his warning.
Jack scoffed. "Is that a challenge?"
"It's not a challenge; it's the truth," Mai argued. "But if you want to make it one, I'll go for it. Whoever makes it to the finals first gets the loser's rarest card."
Yugi knew this was starting to get out of hand. "Uh, Mai, that's hardly—"
"Bring it on, Valentine! Jack Atlas won't lose to the likes of you!" Jack shouted, a blazing aura igniting around him. Yugi sighed in defeat, knowing it wasn't going to end well for Jack. He did say he was new to Duel Monsters and he was going to be facing against seasoned duelists. His chances of getting to the finals were slim to none. But there was still a chance; after all, Joey made it to the Duelist Kingdom finals while still being a beginner to the game.
"Yugi! I thought I'd see you buzzing around!"
Jack briefly stopped to turn towards the owner of the voice. He saw two short-stacks walking towards Yugi. One had teal hair and wore yellow glasses in the shape of a bug and its wings. He wore a green shirt with a black beetle silhouette with matching black pants and shoes that had bugs for laces. The one next to him was brown-haired male wearing a red hat that covered his head and showed a small portion of lavender-colored bangs, a green coat, yellow shirt, brown pants, and sky-blue shoes.
"If it isn't Rex Raptor and Weevil Underwood…" Mai groaned.
"I'll never forget how you played me like a fool at Duelist Kingdom, Mai!" Rex snapped at the woman. "Now, it's payback time!"
"And Yugi; next time we duel, you won't be so lucky! My deck is infested with swarms of rare and powerful insects!" Weevil snickered in a nasally voice that irritated Jack greatly. The Signer was already on the verge of punching the midget when someone from behind Weevil grabbed him in a headlock, silencing his annoying laughter.
"Those are large words coming from such a small guppy," the tanned man said.
"Mako Tsunami," Yugi greeted the male.
Mako let Weevil go, causing the boy to hold his throat and breathe harshly to get his much needed oxygen. Mako announced boldly that he would be the winner of the tournament with the help of his deck. Weevil snapped at the fisherman, arguing that there was no way Mako would win. Rex countered that argument, saying that his dinosaurs would be victorious over the both of them. Mai and Yugi sweatdropped as the verbal fight continued to escalate. Jack just blinked. He hadn't heard much about the three duelists; perhaps sparse details, but nothing notable.
"Yugi, I think I'll head off," said Mai, deciding it was best to leave. "Remember; next time we meet, we're rivals. Same to you, Jackie. Be ready to cough up your rarest card by the end of today!"
"Don't call me 'Jackie'!" Jack snapped at the blonde, a small blush forming on his face. There was only one person who was allowed to call him "Jackie" and even she didn't use it often. Mai laughed at his reaction before running off. Yugi waved goodbye to the female, smiling as she disappeared from view.
"Well, Jack," Yugi said, turning to Jack. "Good luck."
"I'd wish you the same, but I know you'll get to the finals," Jack said, walking away from Yugi. "You're not 'King of Games' for nothing."
"And I'm not a WRGP winner for nothing, either," Jack thought. "It's time to show these halfwit amateurs how a real duelist plays his cards."
And cliffhanger! Who's the only person allowed to call him "Jackie"? I'm a diehard Scoopshipper, so in my mind it's Carly. But it could potentially be Martha as well, since I enjoy her character so much.