Friday, April 1, 2011

Insert Heroic Librarian Here

Nigh-impenetrable mists swirled above the barren and lifeless rocky ground, which stretched out to all the horizons, unbroken by mountains or trees or anything at. Just flat, gray and rocky with a source-less wind howling occasional in every which way. No one sane would every do anything but leave as soon as they arrived here and any one who tried to explore the mists instead were promptly never heard from again. This place was the 'edge' of the Universe, where life all but ceased to be and a cold silence resonated forever. Those who know of its existence called it the 'Precipice of Existence' and then moved on to better things. Who would want to come here? There was no life, no noise and the cold silence reigned supreme.

A silence that was abruptly and suddenly broken.

There was a flash of light and a swirling portal that shone with all color in existence opened long enough to spit two furiously struggling figures before iris-ing close again, the two figures whirling and throwing punches at one another as they crashed into the ground, a good-sized plume of dust being launched up into the air from the crater they formed.

Both figures broke and rolled away from one another, leaping to their feet and glaring at each other, their bodies covered in dirt and sweat and clothes coated in dust, cut and tears and stained with droplets of blood even as their shoulders heaved from lack of breath.

"You're a persistent man, aren't you Librarian?" The speaker was dressed in a dark body-suit that hugged her curvaceous form well, while lustrous, wavy ebony hair trailed down her back while emerald eyes shone gently in the off-lighting that permeated the Precipice of Existence. A serrated, nasty-looking whip dangled in her hand and steel-toed, heeled boots shuffled in the rocky ground as she slid into a combat stance.

The teenager she addressed as 'Librarian' managed a terse smile, face stained with blood and dirt while his silver hair was mussed and sticking every which way. A forest green trenchcoat, the lower hum and tails tattered and filled with holes flapped dismally in the wind while the mists obscured his lower legs. "It's an image I like to cultivate by stopping and catching people like you, Runoa…" He clenched his fists and raised them in front of him.

Runoa gripped her whip tightly. "We'll see…" Then both of their forms blurred and vanished from view as they charged towards one another, trading blows at a lighting pace, though would have been almost impossible for the naked to eye see had anyone besides themselves been there.

-Adrian slamming his fist into her face, snapping her head back-

-The Librarian flying backward as she landed a foot into his gut-

-Runoa's whip wrapping around the boy, only for its owner to gasp in surprise as he yanks her towards him-

-A sweep kick knocking her off her feet, followed by an elbow to the neck-

-Adrian coughing up blood as she jabs two fingers swiftly into his throat-

-Both of them sent sailing in opposite directions as they leap at one another, their punches connecting on each other's chest.-

The Librarian swore and dug his heels along the ground, leaving a pair of twin furrows in the process as the shockwave washed over him. "Damn…" He glanced down at his trenchcoat and sighed when he saw that it was reduced to nothing more than a pair of sleeves and tatters. "Why I can't ever have a single trenchcoat survive a mission!" He pulled the destroyed article of clothing off and tossed it aside, leaving him only in his black shirt and pants.

Then he was blown off his feet as an energy blast caught him in the chest and hurled him a dozen yards away, his form vanishing into the mists. "Now then…" Runoa lowered her palm and put a hand on her hip, glancing around. "Where could that Grail be…?" Pulling a small pendant from her pocket, she held it up and it glowed a soft violet color before shooting out a beam of light that struck the air up and in front of Runoa. She shielded her eyes from a bright white flare for a moment and then lowered her arm, smirking. "Ah…"

About twenty feet above the ground, an ornate chalice floated, colored a beautiful gold and blue with precious encrusted around the base and the rim and on the handles. "There it is…"

"Sorry!" Runoa went spinning around as Adrian flashed past her, snatching the pendant out of her hand while smacking her upside the head. "I can't just hand it over to you that easily, Runoa!" The Librarian skidded to a stop about twenty-five feet away, studying the pendant before returning to its proper place around his neck. "Thanks for returning my pendant, though."

"Rrrrr…" The women steadied herself, glaring at the white-haired boy. "Now that the Grail's been revealed, I don't need that pendant!" Turning, she sprinted and leapt up; hands outstretched to grab the Grail…and was promptly blown back on her butt as energy crackled around the Grail. "Dammit!"

"Come on now…" Adrian waggled a finger at her. "Do you really think that I would just hide the Grail without any sort of protection around it?" Smirking, he crossed his arms over his chest. "You got lucky ambushing me on a mission and stealing my pendant, but that lucky streak ends here."

Runoa got to her feet. "Then I'll take the Grail by force!" She held out her arm and a duel disk flashed into existence there, deck in place and already in active mode. (RLP: 4000)

"Very well…" Adrian did the same and his disk flared into existence, but his was mostly purple, with the monster slots being black while gold trimmed the edges of the device. "One way or another, this situation will be resolved here." (ALP: 4000)

"I'm first!" She snapped the card free, inserting into her hand before grabbing another one and slapping it onto her disk. "I'll set one monster defense mode and one card facedown to end my turn!" The two brown-backed cards materialized before her, obscured by the thick mists that filled the Precipice.

"A defense…from a Sue?" Adrian looked curious as he drew for his turn. "Never thought I'd see that." Grabbing a card from his hand, he inserted it into his disk and a continuous magic card shimmered into existence before him, its picture showing a open book of some sort, with dozens of cloth bookmarks sticking out of it at various places and the page it was currently one showing famous picture of the Sword in the Stone with unreadable writing below the picture. "The magic card Tome of Legends has a powerful effect, but you can worry about that later. From my hand, I summon Legendary Hero- Shiro Emiya to the field!" (1600/1200)

A figure walked out of the mists. He was tall, with white hair. A red trenchcoat flapped slightly, the front open to reveal a set of molded armor that was neither metal nor leather, but somewhere in between. He had a calm, confident look on his face and sneered a little when he saw Runoa. "And when he's summoned, I get to equip him with a specific equip card from my side deck. And I chose Kansho and Byakuya!" Shiro, arms at his side, opened his palms and a red-lattice work in the shape of a pair of Chinese falchions appeared before being covered in metal. One blade was black, the other was white and both had the yin-yang symbol on their blades. "These raise his attack by four hundred and let him attack twice in one turn!" (1600-2000)
Adrian slid a card from his hand into the graveyard. "But I can discard a card and forfeit one of those attacks in order to destroy a magic or trap card on your field!" Shiro flung the white blade–Kansho- and it whirled across the field like a boomerang, slicing the set card in half before returning to Shiro's hand. "Now destroy her set monster with Blade Slash!" Shiro nodded and sprinted across the field, his twin blades slashing the set monster apart in a flurry of strokes that the eye could barely follow.

A small set of sparkles fell down around Runoa as she smirked and slid the destroyed monster into her graveyard. "You just destroyed my Nimble Momonga (1000/100) and since you did, not only do I get one thousand life points, but two more Momongas are set on my field!" (RLP: 5000) The air near her feet shimmered and two more brown-backed cards appeared.

(Momongas, huh? Is she playing a Beast-type deck…or are they tribute bait for something else?) Adrian grabbed a card from his hand and slid it into his disk. "I don't know what you're playing, Runoa, but you won't defeat me. I'll set this face-down and end my turn."

"And I draw…" Runoa did so, smirking mockingly at Adrian. "Planning something? Little ole me? Surely you must be joking!"

Adrian snorted. "Don't pull that innocent crap on me. You're a Mary-Sue. The word 'innocent' doesn't exist in your vocabulary."

"It does. We just choose to ignore it, is all." Runa slid a pair of cards into her disk. "I'll play these, the first one being Fiend's Sanctuary, which special summons one Metal Fiend token to my field!" (DARK/1 star/Fiend/0/0) A strange-looking creature appeared on her field, made of small silver spheres connected to one another and then to a large sphere that formed the body. A semi-large sphere formed the faceless head.
The second card materialized in play. "The second is Precious Cards from Beyond, which lets me draw two cards every time I tribute summon a monster that requires two or more tributes."

(She's definitely playing a tribute deck…) The Librarian frowned as he mentally ran through the list of cards that required three tributes. (The Egyptian Gods…Destiny Hero-Dogma and Bloo-D…Gilford the Lighting and Moisture Creature… Arcana Force - The Light Ruler and Arcana Force - The Dark Ruler… but half of those cards require decks worked around them to cover their weaknesses and the other half are incredibly rare and lost for the most part…) Then he was yanked out his thoughts Runoa's three monsters disappeared in pillars of black and violet fire. "What on earth!"

"When Pegasus created the God Cards, he feared their power so much that he had them hidden away and created another set of darker Gods to counter their powers. But these too grew out of his control and he locked them away, dubbing them 'Wicked Gods'. Then, as a counter to both sets, he created the cards known as the Sacred Beast, twisted parodies of the Gods that were weaker than the originals, though easier to control…" Runoa smirked as the three pillars of fire merged together, forming a twister of flames that blew away the mist surrounding her field and shot skywards until it couldn't be seen. "Finally, to balance the scales against the Scared Beasts, he created another set of monsters… The Fallen Seraphim!"

The twister blew apart as six great wings snapped open, alternating back and forth between white, angelic feathered wings and tattered, leather wings. The massive creature was serpentine and massive, its red-scaled form coiling around Runoa and her field. When it finally settled, it lifted its massive triangular head, opening a fang-filled mouth and letting out a sound that was half roar, half screech. It fixed its gaze on Adrian, four sets of golden eyes stacked one atop the other, flaring brightly. "And this is my Fallen Seraphim- Typhris! (?/?)

"Tch…" Adrian and Shiro narrowed their eyes at the unholy creature. "Such a twisted beast… and like Slifer and Uria, are its scores determined by an outside factor?"

"Of course…" Runoa, drawing two cards thanks to Precious Cards From Beyond, gestured to Typhris and it reared back, howling it flared its wings out, motes of dark energy being drawn into them. "For every empty space that I have on the field, it gains one thousand attack points! And I've got nine!" (9000/9000)

"What!" The Librarian took a step back in astonishment and fear as the Fallen Seraphim's wings tripled in size. "That's insane!"

"Typhris, attack and destroy his so-called hero! Void Light!" Typhris' maw crackled with energy and then it opened its jaws, spewing forth a stream of black light that cracked with violet lighting, the attack struck the ground and tore its way towards Shiro and Adrian, leaving a trench in its wake.

Adrian threw up both arms to shield his eyes as the attack hit, blowing the mists surrounding him away and he briefly heard Shiro scream as he was vaporized. As smoke billowed across his field and merged with the mist, he lowered his arms and glanced at his disk, frowning in surprise at what he saw. (ALP: 4000) "Why weren't my life points affected at all?"

Runoa didn't look too pleased as she reached up and stroke the scaly hide next to her. "Typhris' special ability prevents it from dealing you any battle damage at all. But I can live with that. It means I get to drag your defeat out even longer…"

"We'll see about that…" Adrian pointed at his set card and it flipped up, revealing a trap card whose picture depicted Marauding Captain in the midst of a battlefield surrounded by demons as he picked the fallen Warrior Dai Grepher's sword from the ground. "Legend's Fall activates when you destroy a Legendary Hero through battle. I'm allowed to summon another Legendary Hero of equal level from my deck!" His deck whirred and spat out a card, which he deftly caught and flung onto his disk with a single motion. "So come forth Legendary Hero - Samus Aran!"

With a small puff of dust and a crater, a metallic orange sphere fell from the sky onto Adrian's field. For a moment, nothing happened and the sphere suddenly transformed into a six-foot tall armored humanoid, the smoothly curved armor mostly an orange-ish color with a red helmet and green visor. In place of Samus' right hand was a blaster and her armored feet sunk an inch or two into the rock. (1800/1800)

"A guy with swords to some guy in armor?" Runoa raised an eyebrow. "What kind of Legendary Heroes are these?" Then she frowned a little when she noticed that Adrian's Tome of Legends had a glowing, golden mote of light above it. "And why does your card have some kind of counter on it?"

"Tome of Legends gains a 'Legend Counter' every time one of my Legendary Heroes goes to the graveyard." Adrian explained and gestured to Samus. "But that's not what you have to worry about right now."

"Like I'm concerned about your tin can." Runoa scoffed and slid a card into her disk, causing Typhris' wings to shrink a little. (8000/8000) "I'll set this face-down and end my turn."

"Draw!" Adrian snapped the card free and then tossed it down immediately. "From my hand, I summon Legendary Hero- Ichigo Kurosaki!" (1800/1600) A figure strolled out from the mist. He was a slim teenage boy. He was dressed in a black out fit that hung somewhat loose from his frame. His orange hair was cut short and spiked a little while a giant sword that lacked a hilt or guard hung from his back, nearly as big as he was. Looking almost puny next to the bounty hunter he was next to, he smirked a greeting a Samus, who just nodded in return.

"Another strange weakling…" The raven-haired woman narrowed her eyes at the two heroes across the field. "What can those two do to my powerful Typhris? It's impossible!"

The Librarian offered her a smirk. "They're Heroes, Runoa. Defeating the impossible is what they do!" He grabbed another card from his hand and flipped it around. "And right now, I'm activating the continuous magic card Bond of Legends!" The card materialized on his field, its picture showing at least a dozen different heroes from all sorts of video games, comic books, stories and myths standing together in a circle, hands placed on top one another. "Now all my Legendary Heroes gain two hundred attack and defense points for every Legendary Hero on the field!" His two monsters glowed as energy flowed between them. (1800/1800-2200/2200) (1800/1600-2200/2000)

"That's still not good enough!"

"Then how about this?" Adrian slammed his next card into his disk. "Riryoku halves the attack of your monster and gives it to Ichigo!" Typhris roared as the glow his wings dimmed and they shrank to half size while the air around Ichigo suddenly exploded as a blue erupted form him, whipping his clothes around and kicking up a small swirl of dust and rock. (8000-4000) (2200-6200) "Attack and destroy Typhris, Ichigo! Getsuga Tensho!"

Ichigo nodded and pulled his sword from his back. Pointing it at Typhris, he sneered and then pulled it back and then sliced it through the air, a wave of crackling blue energy leaping from the edge and rocketing towards the god. Typhris roared and opened its maw to counterattack, but the Getsuga Tensho was too fast, blasting right through Typhris' head and enveloping it in an explosion of smoke.

"Reveal face-down card!" Runoa tapped a button on her disk and the card flipped up. "The trap card Desecrated Divinity activates when you attack and equips a Fallen Seraphim! That monster is immune to battle and any damage is negated!" Typhris' roared and glowed a blood-red color as the smoke cleared, revealing the fallen god completely unharmed by Ichigo's attack.

"Dammit…" Adrian scowled and glanced down at his hand. (I had hoped to destroy that thing and finish Runoa off in one round. Even if it can't deal me damage, it's still stronger than anything I have on hand…) "I'll set two cards face-down and end my turn!" The two cards materialized on either side of his Tome of Legends as the aura burning around Ichigo died down and the teen replaced his sword on his back, looking annoyed that his attack had failed.

Runoa drew and then pointed at Typhris. "My monster isn't powerful for its attack strength, but for its two secondary effects! Typhris, Desolation Aura!" The god reared up and roared yet again, blowing away the mists surrounding it as it burned with a faint black aura.

"Desolation Aura… what are you-" Adrian was cut off as his body suddenly tensed, surrounding by the same black aura that was around Typhris. But as fast as it came, it left and the Librarian dropped to one knee, breathing hard. "What…what was that?" (ALP: 2400)

The Sue smirked as Adrian got back to his feet. "Typhris is a God of Desolation and as such, he deals you one hundred points of damage for every empty space on our combined fields during my standby phase!"

Adrian growled as he realized what that meant. (In a regular duel, there are a total of twenty-two spaces on both players' fields… but the max damage Typhris could ever inflict is twenty-one hundred he occupies a monster zone himself. To avoid taking so much damage, the opposing player will try to fill up their side of the field as fast as they can, since the duelist controlling Typhris won't do that in order to keep Typhris' attack high… meaning the opposing person's field is open to mass destruction effects…)

Runoa's smirk continued as a soft glow surrounded her. "As long as it's face-up on the field, Desecrated Divinity grants me one thousand life points during my Standby Phase…" (RLP: 6000)

She looked at her hand for a long moment and then pointed at Ichigo. "Typhris attacks and destroys your little hero with Void Light!" The god spread its wings and the motes of dark energy began to gather in them again while its jaw crackled with unreleased power.

Adrian watched as the Void Light came screaming down towards his field and then tapped a button on his disk. "This isn't happening a second time, Runoa! Reveal the trap Heroic Determination! During this turn, not only can my heroes not be destroyed, but I get to draw three cards from my deck if your strongest monster has least twice the attack points of my attacked hero!" He quickly snapped three cards free as Ichigo quickly yanked his sword from his back held it up in front of him, one hand on the handle and the other bracing the length of the weapon. Ichigo grunted and staggered as the Void Light collided with his weapon, but he locked his arms and gritted his teeth, the attack actually being split in half by his sword and parting around Adrian's field, digging a 'V' shaped trench.

Runoa growled as Ichigo gave a might yell and shoved hard, deflecting the attack up and away from the playing field. (If only Typhris could deal damage, this duel would be over…Even so, I've still got his Desolation Aura, not to mention his other effect waiting in the wings…) "I end my turn!"

"My draw!" Adrian did so and then tossed yet another monster onto his disk. "I summon Legendary Hero - Sora!" (1500/1200-2100/1800) (2400/2400) (2400/2200) A young man dressed in black shorts and shirt covered with zippers flipped out onto the field, his spiky brown hair bouncing a little and a wide smile on his face. He held out his right hand and in a flare of light, a large silver-and-gold key vaguely resembling a sword appearing in his grasp.

"And yet another one…?" Runoa rolled her eyes and sighed. "Just what are these heroes supposed to accomplish, anyway? Do they even have effects?"

(They do, but they aren't exactly useful right now…) Adrian's eyes flicked over the three monsters on his field. (Ichigo's effect only activates if he destroys a monster, Samus is useless because I can't afford to discard any of my cards right now and I don't have my HammerSpace card to access her Alt. Mode card from the side deck and Sora's Trinity Limit may combine my monster's powers, but it'll still fall short of Typhris' attack..) Then a magic card sitting in the center of his hand caught his eye. (This will help even the score… but…)

After a moment's hesitation, Adrian grabbed the card and inserted it into his disk. "Get ready Runoa, because I'm activating the magic card Power Up!" The card shimmered into existence on this field, the picture showing a sword-wielding figure surrounded by a bright white aura, hair and clothes dancing wildly while a group of demons cowered in fear before him.

"Power… Up?" Runoa repeated slowly and the narrowed his eyes. "Does that do what I think it does!"

"Yes…" Adrian watch as giant golden coin appeared on the field between them. "In times of great need, true Heroes can call upon a greater power and transform themselves… but there's a chance that their newfound power could call out the worse in them and bring forth their dark sides… so, depending on whether this coin is heads or tails determines what my heroes become!" The coin flipped up into the air, spinning around rapidly… and the came crashing down, the Eye of Horus face-up. "That's heads and that means I get to summon my Heroes upgraded forms from my Extra Deck!" Ichigo and Sora both vanished into spheres of black and white light respectively while a pillar of light lanced down from the sky and swallowed Samus up.

Runoa glared as Typhris howled at the energies surrounding the heroes, not liking it one bit. "It doesn't matter what your heroes become, they can't defeat me or my gods!"

Adrian just smiled. "We'll just see about that!" He snapped out his hand dramatically. "Now my heroes, call upon all your power and reveal your true selves!"

The black sphere of light around Ichigo blew apart, revealing the teenager in a completely different get-up. He was dressed in a long black coat that was tight around his chest and arms and billowed out as it went down from his waist, the bottom somewhat ragged as it flapped in the wind. His sword had become thin and narrow, similar to a katana save for the fact it was straight and a good foot longer. It was colored jet-black, from the blade to the hilt and a few inks of a broken chain dangled off the edge of the hilt while Ichigo's eyes hardened and a faint blue aura outlined his form. "Legendary Hero - Ichigo of Tensa Zangetsu!" (3000/2800)

With a soft flare, the pillar of light around Samus faded, revealing that she had completely changed. Her hulking, armored form was gone, revealing her slim figure that was sheathed in a pale blue suit. Her blonde hair was a pulled back in a ponytail and sharp blue eyes were focused and determined. She pulled a slim black and silver handle from out of nowhere and thumbed a button on it, a glowing energy blade erupting from the hilt with a snap-hiss! Thrum!. Samus twirled the weapon around in a complex pattern before leveling it at Runoa dangerously. "Legendary Hero - Zero Suit Samus!" (2700/2500)

Unlike the other two, the sphere of white light around Sora was actually pulled into the boy, clearing to reveal his changes. His outfit was now colored a mix of black and white, splashed randomly together like a Rorschach blot. He floated a few inches above the ground while a pair of Keyblades hovered next to him, one colored black and the other colored white. A strand of soft white light flitted its way around him as Sora smirked, his blue eyes shining a bit. "Legendary Hero - Final Form Sora!" (2800/2600)

A trio of lights appeared above his Tome of Legends. "And, of course, since three more Legendary Heroes were sent to the graveyard, my card gets some more counters."

"Tch…" Runoa narrowed her eyes while Typhris growled at the new arrivals. "So your heroes got a whole lot shinier! So what!"

"My heroes did more than get a bonus score and some new duds." Adrian smiled and gestured to them as the power of his Bond of Legends activated and filled the heroes with energy. (3000/2800-3600/3400) (2700/2500-3300/3100) (2800/2600-3400/3200) "They got a whole lot of new powers, too. And I'm activating Sora's special ability - Trinity Overlimit!" Sora nodded and then he, Samus and Ichigo all crossed their blades together. "Now with only one monster of mine being able to attack this turn, that monster gains the attack of all the other monsters on my field! And I choose Samus!" The blue-suited woman nodded as she began to glow a bright gold. (3300-6900-10300)

Runoa gulped as she watched Samus' golden aura double in size. (He managed to make a monster stronger than Typhris…but my Desecrated Divinity is still equipped to him, so he'll survive!) Typhris roared at the little speck that dared to defy it and reared up, its wings stretched to their fullest and radiating dark light.

Adrian pointed at the god. "Alright, Samus! Go and get rid that eyesore! Lightblade Blast!" Ichigo held out his sword that it was flat and Samus flipped up, acrobatically balancing on it. The pair nodded at one another and then Ichigo swung with all his might, hurtling the heroine like a rocket straight towards Typhris.

The god roared at her and its head dove for Samus, maw opening wide to swallow her whole. Samus narrowed her eyes and the pair of jet-boots she was wearing kicked in, suddenly doubling her speed even as she gripped her weapon in preparation to attack.

"It's useless! Typhris can't be destroyed as a result of battle!" Runoa gasped as the black Keyblade suddenly whipped across the field and shot through her Desecrated Divinity trap card, shattering it instantly. "What!"

Adrian smirked as Sora caught the returning Keyblade. "Sora's Trinity Overlimit not only combines the attack of the selected monsters, but if they have effects that activate during the battle phase or when they attack, those are triggered too! And Sora's is that he's allowed to forfeit one of his two attacks to destroy a face-up magic or trap card!" He pointed skywards. "But that's not what you should be worrying about."

Runoa looked up and her eyes widened as she saw Samus shoot right into Typhris' gullet. "What…" Then a series of gold slashes appeared all along the god's mouth and upper body, ending when Samus burst from the curve near his head, trailing blood, scales and golden energy. Typhris remained motionless and then his head and upper body began to crumble apart, hacked to bits. First his the lower half of his jaw, then a chunk of his neck, followed dozens of fangs and the rest of it. "NOOO!"

The Sue ducked her head into her arms as the pieces of her god monster rained down around her as the body shattered apart down its length into pixels. "Impossible…impossible!" Then she was flying backwards as a blast of blue energy tore across the field and slammed bodily into her, sending her crashing down a few yards away. "What…what was that….?" (RLP:6000- 3700-2200)

"That was Ichigo's Getsuga Tensho." Adrian explained as Samus flew back down to his field while Ichigo, a few stray sparks of blue energy dancing around his sword, smirked and pulled it free from the ground. "When he destroys a monster as a result of battle, you take fifteen hundred points of damage!"

He pointed to Sora and the boy suddenly looked very tired, as he dropped to the ground and was enveloped in a white glow. When it faded, he was back to his original form, crouching and holding his Keyblade defensively. "Trinity Overlimit exhausts Sora's power and he returns to his basic form, unfortunately. But it was well worth it to get rid that monstrosity off the field." He slid a card into his disk. "I'll set this face-down and call it a turn."

"You think that just by defeating Typhris, you've won?" Runoa snapped and drew a card from her deck viciously. "I've got two more Fallen Seraphim waiting in the wings to crush you, Adrian!" She glanced at the card she had just drawn and a dark smile spread on her face. "But why wait? You're about to meet another one of them right now!"

"Oh?" Adrian raised an eyebrow. "You need to sacrifice something to summon a God card, but all I see on your field is Precious Cards from Beyond. Just how exactly to you plan to summon something?"

Runoa waved her hand of cards at him. "I didn't play these cards so I could keep Typhris power high. That doesn't mean they aren't useful." She held one up. "I'll activate Tribute Bait! Now all I have to do is discard three cards from my hand…" She quickly slipped them into the graveyard and a trio of straw filled dummies appeared, mounted on wooden poles. (0/0x3) "These tokens can't attack or defend my life points, but that doesn't matter, now does it? Because I'm about to sacrifice them all to summon my Fallen Seraphim- Zuriel!"

The ground rumbled and cracked open, the three dummies falling into the crevice. A loud roar was heard and Adrian and his heroes took a step back a giant, clawed hand appeared out of the crack, followed shortly by another and the upper portion of the monster's head and then the rest of the body as it clambered out of the gorge.

Like Obelisk the Tormentor and Raviel - Lord of Phatasms before him, Zuriel was massively tall and broad, towering at least three stories into the air. It was mostly colored blue like its two counterparts, but whereas Obelisk had been mostly human-like and Raviel resembled a deformed version of Obelisk and the Summoned Skull, benefiting its demonic nature, Zuriel was simply monstrous. His entire body was covered in decaying skin and muscle tissue, bits of dead flesh dropping off here and there as he shifted and moved. Two giant wings that may have been feathered at some point were now rotted and diseased. His eye sockets were empty and when he flexed his fingers, his bones cracked and creaked. Strange bone blades stuck out from his elbows and up from his knees. Strange, thick black veins ran over his body, pulsing and pumping a strange fluid. (4000/4000)

"What… what…" Adrian and his monsters gagged and coughed as a thick stench clogged the air, the Librarian pulling a cloth from out of his pocket and holding it over his mouth and nose, trying his best to not let his eyes water. "What the hell is going on?"

Runoa, who didn't seem to be affected by the smell, drew twice for the effect of her Precious Cards from Beyond and smirked. "Zuriel is a God of Pestilence and as such, every round, all of the opposing monsters gains a Pestilence Counter, reducing their attack points by three hundred for each one." True to her words, all of Adrian's monsters gained a black and green counter above their heads while they looked slightly ill and their power lowered. (2100/1800-1800/1500) (3600/3400-3300/3100) (3300/3100-3000/2800) "Now, Zuriel! Attack and destroy Ichigo! Pestilence Domination!" With a groaning sound, Zuriel opened his mouth and much to Adrian's horror and surprise, an endless swarm of locusts buzzed out, pouring straight towards Ichigo.

"Reveal face-down card!" Adrian tapped a button his disk and the card flipped up. "The quick-play magic card Shrink halves your Zuriel's power!" The swarm of locust suddenly broke in two, half of it flying back towards Zuriel while the rest continued towards Ichigo. (4000-2000)

Runoa slid a card from her hand into her disk. "And the quick-play card Whiplash negates the effect of any other quick-play card or normal trap card!" The Shrink card shattered and Ichigo screamed as he disappeared in a swarm of locusts, blasts of his Getsuga Tensho blasting futilely at the ravenous insects. They buzzed around him for a moment and then zoomed away, leaving on his sword and a few tattered scraps of cloth that fell to the ground and burst apart into pixels.

Adrian, Sora and Samus looked shocked and somewhat ill as they stared where Ichigo had been while the locusts flew back into Zuriel's mouth, the Librarian recovering first and glaring at Runoa and her monster even as Tome of Legends gained a fifth counter. (ALP: 1700) "I'll make you pay for that, Runoa. And my remaining set card will help me do it!" He pointed at it and it flipped up, a trap card with a picture of Getsu Fuhma pulling Mataza the Zapper's sword from the ground while the bodies of an army lay around them. "Take Up My Sword activates when you destroy a Warrior-type Legendary Hero! Now that monster is equipped to another Warrior-type Legendary and they gain half of that monster's base attack score!" Samus, eyes shining wetly, walked over and pulled Ichigo's sword free from the ground, sheathing it across her back and pointing her own weapon at Zuriel, warning the god that she was coming for him. (3000-4500/2800) "Any other equips would be transferred as well, but Ichigo didn't have any."

"Hmmm…" Runoa slid a card into her disk and watched it materialize. "Do whatever you think you need to. You won't be able to defeat Zuriel."

"Just watch me!" Adrian snapped the card free and then groaned a dark aura burned around him. "What…!"

"It's Zuriel's second ability, which I like to call Black Death." Runoa snickered. "During each of your Standby Phases, you take one hundred points of damage for every Pestilence Counter on your side of the field!" (ALP: 1500)

"Tch…" Adrian looked at the card he had drawn before flipping it around. "The magic card A Crisis Looms lets me special summon a Legendary Hero from my hand, provided you have a monster on the field whose level is higher than the level of the monster I want to summon!" He grabbed a card from his hand and slapped it down. "And since your Zuriel is a level ten monster, that pretty much lets me summon whoever I want!"

There was a soft flare of light and when it faded, a wizened old man was standing on Adrian's field. He was dressed in completely white, wearing a cloak and a white tunic. A sword was stuck through his belt and he rested slightly on a pure white staff. He studied Zuriel, looking disgusted, but not perturbed in the slightest. Despite his age, a great calm and sense power radiated from him. "Legendary Hero - Gandalf the White in attack mode!" (3200-3800/2900-3500)

Adrian gestured at Gandalf and he smiled, thrusting his staff at Zuriel, a flare of light erupting from it and driving the diseased god back as he roared in pain and shielded his eyes. "One of Gandalf's powers is that the attack of all DARK-attribute or Fiend-type monsters is halved!" The light intensified and Zuriel groaned in pain as he staggered backwards. (4000/4000-2000/2000) "Now, Samus attack and take vengeance for Ichigo! Lightblade Blast!" The words had barely left Adrian's mouth before the heroine's jet boots kicked in and rocketed her towards the weakened god.

"You fell for it!" Runoa pointed at her set card and it flipped up. "I reveal the trap - Sacrifice to the Fallen!" With a sudden roar, Zuriel lurched back to his feet and swatted at Samus, knocking the heroine away into the mists as he reached down and gripped Gandalf and Sora in his hands, the two heroes desperately to free themselves as Gandalf blasted away at him with beams of white light and Sora hacked futilely at the fingers with his Keyblade, but Zuriel's skin and tissue were so rotted and diseased he didn't seem to notice the efforts.

"My monsters!" Adrian took a step forwards, glaring at Runoa fiercely. "What the hell is your trap card doing!"

"It's simple, really…" Runoa snickered darkly. "Sacrifice to the Fallen can only be activated with Zuriel on the field. Like Obelisk and Raviel, one of his effects requires a tribute of monsters and in this case, two are required. But I get to use your monsters instead of my own! So now, Zuriel absorb their strength and unleash your power! Eighth Plague!" Gandalf and Sora burst into pixels as Zuriel clenched his fists and opened his maw, unleashing an endless horde of locusts from it. Samus flew back into view, hurtling towards his face, but then screamed as she was overwhelmed by the locusts and Adrian threw up his arms as the swarm washed over him.

Then it was gone, leaving him with several small tears all over his clothes and cuts on his face. Lowering his arms, he staggered a bit and then steadied himself. "You… you bastard… my monsters…" He glanced down at his hand and frowned when he noticed he only had two cards left. "What happened to my monsters!"
Runoa laughed darkly and gestured to Zuriel, the air around the fallen angel filled with locusts that buzzed around him. "That's Zuriel's special power, the Eighth Plague! In game terms, he destroys all monsters on your side of the field and in your hand!"

"Damn…." Adrian glanced at his Tome of Legends card, which now had a total of eight counters on it since Gandalf, Sora and Samus had been sent to the graveyard. (I only need two more…) Glancing at the two cards he had in his hand, he frowned slightly. (But these won't let me make a comeback… the best I can do is stall…) "From my hand, I activate the magic card, Unlikely Hero! Now I pick up cards from my deck until I reach a Legendary Hero and I can, I get to special summon that hero!" He quickly picked up three cards and then stopped at the fourth, deftly shuffling the other three back into his deck while tossing the fourth one down.

"I'll summon Legendary Hero - Link! (1700/1200) There was a flash of light and a leanly muscled youth appeared. He was dressed in a green tunic and cap. He dropped to one knee, lifting his shield and sword in front him. He stared levelly at Zuriel, obviously trying his best not to be freaked by the monster's appearance. "And when Link is summoned, I can equip him with the Master Sword from my side-deck!" Link raised his sword above his head and it flared brightly and when the light dimmed, it was a good six inches longer, with a more ornate hilt and polished till it gleamed. "This raises his attack and defense power by eight hundred!" (1700/1200-2500/2000)

The Librarian slid the last card in his hand into his disk. "I'll set this card face-down and end my turn…for now."

"And it's back to me." Runoa drew and slid the card into her disk. "Pot of Greed activates and I draw two cards while your Link gains a Pestilence Counter!" The Hero of Hyrule groaned as a black/green light appeared above him (2500/2000-2200/1700) while Runoa she drew. Glancing at them, she pointed at Link. "Zuriel, destroy his pathetic hero! Pestilence Domination!" Zuriel opened his mouth and the giant swarm of locusts burst forth once again, winging their way towards Link.

"Reverse card open! Rho Aias!" The trap card lifted and suddenly seven prismatic, rose-colored petals appeared in front of Link, each one the size of the youth's body. The swarm of locusts crashed the first one and it flared with light, repulsing them easily. A few seconds later and it cracked, shattering apart. "Rho Aias is a legendary seven-layer shield and when I activate it, it gives one of my Legendary Heroes seven Defense Counters. And in case you hadn't noticed, I can remove one of those counters to negate an attack!"

Runoa scowled and then slapped a card onto her disk. "I'll set one monster defense mode, one card face-down and end my turn!"

Adrian drew and grunted in pain as Zuriel's Black Death effect kicked in, draining him of more life points. (ALP: 1400) (Rho Aias won't protect Link forever and even if it could, Zuriel's effect will kill me off in a few rounds…this card had better something good or my goose is cooked!) He glanced at it and frowned. (HammerSpace? This card's useless at the moment! Link doesn't have any HammerSpace weapons!) "I end my turn."

"This is going to be very boring if I have to keep smashing on that shield, so I'll going to hasten things up." Runoa commented as she drew while Link gained a second Pestilence Counter (2200/1700-1900/1400), glanced at it and scowled darkly.

"Awww…. no monster? Guess that means you can't use Zuriel's Eighth Plague." Adrian snickered at her.

"Watch it, boy! Even if I can't use his effect, I'm still in better shape than you are!" Her set monster faded and was replaced by a snarling man-beast wielding a double-bladed scythe. "Vorse Raider (1900/1200) and Zuriel attack Link!" Link flinched as the god's locusts crashed into a petal and shattered while Vorse Raider charged and hammered his weapon against a second petal, the crystalline shield crumbling apart after a few blows. "End turn!"

"My draw!" Ignoring the black aura that sprang up around him as best he could (ALP: 1200), Adrian glanced at the card and nodded to himself. "I activate Pot of Avarice, shuffling Legendary Heroes- Shiro Emiya, Ichigo Kurosaki, Sora, Samus Aran and Gandalf the White back into my deck to draw two cards!" The five named cards were shot out of his graveyard and he grabbed them, swiftly shuffling them back into his deck and snapping two cards free.

Almost instantly, one of them was slid into his disk. "The magic card Spider's Thread takes the magic card closest to the top of your graveyard and gives it to me. And since you so kindly used Pot of Greed…" A thin line of silk shot from the card and into Runoa's graveyard, yanking the Pot of Greed free and whipping it over to Adrian. "I get a few more cards to work with."

He drew two more cards and nodded at what he saw. "I summon Legendary Hero- Snake! (2000/1400-2400/1800) From the mists surrounding the pair, out walked a rugged looking man dressed in military fatigues with a bandanna around his forehead, tails flapping in the wind. He had various pistols, grenades and other various devices on his belt and vest. He glanced at Link, who managed a smile and a nod (1900/1400-2100/1600) and then he glanced up at the Zuriel, raising an eyebrow skeptically.

"So you've got another weakling hero, big deal." Runoa faked a yawn. "Neither of them can come close to Zuriel's attack score."

Adrian waggled a finger chidingly. "That's were your wrong. You see, Snake's special ability is called Flashbang and it lets me ditch a card from my hand…" He slid HammerSpace into his graveyard. "….and the base attack score off one of your monster is halved!" Snake plucked a trio of grenades from his belt, pulled the pins off all three in on motion and hurled them up at Zuriel. The god watched them approach curiously and then roared in rage and confusion as they exploded with a blinding flash of light and a booming echo, despite the fact he had no eyes. He stumbled and staggered backwards a couple of steps, each one shaking the ground. (4000-2000)

Link stood up, the remaining petals of Rho Aias shattering. "I lose the defensive effect of my trap if my monster attacks, but I'm not too worried." Adrian pointed at Zuriel. "Alright, Snake! Take out that eyesore!" The man nodded and pulled out a pistol and a grenade. He screwed something onto the end of the pistol, loaded the grenade and pointed it at Zuriel. He took a second to make sure his aim was right and then pulled the trigger. The grenade shot up and lodged itself in the forehead of the god, who barely had time to react before it exploded with far more force than a grenade should have been capable of, the blast completely blowing apart Zuriel's head. The headless body swayed, smoked and then toppled forwards, bursting into pixels as Runoa screamed and shielded herself from the debris. (RLP: 2100)

The Sue shook some bits of dead flesh and pixels off of her, straightening just in time to see a full repowered Link (2700/1800) leap across the field and slash her Vorse Raider in half. (RLP: 1300) "Damm…" She coughed a little and then pointed at her set card. "Fall to Power only works when you destroy a Fallen Seraphim on my field. Now I get to add the last Fallen Seraphim to my hand and then gain half of Zuriel's attack points as life points!" A dark aura surrounded her as her life points more than recovered against the damage Arian had just inflicted. (RLP: 3300)

(Damnit! I'm almost three-quarters dead and she's barely taken anything!) Adrian glowered at her and frowned. (And she has her third Fallen Seraphim…and being a Sue, odds are she'll able to summon it. The only reason she hasn't done some crazy one-turn summon for all three is that the Precipice of Existence has no life, so she can't draw any power here…) Glancing down at his hand, he slid the remaining card into it. (I had best prepare as best I can..) I'll set this card face-down and end my turn!"

"I draw!" Runoa snapped the card free and then flipped it around. "Card of Sanctity lets us both draw until we hold six cards!" Both duelists quickly drew their cards in rapid succession, refilling their hands.

She flipped another card. "The magic card Renewal of Triplets only works if I have three copies of the same monster in my graveyard! They're all resurrected!" Three little spheres of light erupted on her field and then faded to reveal a trio of flying squirrels- the Nimble Momongas from her very first turn in the duel. "Now I sacrifice all three of them to summon out the last and greatest of my Fallen Seraphim!"

Adrian watched as the three Momongas became spheres of light that shot up into the sky, vanishing into the mists that permeated the Precipice. He waited for a moment…and nothing happened. "Where is it?"

"It'll be here…" Runoa smirked as bolts of lighting began to flash all around them, accompanied by a howling wind that stirred the mists into a frenzy while peals of thunder echoed across the barren, lifeless plain.

The Librarian stared as a massive, swirling vortex opened behind Runoa, accompanied by a deep, echoing roar. A figure slowly emerged from the vortex. It was titanic, bipedal dragon, easily a good ten feet taller than Zuriel had been. Like Hamon- Lord of Striking Thunder, it resembled the Winged Dragon of Ra, but it's armored skin a dark light sucking black. For a moment, Adrian thought it was a black version of the Winged Dragon of Ra, the two beasts looked so similar, but then he realized the Fallen Seraphim was wearing armor that looked like Ra. He could see burning red eyes glaring at him through the holes in the helm and fangs glistened, razor-sharp. Rock crunched as it heaved itself free of the vortex and it let out a screeching, roaring cry. Black fire and light danced around it as it's wings spread to their fullest. "Fallen Seraphim- Azrael!" (5000/5000)

"That's a big turkey…" Adrian took a momentary step back as he watched the beast carefully. "So what's it do?"

"Gee… it's modeled off one of the most cards in existence, possesses five thousand attack points… and it's a Fallen Seraphim." Runoa put a finger to her chin mock thought. "I'd say… it destroys you! Attack and wipe out both of his monsters! Hell Cannon Blaze!" Azrael extended its wings, lightning striking the tips and running down their length to an arch attached to its neck. Its eyes burned red and it opened its maw and unleashed a barrage of flaming meteors that crackled with electricity. "Now die and get out of my way!"

"Both of my monsters!" Adrian swore and tapped the button on his disk, his set card flipped up. "Heart of a Hero negates all damage I receive from battle involving hero monsters this turn and then gives me a thousand life points for each hero in play!" Then the meteors impacted and the Librarian was blown of his feet, sent tumbling away as fire and lighting enveloped his field and he hears Snake and Link scream as they were annihilated. He groaned and forced himself to his feet, lurching back to his field. (ALP: 3400)

Runoa snickered when she saw how bruised and battered Adrian was. "Poor thing… don't worry, though. In a few turns it'll all be over." She slid a pair of cards into her disk. "I'll set these face-down and end my turn."

"I draw…" Adrian did so and the smirked. "You're right, Runoa. It is going to be over in a few turns. Except… it'll be in my favor." He pointed to his Tome of Legends, which now had ten motes of light floating over. "Since my card has ten counters on it, I can send it to the graveyard to activate it's special ability!" The card shattered apart and the ten motes of light scattered, forming around Adrian's field. Each one settled onto the ground and then lines of light connected them into a circle as several more traced a complex pentagram on the ground.

"So it's some kind of summon?" Runoa watched as the design completed itself and began to shine brilliantly. "And what does it summon?"

"With Tome of Legends, I can use it's powers to summon forth one of the three greatest heroes in all of the world!" Adrian slapped down a card onto his disk. "Come forth, Epic Hero - Arthur Pendragon, the King of Knights!"

The pentagram flared once and the a figure began to rise from it. He was nearly seven feet tall, with regal features and a golden crown atop a head of neatly styled blonde hair. He wore plate armor that gleamed in the light from the pentagram and was curved and smooth, the symbol for Avalon on the breastplate. A fur-trimmed cape flapped in the wind and his sharp green eyes shown with determination and authority. (5000/5000)

"Eh?" Runoa raised an eyebrow. "So now we've both got big monsters on the field… so what can yours do?"

Adrian's deck spat out a card and he grabbed it sliding it into his disk. "For starters, he's automatically equipped with the Excalibur from wherever it may be." Arthur stretched out his hand and the majestic blade appeared in his hand. It looked simple enough, with a standard hilt design and a gold and blue pattern on it. The silver blade shone slightly as he gave it a few test swings and then nodded. "And of course, this doubles his attack points!" (5000/5000-10000/5000)

"But the fun doesn't stop there." Adrian slipped three cards from his hand of six into his graveyard one after another. "By discarding three cards from my hand, I can activate his special ability- Knights of the Round!" Arthur lifted Excalibur high and shouted a battle cry that echoed and echoed among the barren, misty Precipice of Existence. Almost immediately four armored knights marched out of the mists, all of them dressed fancy plate armor with the symbol of Avalon on their breastplates. They took up their positions, two on either side of Arthur and drew their blades, all four men crossing them in the air. "This calls forth four Roundtable Knight tokens to the battle!" (LIGHT/4 stars/Warrior/2000/2000x4)

"Finally, I'm allowed to activate this field spell form my side-deck… Avalon - The Misty Isle!" Adrian slammed card into the slot and the air around them warped and twisted, leaving the two duelists and their monsters standing a grassy plain. It was still covered in a dense mist (hence the name), but they could vaguely see the outlines of rough stone pillars here and there through the fog. "Now, Arthur, attack and destroy her Azrael! Blade of the King!"

"Tch…" Runoa watched as Arthur's blade began burn with light as it pulled in energy from the air around them and pointed at one of her set cards and it flipped up. "In case you hadn't noticed, my deck is built to work around the powers of my Fallen Angels and this trap is one of the strongest I posses! Armageddon Rain!" Azrael screeched and beat its wings, launching into the air. "By paying one thousand life points, Azrael can destroy all of the monsters on your side of the field!" Lighting bolts struck the twisted phoenix repeatedly and power began to gather at the arc on its neck. Red eyes flared and then it opened its maw, unleashing a torrential stream of molten rock, flames and lighting that slammed into Adrian's field with the force of a bomb and kicking up a mushroom cloud of smoke. (RLP: 2300)

"That was kinda fun…" The Mary-Sue chuckled darkly as Azrael returned to her field, landing behind its master quite silently with for such a massive creature. "Now that I've just taken out your best shot at defeating me, Adrian, why don't you surrender to me now and we'll call it a day…" Then her eyes widened as the smoke began to clear away, revealing a tall, sword-wielding figure standing there. "No… that's impossible… it can't be!"

"I told you… the impossible is what heroes do…" The last remnants of the smoke cleared away to reveal both Adrian and King Arthur standing tall, the Librarian smirking. "And do you think I activated this field card because it looked good?" He gestured to the arena around them. "Avalon is Arthur's last resting place, where he waits for the day his country will need him again and as such, as long as it's on the field, Arthur cannot be destroyed by card effects or through battle!" His smirk turned into a triumphant grin. "Which means… since Arthur's not destroyed… his attack still goes!"

The King of Knights, Excalibur now trembling in his hands from the sheer power it was straining to hold back, blade shining incredibly bright, lifted the sword high and slammed it into the ground, a tremendous wave of light roaring across the ground, shredding the rock and earth and parting the mists like it was paper.

"Damm… damn you!" Runoa watched as the attack actually changed direction, shooting over her and blasting through Azrael with so much force that the top half of the god was completely disintegrated in less than second. "I'm not going out like this! Reveal Contagion of Madness!"

"Contagion of Madness!" Adrian's eyes widened slightly when he heard that. "The card… it deals the opposing player half the battle damage the user receives from a battle as effect damage!"

"That's right!" Runoa pointed up into the sky, were lighting began to arc rapidly back and for the across the clouds. "If I'm going done, Librarian, than you're coming with me!" Then both duelists were blinded as a gigantic bolt of lighting blasted down and struck the ground between, hurling them both off their feet and sending them tumbling and rolling into the mists…


About two minutes later…

Adrian groaned and flopped over onto his back, blinking spots from his eyes. "…ow!..."

He forced himself to his feet and dusted himself off as best he could. "That bolt of lighting did a number on me alright…" He coughed sharply and spat up a clot of dust and what he hoped wasn't blood. "Damn Sue… can't lose gracefully like a good little villain…!"

A sparking noise caught his attention and he glanced down to see his duel disk had been blown off his wrist, the arm band still attached to him while the device was laying on the ground. "Hmmmm… I suppose I should be glad it didn't explode or something…" Bending over, he quickly scooped up his cards and slid them back into the deck case at his hip and tossing the now useless armband away.

Lurching back in the direction he had be blown, he now found that a good-sized crater dominated the scene, at least twenty feet across and half as deep. "Wow… good thing that bolt didn't hit me full on…"

Then his eyes widened and he glanced around wildly, looking for Runoa or the Holy Grail Copy but the Sue was nowhere to be seen and the spot where the Grail had been hovering while the dueling had been going on was empty. "Dammit… how did she…"

Something underneath his feet clinked and he bent down, tugging his pendant free from where it was half-buried in the dirt as he realized what must have happened. Runoa had either woken up before him or not been knocked out all and swiped the pendant from his comatose form, using it to unlock the barrier that had prevented her from taking it in the first. "Well… crap…"

Sighing and running a hand through his hair, Adrian held out the pendant and a swirling rainbow-colored portal opened in front him. "I'd better get back to the Library and start trying to track her down…" Then he stepped through the portal and it zipped shut, leaving the Pericipace of Existence lifeless once more while the cold silence reigned over everything once again…

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