Chapter 1: Roar of the Savage Hero
[DCA Headquarters North American Branch]
“Block the entrances! Don’t let him escape!”
Alarms blared as the figure wearing a black hoodie dodged and weaved through the security personnel that charged him.
He was determined to get what he came for, and he wasn’t leaving room for failure.
“Come on guys, you’re making this too easy for me!” The boy laughed as he hopped alongside the walls to get around the increasing group. He spun back and threw down a smoke bomb that further subdued them, using this opportunity to pick up the pace.
More security appeared from the opposite end of the hall, but the hooded boy wasn’t stopping his momentum. He jumped to his right and propelled himself from the wall, catching the lead guard with his knee, following that by spinning to kick another guard into the ones following him. As he rotated, he successfully planted his left foot on the opposite wall and pushed ahead over the subdued guards, barrel rolling as he landed. He quickly straightened up and kept his pace.
Once he reached his destination, he swiped the stolen key card he took from one of the guards and the door opened.
“For something as valuable as these their security could be much better. Mind telling me what’s so special about these things?”
“All in due time my friend. Just grab them and go.” The voice in his headset told him.
The boy shrugged. “Not like it matters honestly; as long as I get paid, I was just curious is all.”
“Trust me, these gems will be worth your while.” The voice told him.
The boy approached the computer on the opposite side of the room and inserted a thumb drive in the port and typed away.
“Project NEO… sounds worth my while already.” The boy stopped typing. “Wow; really worth my while.”
“Don’t get distracted now. NYPD is moving in on you so if I were you I’d stop gazing and take the prize.”
“Yeah yeah… and done.” He hit the Enter key on the keyboard and several glass containters next to the computer slid open, revealing five silver boxes with a respected insignia and color marked on them.
“Sleek. I can use one of these.” The boy said taking note of the one with the insignia of the Water Civilization engraved on it.
“He’s in here!” A voice called from behind.
“Freeze! NYPD! Put your hands up!” cops began to flood the room, all aiming their guns at the boy.
Without removing his hood the boy looked up and smiled. He raised his hands and his right hand sparked with blue energy, like electricity. “Those toys never worked on me and won’t work now.”
“This is your last warning kid. Don’t make this any harder than it should be.”
The boy scoffed. “I should be telling you the same thing.” His sparking hand darted towards his pocket and the cops opened fire.
The bullet shells clicked on the tile floors under their feet and each of NYPD’s finest stood in awe at the thing standing in front of them.
The blue creature opened one of its abnormally large pincers and dropped the bullets that were fired, lining up with the shells.
“What is that thing?!”
“Haha, you’re standing in the very building where this ‘thing’ as you call it, comes from and you don’t even know what it is? His name is Aqua Guard, and he’s a creature from the game this company has made billions of dollars on.”
“That doesn’t make sense, how can that thing be standing right here?”
“Well while you try to find the answer to that question I’ll take my leave. Aqua Guard!”
The blue monster turned to a window and smashed the glass. The boy grabbed the drive and decks and followed Aqua Guard as the pair escaped the room.
The squad of officers ran to the window only to find the boy long gone.
“Did any of you see his face?” The leader of the squad looked around.
His subordinates could only shake their heads. The leader bit his tongue and found the nearest, most inexpensive thing to kick. “This kid’s really grating on my nerves…”
Aqua Guard hopped from one building to the next with the boy in tow. The boy laughed as he took pride in yet another successful heist.
“By your laughter I can assume that things went as planned.”
“You expect any less?”
“I wouldn’t have hired you otherwise. Now then, drop these off at this coordinates and await further instructions.”
The boy took out his phone and read the map.
“Huh. Have me steal some top secret info and equipment and you want me to drop everything at the most high-end social café in Manhattan.”
“Just the decks. The drive you keep. You’ll need it for phase 2.”
“Alright if you say so.” the boy cut the communication off and pointed Guard in the direction in which to go.
“Duel Masters… a card game that swept the planet on an international scale in the early 21st century, players use creatures and spells of the five civilizations in order to break their opponent’s five shields in order to deliver one direct attack and claim victory! Now are you ready to claim victory? Do you favor the law and order of the Light Civilization? Or are you an intellectual who stands alongside those from the Water Civilization? Do you prefer to lurk in the shadows and tame the night with the Darkness Civilization? Or does your passion burn bright like those of the Fire Civilization? Why not take a walk on the wild side and let out your inner beast with the Nature Civilization? The Five Civilizations await your answers and expect to see you in the Battle Zone! Available at local hobby shops and retailers where board games and sold.”
“I can’t believe this game’s gotten as popular as it has.”
These were the words of a dark-skinned boy of roughly sixteen-years old as he walked away from an advertisement promoting the ever-so popular TCG. His name is Christopher, “CJ” Henderson, and his family and him just arrived at JFK Airport in New York City.
“I’m sure it’s just another fad that will die out soon enough.” The boy’s father, Nate Henderson pointed out. “Y’know just like those spinning tops you spent your allowance on every week when you were nine.”
“I doubt it. Things out of Japan get old, the creators reinvent it, and then ship it out to the younger generation. This on the other hand, is something else entirely.”
“Why are you so worried about it?” His mother, Catherine Henderson asked curiously. “I thought you outgrew these things.”
“Because a certain best friend of mine has been bugging me about it since I told him we were moving out here. And I don’t know what he sees in it, but if he’s gonna get me to play some nerd game then he’s gonna really try and convince me.”
“Wasn’t Jake on the football team at his school?” Nate brought up.
“And then the school opened a Duel Masters Club and he jumped ship. Went from slinging pig skin to slinging cards.”
“Wow. For him to give up football this game must really be something.”
“Speaking of, I talked to Janet the other night. She said that they’ll be waiting at the house for us to help us move in.” Cathrine mentioned.
“Oh yeah they’d better. Least they can do for dragging us out here.”
“Did they really? I thought you said your new supervisor requested the transfer personally.” CJ asked.
“Who do you think it is?”
“Ah. Well that’s kinda cool. You get to work with your best friend.”
“CJ bud, you’ll understand when your older that just because you work with your best friend that doesn’t mean it’s all fun.”
“Well when you put it like that it makes me not want to grow up.”
“Good, keep telling yourself that.”
The family of three made it outside the airport and was immediately greeted by the blaring car horns, impatient people pushing and shoving, the Airport staff instigating the pushing and shoving… when all they needed was a taxi.
“Yup, nothing says ‘Welcome to New York’ like noise, pollution and obnoxious people.”
“You think the West Coast was any different?” His father looked back.
“You have to admit we had some kind of peace of mind back where we lived. So far it’s been twenty minutes since we landed and already I’m regretting not staying with Grandma.”
“You had your chance, you know.” His father managed to grab a taxi and ran to it before someone noticed.
“Yeah yeah. I’m gonna remind Jake that he owes me one.”
“Look at it like this: new city, which means new friends, new experiences; its like a brand new adventure of sorts, right?” His mother tried to put it as they got into the van.
“Give me the rest of the day to answer that.” CJ strapped in.
With the car fully loaded, the Taxi maneuvered itself out of the airport and began its trek out of JFK airport. Throughout his trip, CJ allowed his eyes and mind to wander as he took in the advanced beauty of NYC first hand.
NYC was known in recent years to have gone through a cybernetic revolution that many cities began to adapt soon after. Virtual reality technology became ever so popular during the mid 2010s and the variance that brought to the terms of creativity was unreal. Now, the city continues to thrive ever so with the advances of science.
And this was something that drew CJ to NYC in the first place. Just the thought of living in a city so ‘futuristic’. Living in the city in general. Coming from a small town just on the edge of the West Coast, CJ’s father has traveled the world and sent postcards of the sights seen. CJ, despite his first reaction, always admired NYC, how it looked during the holidays, and how for a city so busy it managed to function the way it did, and even take it a step further and advance itself. It seemed like a science-fiction setting, but he wasn’t complaining.
Because this was his home now. And he was excited to delve into whatever adventure awaited him in his new home.
Nate wiped the sweat from his brow. “Okay, that’s the last box—finally.”
“You know I offered to do most of the heavy lifting.” the older Caucasian male, Robert Wilson said lugging a box from behind through the front door of the apartment.
“Yeah, no. Last thing I need is for you to break something else of mine.”
“You’re still mad about that game system back in college? That was over twenty years ago. I even bought you a new one.”
“Which you got off eBay with a faulty disk drive so none of the games would read.” Nate pointed out.
“What about the time you broke the strings on my guitar?”
“How is that relevant?”
“It was my Father’s! it was a graduation present!” Robert snapped.
“I replaced the strings, didn’t I?”
“And then you took it to impress the worker at the campus café.”
“It worked, didn’t it honey?”
Catherine looked out from the kitchen. “I thought it was cute.”
CJ and Jake Wilson, a husky-looking teen with short brown hair wearing a Pittsburg Steelers Jersey watched back and forth as their Dad’s went at it while enjoying the pizza sitting nearby on an unopened box. They managed to get the movers to get the couch in first, in which they dropped it in the middle of the living room. To add to that, their parents let them veg out until it was time to move it, just so the pair could catch up on the six years they missed out on.”
“Ever wonder if we’re gonna turn into our dads?” CJ asked.
“What makes you say that?”
“I don’t know the way they bicker back and forth on things that happened way before we were thought of.”
Jake laughed. “Oh yeah, I can imagine that for sure. Twenty years from now we’re gonna bicker about how I talked you into playing Duel Masters with me.”
“Yeah, gonna be like—ah nice try. Answer’s still no.”
“You haven’t even given it a chance.”
“Why should I? We’re so close to graduating, I mean shouldn’t we be focused on growing up and stuff?”
“First off, we still have a good year until then. Second, you can be grown and still act like a kid. Exhibits A and B.” Jake gestured to their fathers, who found something else to bicker about.
CJ laughed. “Still my point still stands. Try all you want but I don’t see myself playing that stupid game anytime soon.”
Jake nodded. “Alright. Try saying that tomorrow night.”
“Why tomorrow night?”
“Because, after school, I’m taking you to TCG Towers. That way, you can see for yourself why I got so into this game. Remember, this is NYC, currently the leading city in the country in terms of the Cybernetic Revolution.”
CJ raised an eyebrow and Jake quickly changed his pitch. “Tell you what. One shot. If I can’t convince you to start playing after tomorrow, I’ll drop it and leave it be. Deal?”
CJ rolled his eyes. “Alright. One shot.”
“Promise, you’re gonna love it.”
“Yeah, we’ll see.”
The next morning, CJ exited the lobby of his apartment building, ready to take on the world that was NYC. Only problem was however, he didn’t know what train to take to get to school. Immediately he grabbed his phone and called Jake.
“Dude, how do I get to the school from my house? Okay…transfer to the—walk how far? Can’t you just meet me here? Because you owe me one. Because I could’ve moved in with my grandma but I decided to come to this god-forsaken city to see you instead! Alright, alright fine. Don’t worry about it, I’ll figure it out. I mean, there’s bound to be someone wearing these school uniforms, right? Yeah. Alright. I’ll see ya soon.”
CJ sighed and walked down the block. He saw the station around the corner and headed down the stairs. To his delight, he saw some students dressed in the same dark green/black uniform he was forced to be stuck in and proceeded to follow them to the train platform.
And then it dawned on him that he didn’t have a MetroCard, the pass to gain access to the MTA services in the city. He looked at the sign above and saw that the next train was roughly five minutes away so he jumped on one of the lines for the MetroCard vending machines.
And as his luck would have it, the machine asked him more questions than he needed to be asked. All he needed was a card and the machine wanted him to specify what kind of card? He bought a $10 card, figuring that the school would supply him with a Student card when he got there and he quickly got onto the platform as the train pulled up.
All the while thinking about how he wanted to kill Jake at that moment.
The students all piled onto the train in droves and before CJ could react he quickly realized his unfortunate circumstance of standing. A definite sign of “Welcome to New York”. As such he found a spot against the door and allowed his bag to drop between his feet. He didn’t know how far “Midtown” was but he figured the second he would see the students get up and leave in a unified motion then that would be a sign. In the meantime, he’d let his eyes wander, getting an idea on what kind of people took this route on an early Wednesday morning like this. Like he expected, he saw adults dressed in business attire, most likely heading to work, mothers with little children, taking them to school, and the rest were students, either heading to their respected schools, or to Fiona Academy, same as him. Nothing interesting, in particular.
And then a couple of stops later, several more students joined the fold. By this point, many of the initial passengers already departed so there was more breathing room in the train. One of these students did what CJ was doing, leaning against the door opposite of him. She had fair skin and long, silky black hair tied back. It took CJ a moment to realize that he was staring a bit too long and tried to find something more interesting to look at. Yet his eyes kept finding themselves back towards her.
Or more specifically, the odd silver-color object on her belt. Just what was that thing?
His eyes shifted back up and her eyes locked with his. A moment of awkwardness shrouded CJ at this moment, so much so that he didn’t notice the door opening behind him, causing him to fall back onto the platform. People on the train looked over to him to check to see if he was okay, while the students who watched him flop on his back, cackled as teens do as they made their way off the train.
Guess this was his stop.
He got himself up on his feet, trying to shake off his embarrassment…which only went further when the very girl approached him with his schoolbag.
CJ’s voice caught itself in his throat and his face grew redder by the second. He didn’t know what to say to her, let alone do at that moment.
“Try saying ‘thank you.’” Jake approached from behind and patted his friend on the back. He took the bag from the girl and handed it to his friend.
“You know him?” the girl asked Jake.
“Yeah, remember the friend I was telling you guys about?”
“Oh, the one who thought dueling was just for kids.”
“That’s the one.”
“Whoa hold on time out!” CJ cut in.
“Look at that he does have a voice.” The girl said. “Got a name too? Or should I just refer to you as the ‘creep on the 5
“This is my best friend, Chris, or CJ.” Jake introduced him. He then turned back to her. “Wait what’d you call him?”
“Uh bro, a moment?” He grabbed Jake and pulled him back. “You have some explain to do.”
“Look, I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you this morning I had something to take care of.”
CJ looked down and noticed the same silver box on his belt. “Three guesses I can figure out what it is.”
“Okay, I can explain.”
“Explain what? Dude you’re scaring me with this. Don’t you think you’re a little obsessed?”
“Look, just… doesn’t matter I’m obsessed with this game or not, you still owe me that one shot. Don’t let my passion for it turn you off. I still have all day to prove otherwise.”
“Hey Jake, are you and the creep gonna hurry it up or can I leave you here?” the girl said as she walked ahead of them.
“The creep has a name you know.” CJ called out.
“Pretty sure that’s what the ‘C’ stands for.” She said, not stopping.
CJ turned to his friend. “And for a second I thought she was actually pretty cute.”
Jake laughed, not expecting that. “Jamie? Dude, she’s one hothead you won’t be able to handle. I’d advise to not even try
“Don’t worry, I won’t bother.” CJ said, beginning to walk up the stairs.
“Any news on our perpetrator?” Robert knocked on Nate’s office door.
“Not gonna lie, it’s hard trying to do that and move all my stuff in.”
“Sorry, but Roman’s really coming down on me.” Robert said, closing the door. “Those prototypes were invaluable.”
“How invaluable exactly that you had to drag my family and I across the country?”
“‘Fate of two worlds’ invaluable.” Robert said with a rather serious tone.
Nate took a deep sigh. “And apparently, not only did this kid swipe those decks, he also took something off the computer in the room as well. Is that above my paygrade as well?”
“You know I have no idea myself? There are some things in this company that even I don’t know about.”
“Isn’t that shocking? For someone who hung up their slinging arm for a pushy desk job to climb the corporate ladder, I
imagined you’d be one of the first to know.”
“Don’t kid yourself, I can still duel circles around you.” Robert said. “But you’re not wrong. Roman and the other higher ups
are being secretive about this. Whenever they do this it makes me wonder how much longer the DCA can keep up the façade of being a gaming corporation.”
“Ever given it thought that they do this to keep up the façade? Last thing we need are actual Locomotivers making
transfers at Union Square. Speaking of, is Jake any wiser to this?”
“If he is then he’s hiding it pretty good. He and his friend Dylan talked the principal at Fiona Academy to open a Duel
Masters Club to her dismay. Now that Jake’s not playing Football as much, the Dragon’s shot at the championship is on a
“You’re saying that rather proudly. When he was born and you left the field, I was sure you wanted him to have a normal
“And yet I never seen him happier than when he’s dueling with his friends. If I didn’t know better, he might just become a
strong Light duelist like his mother.”
Nate laughed. “Shame he won’t take on your green thumb like you hoped.”
“This coming from the one who was hoping to have a firecracker of a kid.”
“Like CJ will ever take an interest in dueling. Whenever the topic is brought up he’s the first to talk smack about it. Frankly
it gets redundant after a while.”
“I’m sure he’ll come around to it. It took Catharine a minute to get into the spirit of things, right?”
“Granted this was after she realized that her fiancée was some special agent who swore an oath to protect Earth from the
creatures that go bump in the night.”
“And it took Janet to relate her experiences for her to accept that her life wouldn’t be the same afterward.”
“Haha, yeah right.” Nate sighed. “We’ve been through a lot, haven’t we?”
“That we have. Part of me thinks that while having Jake was the greatest achievement in my life, it held me back from
“Well what else could you have done? Family first, adventure second. That’s what we all agreed on. That’s why we’re
pushing papers and our wives are out drinking Starbucks and planning lunch dates.”
Robert nodded. “Yeah, guess you’re right.”
“Of course, I am. Now go on, before Roman sends the hounds on you. I’ll update you if I find anything worth noting.”
“Appreciate that.” Robert got up and headed towards the door. “Oh, one more thing.” He stopped and turned back.
“Sushi Yasuda, East 43rd.” He said. “Janet mentioned it this morning. Said she’d let me know how it is after she and
Catharine try it out.”
Nate chuckled. “Hopefully it’s good. Been years since I been to Japan, I could go for some ramen now that I think about it.”
“I’ll be sure to find a menu for us to check out after work today. Consider it thanks, for helping me out with this
“Just explain to my wife why I’m coming home late.”
“I’ll get Janet on the case.”
Nate laughed as Robert exited the room. He looked down at the box next to the desk and reached for the frame with a
photo of them when they were younger. The four of them, young DCA agents living the life that’s known to a seldom few. A
life that opened their eyes to things beyond their wildest dreams, and the opportunity to maintain it.
The lives of Kaijudo Masters.
With the signal of the final bell ringing proudly, the students of Fiona Academy flooded the hallways, either heading home,
or to after school activities. CJ headed outside with the drove of students, thinking to himself the ordeal it will be with all
these students cramming onto the subway.
“Hey CJ hold up!” Jake called out from behind. “You weren’t trying to sneak away, were you?”
CJ turned around and saw Jake, Jamie and two other teens coming up to him.
“No of course not.” CJ denied. “Because you still have to prove to me that Duel Masters is worth my time.”
“Yeah…you’re not fooling me.” Jake wrapped his arm over his shoulder. “While I have you, I’d like you to meet two of my
other friends. Dylan Rodriguez and Karon Davidson.”
Dylan and Karon were both dressed in the school uniforms but with slight alterations. Dylan was a Hispanic teen with short
spiky hair and he had a pair of bright blue sunglasses sitting at the top of his head. Karon was a tall dark-skinned teen of
middle-eastern descent, with slicked back black hair. His uniform jacket was opened and his collar loosened with his tie
being loosened as well.
“Yo, it’s a pleasure.” Dylan waved.
“What he said.” Karon said in an uncaring tone.
“Yeah… nice to meet you guys.” CJ nodded. He examined them both and that’s when he noticed that like Jamie and Jake,
they also had those boxes on their waists. Which meant that they were also playing the game. So CJ deduced that because
of this game, Jake has become friends with a stuck-up chick, a kid who’s trying too hard to look cool, and a brooding, anti-
In short, Jake traded being a Jock for becoming one with the social outcasts. And he was trying to drag him into the fold.
Just what was it about this children’s card game that he’d put it over social status? It was mind blowing to him.
“So, ready?” Jake asked him.
“Ready for what exactly?”
“For me to convince you that this game isn’t a waste of time. Told you by tonight I’m gonna have you playing.”
“Only if you keep your promise to drop this afterward.”
“I swear on the bro-code.” Jake held his hand up. “Now lets just get to the store.”
“Wait…I thought the Duel Masters Club was here at the school?”
“I never said that. It’s at Karon’s family’s store.”
CJ turned around. “Your family owns a store?”
“Ever hear of TCG Towers?” Dylan spoke for him. “It’s like one of the biggest social areas in Manhattan.”
“I’ve literally been here for twenty-four hours, forgive me for not having time to explore.”
“Alright that settles it. Onward!” Dylan pointed ahead. He took point and ran down the street. Karon began to walk and
Jamie followed along.
“Am I really doing this?” CJ turned to Jake.
“Remember, you promised me one shot.”
“Yes, I know, genius, it was rhetorical.” CJ sighed. “Better be worth the trouble is all I’m saying.”
“So… is it worth the trouble?” Jake said with a smirk, looking at CJ’s wide-eyed expression.
“It’s…” CJ tried to find the words to describe what he was witnessing. “Dude it’s…”
“Seven-letter word. Starts with ‘A’ ends with ‘Wesome’.” Jake said.
“Yeah…that.” CJ finally remembered to blink.
CJ pressed his face against the glass as the teens looked down and watched as the two duelists commanded their monsters
to do battle. They stood across from one another on platforms that were raised from the floor with VR Generators
surrounding them, bringing the creatures on the cards to life.
“I honestly have no idea how this can get any cooler.” CJ said becoming engrossed at the sight.
“What if I were to tell you this is only the first floor?” Dylan asked him, feeding off his excitement.
CJ then became one step closer to losing his mind.
After calming down and learning that Karon’s family is wealthy by a considerable margin and own the entire 50-storey
building, Karon went behind the counter and pulled out a silver and green deck case, similar to the ones they had, a white
glove with green grips on it and an ID card.”
“What’s all of this?” CJ asked.
“Deck, Dueling Glove and ID Card. All duelists who intend on participating in official DCA-Sponsored Tournaments are
required to carry those IDs with them.” Karon explained.
“Well, I don’t wanna get your hopes up. I might not even start playing.” CJ noted.
“Just take it and register it. You just might/will wanna keep playing.” Jake said. The Dueling Glove on the other hand, is
required because it helps you interact with the Kaijudo Terminals.”
“Kaijudo…what?” CJ asked.
“Y’know, K-Terminals; that VR system they had down stairs, but table-sized.” Dylan clarified.
“Ah.” CJ looked at the case. “Are there cards in here?”
Jamie drew his attention. She tapped the side of the deck and the case popped open.
CJ nodded and pushed down on the case and like it did for her, his case popped open. He took the cards out and grew a
small smile. “That’s kinda cool, they’re all green. My favorite color.”
“Whenever you’re ready, let’s begin.” Jamie said.
“Wait, you’re gonna duel him Jay?” Jake asked.
“Oh no, go ahead, by all means.”
“You’re not telling me something, are you?”
“Look I don’t care who duels, can we get this over with?” CJ asked, rather rudely.
The pair stopped and looked to him. “Like I said Jay, all yours.” Jake stepped back.
“Yeah thanks. I’ll be sure to make the most of it.” Jamie said.
Suddenly CJ felt the atmosphere shift some with that last comment and he quickly looked up to Jake who held his hands
up, not wanting anything to do with what was about to happen.
“Your funeral dude. Although short, it was nice knowing you.” Dylan patted CJ on the back.
The five teens made the trek to one of the upper floors away from the customers and other players and rode the elevator
to a special room When the door opened, CJ was introduced to what looked to be a training facility. In the middle of the
room was a silver console with a dome across the tabletop. On each end was a space that was marked with seven
rectangles that went down across the middle and on the right on both sides a circular space with a hand imprint.
Jamie walked in first, going towards the opposite end of the console and activating it. The machine powered up and CJ
made his way over to the free side.
“So this is where we duel?”
Jamie nodded, strapping her glove on. She set it on the side where the circle was and the console read her glove.
“Duelist Jamie Martin: Confirmed!”
Figuring he had to do the same, he rested his gloved hand on the circle on his side and the machine whirled to life on his
side as well.
“Duelist Unknown: Please insert ID and input first and last name, or confirm as Guest Player.”
CJ looked down at the ID card and rolled his eyes. A slot opened under the circle and he slid his card inside. The K-
Terminal then projected a virtual keyboard and with his gloved hand CJ typed his full name. There was then an option for a
nickname, but for now he ignored it.
“Duelist Christopher-James Henderson: Confirmed! Duelist, please shuffle and set the first five cards of your deck into
your Shield Zone. Then set the remainder of your deck into the Deck Zone and draw five cards to begin the game.”
CJ slowly tried to follow the instruction, but just ended up watching Jamie do it. In the first five spaces five cards went
face down. Then she set the deck next to them and drew five cards.
“You have a hard time keeping your eyes to yourself, don’t you?” Jamie said, noticing him watch her.
“Jeez lay off will you? Don’t forget you’re the one who volunteered to be my first opponent.”
“Only because I wanted to crush the creep who was staring at me all throughout my ride to school. Be grateful you’re
Jake’s friend or else I’d be using my fists instead of a deck.”
CJ scoffed. “Dear god what did I get myself into?” he muttered under his breath.
“Shields up!” Jamie commanded and suddenly five holographic rectangles appeared on her side of the terminal.
“Uh…” CJ paused for a moment. “Shields up?”
And to his surprise five shields appeared on his side. To say he didn’t get excited would’ve been a lie. He regained his
composure. “Alright now what?”
“Now we begin. Duel Start!” Jamie said.
“Duel Start!” CJ followed and with the commands the terminal came to life and created a virtual landscape within the field.
A line shot down the middle across the field and on CJ’s side trees began to sprout and populate, creating a forest towards
him, while on Jamie’s side, volcanoes and rocky terrain began to sprout about. The two fields intersected and connected in
the middle, signifying the dividing line between Battle Zones.
“Alright new kid, I’ll start off, so just watch.” Jamie took a card from her hand and set it on the area behind her shields
upside down. The red card flashed and within the terminal a red crystal materialized and faded away.
“It must pain you to let a ‘creep’ watch what you do, doesn’t it?” CJ asked her.
“Focus will you?” She threw a glare at CJ that made startled the boy a bit. She turned the card sideways and in the
terminal, the gem came back. She pulled back and retrieved another card from her hand. “I summon Deadly Fighter Braid
The crystal began to rotate rapidly and glow to CJ’s amazement and from it, transform into a A light armor clad dragon-
man, with red-tipped braids and armored claws. It roared when it touched its home turf.
Deadly Fighter Braid Claw
“Creatures summoned have what’s called ‘Summoning Sickness’, which means that it can’t attack. So I’ll end for now. Since
you’re going second, you’re allowed to draw during your starting move. You add a card into your mana zone once per turn
and when you have enough you summon creatures and cast spells that match the small white number on the card. Got all
“Seems easy enough.” CJ drew. He set a green card into his mana zone and the green crystal materialized in a similar
manner before disappearing. “I don’t have anything the costs ‘1’ so I guess that’s all I can do for now. I end.”
Jamie drew her next card and set a second fire card into her mana. “I summon Mini Titan Gett.”
Two fire crystals appeared and joined together forming into a spiky haired kid-like creature wearing an open trench coat
with armor around his collar, arms and legs. The collar armor had boosters, while the arms and legs had mini missiles and
air skates respectively. His eyes and the sides of his face were covered with a mask, like binoculars. The creature fell
from the sky and landed into the battle zone, awaiting orders from his user.
Mini Titan Gett
“And then,” she moved her hand back to Braid Claw. “I tap it, to have it break one of your shields.”
Braid Claw threw its arms back and charged ahead. CJ watched as the lizard man jumped into the air and launched its
armored claw into one of the teal rectangles.
The card corresponding popped up from the table and CJ caught it. “What now?”
“Broken shields are added to the hand, unless it’s a card with the ability known as Shield Trigger, which allows you to use
it immediately.” Jake said, giving his input.
“The both of us keep going until all five shields are broken. Then all it takes is one direct attack for the game.”
“That’s pretty simple.” CJ nodded.
“Easy to learn, hard to master.” Karon said.
“And that’s what makes this game so addicting.” Dylan said.
CJ drew and set a second card in his mana. “Alright, so I guess since this has a ‘2’ in the corner and I have two mana, I
can use it, right?”
Jamie nodded. “As long as you got the mana to bring it out, go for it.”
CJ smirked. “Alright then. I summon Burning Mane! How do you like that?”
The green crystals reappeared and joined and formed into a Brown Lion-like humanoid with a sienna-colored mane. When
it appeared, it slammed onto the battle zone, swinging a dead tree it brought along. He as well stayed still awaiting orders.
“Eh, guess it’s okay for your first creature. But don’t get too excited. With basic stats like his, he’s just evo bait anything.”
“Don’t worry about it. Not important right now.” Jamie said. “Since you can’t do anything with that right now, my move.”
She drew and set mana. “I now summon, Baby Zoppe.”
Three red crystals appeared and joined together to form a robin blue egg. The egg bounced on the ground and sprouted
feet, then arms and then a head, revealing the blonde bird with red and green markings around its eyes.
“When Baby Zoppe is present in the Battle Zone, as long as all the cards in my mana zone are Fire cards, Zoppe gains a
boosted 2000 power.”
Zoppe excitedly pranced around, glowing red from the added boost.
“Great, so that’s a thing.” CJ said, looking at Mane’s 2000 power.
“Oh it’s about to get worse. Braid Claw take out another shield!” Jamie tapped her creature and Braid Claw obediently
proceeded to repeat his method to break CJ’s shield.
The second card of five popped up into CJ’s hand. CJ looked at it for a moment. “You said shields with shield trigger can be
used immediately if they’re broken right?”
“Just making sure.” CJ said. “I use the Shield Trigger Natural Snare! Send Mini Titan Gett to the Mana Zone!”
In place of the shield was instead a black diamond with a lightning bolt in the center. The ground under Gett began to erupt
and from underneath vines shot up from the volcanic earth and coiled themselves around him. Despite the struggle, Gett
dispersed into green particles. Gett’s card popped back into the air, and Jamie reluctantly set it to mana.
“Beginner’s luck.” Jamie said.
CJ grinned. “Yeah, keep telling yourself that. It’s my turn now.” CJ drew and set mana. “I summon…Bronze-Arm Tribe. With
him , I send the top card of my deck into my mana zone.”
A short green-skinned hippo creature resembling a tribesman materialized, armed with a pitchfork and shield. He raised
his pitchfork into the air and created a new mana crystal that CJ correspondently added.
“And then I attack Braid Claw with Burning Mane. I can do that, right?”
Jamie sighed. “Unfortunately…”
Burning Mane: 2000
Braid Claw: 1000
Burning Mane roared and hugged its tree, charging towards Braid Claw. The creatures briefly went at it, Braid Claw
attempting to claw its way at Burning Mane. However Burning Mane pushed back and smashed the lizard creature with the
tree, causing it to disperse in red light.
“I end my turn.” CJ said with a smile.
“See, told you you’d have fun with this.” Jake said.
“Shut up! Wait until I’m done to voice your opinion.”
“Oh don’t worry, I’m gonna start speeding things up. So, keep up.” Jamie said, drawing. She set mana and tapped four of
them. I summon Rothus the Traveler.
A brown droid rolled into the field, armed with laser fingers and cannons on its back.
Rothus, the Traveler
“When Rothus enters the Battle Zone, we each have to choose one of our creatures to destroy.”
CJ didn’t like the sound of that and looked down at both his creatures. He went for Bronze, as he was the weaker one, but
then decided on Burning Mane.
Rothus’ infrared eye locked on Burning Mane and unleashed its rockets into the air. Some went for its target, Burning
Mane, while some turned back on Rothus, causing both to be destroyed.
“Was worried for a second there.” Jamie said removing Rothus. “Baby Zoppe breaks another shield.”
The Bird chirped as it furiously flapped its little wings to tap a third shield, causing it to crack and shatter.
The shield popped up and CJ grabbed it, adding it to his hand. “Why? Obviously I’m gonna destroy Burning Mane. Since he’s
tapped, had I got rid of Bronze you would’ve attacked with Zoppe, wouldn’t you?”
“Look at that, you’re smarter than you look.”
“It’s called common sense.”
“Which is noteworthy for someone of your nature.”
CJ gritted his teeth. “You’re really annoying you know that?”
“Relax bro, Its just trash talk.” Dylan said. “Don’t let her psyche you out.”
Jamie scoffed. “As if I need to resort to that.”
“Alright princess, time to knock you off your high horse. My turn.” CJ drew. “Well well, don’t you look interesting.” He
looked down at his mana and back at his hand. “Yeah, I think I can pull this off.” He set mana and tapped three. “I summon
a second Bronze-Arm Tribe!”
A second Bronze-Arm Tribe materialized alongside the first one. Like before, CJ gained another mana.
“Hate to break it to ya, but unless something big’s on its way those two don’t pose much of a threat.”
“Never said I was done.” CJ said, catching her attention. “I evolve the newly summoned Bronze-Arm Tribe into Barkwhip,
For the first time since the duel began, CJ saw the change in Jamie’s face when she heard his words. And it made him glad
to see it.
Two mana crystals appeared before Bronze and fused becoming a white spiral-like crystal, with a radiating green aura
around it. Bronze grabbed a hold of it and rose into the air, gaining said aura. It eventually enveloped him in light and it
started to reform. Once finished, Bronze became an ogre-type creature wielding a giant hammer. It's back extended
farther as it supported two more arms handling thorn whips.
Barkwhip the Smasher
“That big enough for you? Jake, anything important I need to know?”
“Evolution Creatures are immune to summoning sickness as technically it’s the same creature in a new body.” Jake said.
“In short, let her have it!” Dylan threw his fist up.
“Sounds good! Barkwhip, attack Baby Zoppe! And Bronze-Arm Tribe, Break one of her shields!”
Baby Zoppe: 4000
The pair of Beast Folk creatures roared in exclamation and charged ahead. Zoppe, terrified attempts to run, yet Barkwhip
lashes one of its whips from the air, grabbing Zoppe and pulling up towards it. Once in striking distance, Barkwhip takes its
hammer and smashes the bird, sending it hurdling back towards the earth below. Barkwhip then uses its other whip and grabs Bronze, sending it hurdling into one of Jamie’s shields.
Jamie takes the broken shield and adds it to her hand. The sight of Barkwhip makes her snicker as she drew her next card
and set mana. “Don’t get too cocky kid.”
“What’s that? I can’t hear you from all the way down there. How’s it feel to be kicked off your pedestal, your highness?”
She tapped six mana and held a card up. “You’re about to find out.”
CJ thought he was seeing things when he noticed red electricity quickly sparking around her gloved hand. Whether he was
seeing things or not, he didn’t like where this was going at all.
“Arise from the Flames of Justice! Bolshack Dragon!”
Jamie slammed the card onto the K-Terminal and with a smile on her face, one of the volcanoes on her Battle Zone
suddenly erupted, spewing lava all about to the surprise of Barkwhip and Bronze. And out from the fire pillar, a brownish-
red colored dragon dressed in a silver breastplate and metallic wings clawed away the wall blocking him from the outside
world. Its right claw seemingly made of fire, instilled fear in both the Nature creatures, and in CJ himself.
“Jamie’s pissed.” Dylan said, seeing her expression.
“No kidding. She only unleashes her trump when she really have to push herself.” Jake added.
“Some good you two are.” CJ turned around.
“Pretty sure we didn’t tell you to get on her bad side.”
“Wha—she started it!”
“You’re gonna do your turn or what?” Jamie snapped.
CJ turned back towards her. “Yeah yeah, cool off will you?”
“No promises.” She said.
CJ rolled his eyes and drew. “I swear it’s just a game. I don’t know why you’re taking this so seriously.” He tapped Bronze
and then Barkwhip. “I attack with Bronze-Arm Tribe and Barkwhip!”
The tag-team duo went into action charging Jamie’s shields. Bronze took town one shield and Barkwhip followed from
behind and smashed another.
Two cards popped from Jamie’s Shield Zone. She added one to her hand and smiled at the sight of the second. “You’re not
the only one who gets Shield Triggers.”
“Shield Trigger: Tornado Flame! With it, I’m allowed to destroy one of your creatures with a power of 4000 or less.”
“Think now’s a good a time as ever to tell you that Barkwhip gives Bronze-Arm Tribe a boost while Barkwhip is tapped.” CJ
“Apparently math isn’t your strong suit.” Jamie said. “Barkwhip’s boost is only +2000.”
“Only 2000…?” CJ looked down
CJ went pale. That meant that Bronze was still a target for the trigger. Painfully he watched as the flaming tornado spiraled
out of the volcano and engulfed the small creature in its flames, and then carried the creature to the grave.
Jamie drew and set mana. “I summon Gatling Skyterror!”
Seven crystals materialized and joined together to form an armored lizard creature armed with Gatling guns on its wings
and a propeller on its back, resembling an armored chopper gunner.
“Bolshack Dragon, attack Barkwhip the Smasher! And just so you really feel my strength, when Bolshack Dragon attacks,
he gains +1000 power for each fire card in my Graveyard. If you been paying attention, that’s four cards, which means
Bolshack Dragon’s flaming claw ignited and the dragon took to the sky and divebombed into Barkwhip without hesitation,
the Evolution Creature having little chance to react to his enemy.
“Don’t get comfortable because I’m nowhere near done putting you through a world of hurt.”
CJ paused. He looked at the others and back at her. “Are you seriously? It’s just a game, why are you getting so upset over
it?! Learn to have fun!”
“CJ… you just don’t get it.” Jake said.
“Care to enlighten me?” CJ turned. With no response, CJ brought his attention back. “I didn’t think so.” He drew and set
mana. “This looks interesting. I cast the spell: Dimension Gate. With it, I search my deck for a creature, show it to you
and add it to my hand.” With that explanation, CJ took a hold of his deck and skimmed through. He considered what he
was up against and once something caught his attention, a plan brewed. “Cool looking creature, and my only hope to have
a shot to turn this around. I choose the Evolution Creature, Fighter Dual Fang, and add it to my hand.”
“Nice one!” Dylan cheered. “With that you should have no problem taking out her dragon!”
“He needs bait in order to bring him out though.”
“I got that covered.” He said, setting his deck back and allowing the Terminal to shuffle it. “With my remaining mana, I
summon Golden Wing Striker and Burning Mane.”
A white-feathered anthromorphic hawk and a second Burning Mane appeared alongside one another, taking notice of their
Golden Wing Striker
“Out of the frying pan.” CJ said.
“And into the fire.” Jamie added on. She drew and tapped Gatling Skyterror. “Attack Golden Wing Striker!”
“Huh, how can you do that it’s not even tapped!”
“Gatling Skyterror can attack untapped creatures. Should’ve told you but your ego was in the way.” Jamie explained.
Gatling Skyterror: 7000
Golden Wing Striker: 2000
Golden Wing took to the skies and darted into the trees out of sight. Skyterror relentlessly fired a barrage of bullets within
the treetops, hoping to strike the bird. With no luck, Striker appeared behind Skyterror using its speed. However, it was
ultimately blown back by the missiles located underneath its wings.
“Finally, Bolshack Dragon, Double Break!”
Bolshack Dragon roared and followed up Skyterror by swooping in and slashing the last two shields on CJ’s side. Bolshack
roared at CJ, as if portraying Jamie’s anger towards him, before flying back, which unnerved him a bit.
“Next turn you’re done.” Jamie said.
The last two shields popped up and CJ grabbed them. Looking at both of them a grin traced itself upon his face. “I beg to
“Shield Trigger! I summon Torcon to the Battle Zone!”
To Jamie’s shock the newly conceived beastman materialized from the broken shield. It resembled a buff, blue wolf
dressed as some sort of tribal priest. It howled as the spectators looked on with peaked interest at the sudden turn of
“What did you say before? ‘Beginner’s luck?’” CJ laughed. He drew and looked over to Jake. “Alright I admit. This is fun. I
take back everything I said.”
“Okay not everything. But it’s a start I can say honestly. Now then where was I? Oh yeah, that catchphrase you said
earlier. Gotta say it had me thinking if I came across something in this deck that looked like a trump card then I should
come up with one of my own. So I guess without further ado: Roar the Savage Hero: Fighter Dual Fang!”
Torcon looked above and saw the six crystals materialize and form into the special Evo Crystal. Torcon leapt into the air
and grabbed a hold of it and began to transform from the power. Fighter Dual Fang was the form of a giant black
anthromorphic cat with red markings on it’s body, having great big silver horns that curved from his forehead back. It too
had two extra arms as it carried a giant golden bladed sword. It front paws held a shield-like claw, which also held Fighter
Dual Fang's Evo Crystal which was glowing green, rather than white.
Fighter Dual Fang
“When Fighter Dual Fang hit’s the Battle Zone, I gain two extra mana.” CJ pointed out as he set the top two cards in mana.
“And with that said, I think I’m gonna evolve Burning Mane into Barkwhip as well. You know, just in case your Shield Zone
has plans to spring another Tornado on me.”
Jamie bit her lip as she watched Burning Mane transform into Barkwhip.
“Even you have them…” Jamie muttered.
“Fighter Dual Fang, let’s show her what we’re made of! Double Break her last two shields!”
Fighter Dual Fang roared and charged ahead, swinging his sword about and coming down on the last two shields that
Dual Fang then stepped aside as Barkwhip flew in, hammer raised over its head.
“Barkwhip, Direct Attack!”
Barkwhip landed and unleashed the might of his hammer, cracking the volcanic field and completely shattering it into
holographic data. The four creatures disappeared from the terminal afterward, everything fading away.
“GAME OVER: WINNER: CHRISTOPHER-JAMES HENDERSON!”
CJ blinked and looked down at the K-Terminal which flashed “Winner” on his Shield Zone as he collected the cards. It was
over. He played his first game of Duel Masters…
And he loved it.
“See, I told you I’d get you to start playing!” Jake came from behind.
“Yeah I gotta admit. This game’s…wow. This technology really makes this game more amazing than it should be.”
“Yeah well that’s what happens when DCA’s branch office is here in the city. We get all the cool toys first.” Dylan said.
“More importantly,” Karon started to say, “You surprised us all.”
“Well like you guys said, the game is simple to learn. And this deck is pretty basic, I mean, once you get the hang of
things its really no sweat. Although I gotta say, these Evolution Creatures are sick! Really get you out of a pinch when you
—hey!” Jamie bumped into him as she walked back to the elevator.
“Everything okay Jamie?” Jake walked up to her.
“I’m fine.” She said, not looking up. “I’ll see you guys tomorrow.”
The elevator opened and she walked inside it. The elevator made its descent and once she felt she was a safe distance she
banged the side of the wall.
“Why? Why does he have them?” She hissed. “Why does my deck not have Evolution Creatures? Why don’t you evolve…?”
A tear left her eye.
“Why can’t you…?”
“I’m home!” CJ returned late that night, in a surprisingly good mood to his parents surprise.
“Where have you been?!” Catharine asked her son surprised to finally see him. “It’s almost 10PM!”
“Is it?” CJ looked over. “Sorry, I was with Jake all afternoon. Turns out he ended up getting me hooked on this game and, I don’t know what to say, for a children’s card game it’s really intense.”
“What’s also intense is my rage if you don’t get your butt to bed!” She pointed to his room and knowing his Mother’s personality he scurried to his room without putting up a fight.
Not that he would, at this point, between being out all day and the remaining jetlag, he was wiped.
CJ set his belongings on his desk and changed his clothes, finding some pajamas to throw on. He set the deck case next to
his light, still enthused by his initial win. “My mom did tell me to look at this move as a new adventure. I wonder if you’re
going to be involved in that, Dual Fang.” He turned the light off and rolled over, getting comfortable in his bed.
“That my new friend, is entirely up to you…”
CJ’s eyes sprang open and he jumped up, quickly reaching for the lamp.
“Whose there?!” he looked around his room and he realized he was the only one in the room. But he swore he heard a
voice. He laid back, but kept his light on, to be absolutely sure there wasn’t anyone in the room. Eventually he drifted off
The mysterious voice laughed. “Good Night, Savage Hero. May our adventure resume in the morning…”
The next morning CJ got his uniform on and before walking out the room he stopped and looked at the deck case he left on
his nightstand. Thinking back to the others with their cases, he grabbed it and hooked it onto his belt, grinning like a little
kid on Christmas by the sight. The green accents on it blended very well and it excited him.
“Morning parents!” CJ said, taking note of his mother and father. Catharine seemed to be more calm than before and Nate
was in the middle of sipping his coffee before answering.
“Heard Jake finally made you cave.” Nate joked. “So, how is it?”
“Surprisingly fun. Even more so with the tech here. It’s like the VR equipment for the entertainment aspect’s been cranked
to eleven. The stuff they have out here is beyond anything I’d ever imagine. Look, I even got this cool deck case that
surprisingly matches my uniform.”
Nate took a glance at the deck case and had to keep his composure. “That’s-uh really cool."
“You okay dad?”
“Yeah, I’m great.” He looked at his watch. “Oh man, I’m gonna be late.” Nate grabbed his jacket off the chair, kissed his
wife and took his leave all in the span of thirty seconds.
“He’s…acting weird.” CJ said, turning to his mom.
“You’re guess is as good as mine.” Cathartine said. “But in either case, you need to get going to before you miss your
“Ah, yeah you’re right.” CJ hooked his case back onto his belt and got up. “I’ll grab breakfast on the way.”
“Alright, have a good day at school.” Cathartine said, waving him off. Once CJ was out the door, Catharine’s expression
became more serious. “This may pose a problem…”
CJ pressed the button on the Elevator and began to slide his earbuds into his ears. Once the door opened, he motioned to
press play on his MP3 but stopped at the sight of the person on the other side.
“Creep.” Jamie snarled at him.
“Sore loser.” CJ shot back.