Rampage of Number 96
It was late at night. The Spirit household was quiet. Django and Tempest were in their respective rooms, sleeping peacefully. However, in the house, one entity wasn’t at peace. Hidden inside Django’s deck holder, someone was viciously trying to break free of his shackles.
Inside his card, Number 96 was struggling and fighting with everything he had to break free of the triple seal that Django had placed on him. His struggles went unnoticed by anyone else, even the other Numbers. Much to Number 96’s frustration, the seal wouldn’t budge, no matter how hard he tried.
He cursed, “Dammit! This time that white-haired freak he did a spectacular job in sealing me up. I can’t break free! Did his powers develop that much that even I, the most powerful Number in existence, can’t break a puny seal? How is this possible!? I need more power! But I doubt even Lucifer can help me now. I need to find another way, but how?”
Suddenly, a voice said, “Bee in your bonnet, Number 96?”
He saw a small portal open up, just outside of his bindings. Lucifer’s face was shortly revealed, causing Number 96 to grimace and turn his head away.
Number 96 muttered, “This is embarrassing, Lucifer. I’ve broken this dweeb’s seals twice now, yet this time I can’t even budge it. Why is this happening?”
Lucifer replied, “Simply put, his powers are stronger now. Even though he put that third seal on you before his abilities had developed so much, it would appear that, over time, he ended up strengthening the seal without realizing it. But I may have a way to break you out once and for all.”
Number 96 growled, “It’s about time. I thought you’d had forgotten about me.”
The dark Psykinox stated, “Me? Forget my most trusted ally? Never. I’ve just been busy with other plans, but seeing how each one has failed, I have to pull out the big guns. In other words, you. I’ll use the glorious power of Barian and see if that breaks your seal. Once you’re free, I have a request for you. Well, not just the usual of destroying Django, but I want you to meet me at a certain location so I can give you something that may tilt the odds into your favor. But, for now, let’s focus on the task ahead.”
Lucifer started to channel a large amount of power through him. The Barian Emblem around his neck started to glow in response. The gem in the center then released a powerful beam of light that struck the triple seal. The seal started to crackle and spark, while Number 96 looked on with interest. The beam then stopped, but the seal kept crackling. Suddenly, the Barian Emblem appeared on the seal itself, which caused the seal to shatter. Lucifer smiled as Number 96 gained a dark, gleeful grin.
The dark Number sneered, “At long last, I’m free again! Now to make up for lost time. Time for a little payback!”
Lucifer nodded, gaining a psychotic grin, “Yes, I do believe that is in order. But don’t forget to meet up with me, as I have something for you. Now, time to get to work. I’ll see you shortly.”
The portal vanished, leaving Number 96 alone. His face twisted into a psychotic sneer, eyes bulging gleefully at the thought of being free. He then made his move. The deck holder suddenly snapped wide open, allowing a thick tar-like liquid to start pouring out. However, this did not go unnoticed. By the time Number 96 had fully emerged, Django’s Duel Spirits were aware of what was happening.
Number 96 whispered as he approached a sleeping Django, “Time to destroy this scum once and for all. This is the last night you’ll ever have, Django, as it’s time to settle the score.”
However, his dark heart froze when a voice said, “And where do you think you’re going, Number 96?”
He turned his head back slightly to see all of Django’s Duel Spirits glaring at him, all in solid forms. He then got another shock when a different voice growled at him.
“What was that you said, Number 96? Something about this being my last night? I don’t think so.”
Django was wide awake, glaring at the dark Number, his radiant emerald green eyes were almost like headlights in the darkness.
Number 96 said silently, “This may present a problem…” before he suddenly bolted from the spot.
Django stated, “Oh, no you don’t! Sentinel! Red alert! Code 96!”
The Sentinel system started up, sounding an alarm. The alarm scared Tempest right out of her bed, causing her to crash in a heap on the floor. She sat up quickly, utterly confused at the alarm.
She sputtered, “What in blazes is going on!? What’s that alarm!? Is something happening!?”
She quickly ran for her door, opening it up, and saw Number 96 slime form quickly leak out from under Django’s door. Django and the Duel Spirits quickly followed. Django then hit a button on a panel which caused a large electrical net-like barrier to form, cutting Number 96 off. This also caused a second barrier to form in front of Tempest, cutting her off from Django.
Number 96 took a solid form again, realizing he was trapped. Django and the Duel Spirits slowly started to corner him.
Django growled, “Nice try, Number 96. I set up this particular part of the Sentinel system just for you. That barrier can keep even your liquid form from slipping through. So give it up. I admit; I made a mistake simply sealing you away. Now I’m gonna rectify that mistake… by destroying you once and for all! Go my friends; destroy Number 96 once and for all!”
The Duel Spirits slowly closed in on Number 96, who was quickly trying to find an escape route. He then noticed an open AC vent, gaining a twisted grin.
He sneered, “Sorry, Django, but that won’t happen. You’ll have to catch me in order to destroy me. Bye-bye.”
He then transformed back into his slime form and quickly slithered into the AC vent. Django cursed as he saw this.
He instructed, “Sentinel! Shut all outside air vents! Raise E-Shield! Lower Sector A2 electro-barrier! Monitor Number 96’s trajectory in the ventilation system! We cannot allow him to escape!” He turned to Tempest, “Sorry for the rude awakening, Tempest, but we’ve got a problem. Follow me!”
She nodded and followed Django, the Duel Spirits quickly combing the house. Despite the blockages, Number 96 managed to weave his way through the ventilation system without much of a problem. He managed to slither his way out of the system and ended up in Django’s backyard. At that moment, Django opened up one of the balcony doors and jumped off the balcony, landing skillfully on his feet. The Duel Spirits quickly joined him, followed by Tempest using her wind powers to gracefully float down. They started to corner Number 96 again, ready to strike. As Number 96 slowly backed up, his foot bumped something. Looking down, he saw a storm drain and gained a more twisted grin.
He gloated, “Sorry, Django, not today. But I assure you this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me. But I’ll play with you later. Bye-bye, Spirit scum.”
He transformed back into his slime form and quickly shot down the storm drain. Dark Magician and Utopia tried to grab him, but they ended up just missing the last of his slimy tail. Django swore badly, eyes flaring angrily in the darkness.
“Dammit! He got away! Curse that storm drain. Now he’s loose, which means he can cause all sorts of problems. We have to call Cody and the gang to warn them. Tempest, you get on the horn and contact the gang; I’ll check if he managed to steal any of my Numbers when he got free. We have to be quick, as who knows when he’ll strike next.” He then said in a defeated tone, “Sentinel… stand down…”
The Sentinel system returned to normal, dropping the E-Shield around the house and stopping the alarm. Tempest quickly ran into the house and got her Duel Gazer. She started to make her calls while Django checked his collection of Numbers.
As he looked through them, he said, “Well, the good news is that he didn’t get any of my Numbers. The bad news is that he managed to take his own card form with him. Just great. Now I have to find a way to track him down. Alpha-1, report!”
Alpha-1 appeared from an unknown spot in the room. He floated down to Django, his light-like eyes seemed glum.
“My apologies, sir. The system failed to contain Number 96.”
Django waved his hand, dismissing it, “It’s not your fault. Number 96 is just more cunning and resourceful than I anticipated. But in any case, let’s move onto the subject at hand. I need you to use the Number tracker system to hone in on Number 96 whereabouts. We have to make sure he doesn’t go after Cody or the others. Tempest is alerting them now of the situation, but I still worry about them. So, for now, get any drone that has more that 75% power available to start searching for him via the Number tracker system. We have to find a way to contain that demonic Number before he causes anymore damage.”
Alpha-1 saluted, “Affirmative. I’ll get on the case right away. I’ll inform you of any information regarding Number 96’s whereabouts the moment I find him.”
“Good, that’s what I wanted to hear. I’ll see what I can do from here, you get going. Report back as soon as you locate him.”
Nodding, Alpha-1 floated up to a corner of the room and vanished. At that moment, Tempest walked into the room.
She stated, “I just finished my last call. Cody and the others are aware of the situation now. What’s the status of the other Numbers?”
Django replied, “All of them are present and accounted for. Only Number 96: Dark Mist is missing, but that’s to be expected, as it is his corresponding card. Alpha-1 is tapping into the Number tracker now to see if he can locate Number 96. I’m sorry if I scared you with my Sentinel system, as I know you’re not used to how it reacts to threats yet. Sorry if it gave you quite a fright, especially at this hour.”
Tempest replied warmly, “It’s okay. While I did get scared, I can understand the reason behind it. Number 96 is a very serious problem, so he could not be allowed to go free. But what should we do now? Do we go back to bed or figure out 96’s next move?”
“You can go back to bed. I’m gonna stay up and see if I can help track down that demonic Number before he cause anymore damage. I worry what he might do now that he’s free. But you get some rest; I can handle things from here. I just hope you can get back to sleep after such a rude awakening.”
She smiled, “I’ll manage. Just don’t beat yourself up too much, Django. I know this is serious, but you need to keep yourself in good condition as well. Don’t hesitate to wake me if something comes up. But I guess I’ll try to get some more sleep for now. But, again, wake me if you find something.”
The inventor nodded. Tempest gave him another warm smile as she returned to her room. Django got dressed and headed down to his underground lab, taking his deck with him. As he started to work on one of the many monitors, he could only worry about what would happen next.
Meanwhile, miles away, Number 96 emerged from the storm drain system. As he took a solid form, he looked around. He was outside of the city limits, which made him grin.
“Perfect. I’m out of range from Django’s systems, so this means I can prepare my attack and meet up with Lucifer without him knowing. Now, I’m supposed to meet Lucifer somewhere nearby. I wonder what he has for me. Hopefully something that can destroy Django once and for all.”
He started to travel around until he found the spot. As soon as he arrived, a portal opened up, allowing a cloaked Lucifer to emerge from it. The two walked up to one another, each donning a dark grin.
Lucifer stated, “So, you made it here. Good, very good. I take it you were unable to destroy Django, right?”
Number 96 replied sourly, “I almost had a perfect shot, but his blasted Duel Spirits caught me. But, obviously, I managed to escape, even when Django activated a special function of that security system of his. Said he designed it just for me. Heheh, guess it still needs fine-tuning, seeing how I escaped regardless. So, you have something for me, Lucifer?”
Lucifer reached in under his cloak and pulled out a card. In his hand was Rank-Up-Magic Barian’s Force.
“Here, use this to unlock your Chaos form. As you know, Numbers can evolve, but only some can evolve without outside help. This Rank-Up card will grant you the ability and power needed to crush Django once and for all. And, just in case you do lose, it’ll help protect you from his powers, so you won’t be captured as easily, if at all. I suggest you ambush him tomorrow, when he and his friends gather in one place. There, you can take them down and steal their Numbers. Once they’re out of the way, there will be nothing that can stop us.”
Number 96 took the card, grinning, “Perfect, this is just what I needed. Now I can finally settle, and finalize, the scoreboard with Django. He and his little friends won’t know what hit them.”
They both burst into psychotic cackles, eyes bulging as they did so. Their cackles echoed in the night sky, causing unrest to anything that could hear them.
The next day the gang had gathered in their usual spot. Django had small dark rings under his eyes from working during the night. They were discussing what to do about Number 96.
Cody said, “This is bad. With Number 96 runnin’ around, we’re gonna have to be careful. He’s Lucifer’s most trusted ally, so who knows what that slimy creature will do.”
Jack stated in disbelief, “I just can’t believe that Number 96 broke free of his bindings again. And even Django’s Sentinel system couldn’t contain him long enough to finish the job. Who knows where and when he’ll show his ugly mug.”
Leo added, “What I want to know is how he broke free in the first place. Django did a stellar job in sealing him up the last time, as we haven’t heard a peep out of him ever since that last Duel with him. So how did he have the power to break free of a triple binding?”
Fiona grumbled, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Lucifer was behind that. He’s able to contact Number 96 without anyone, even Utopia or Dark Magician, noticing it. So I wouldn’t be surprised if he managed to break the seal for Number 96. But still, that means we have a rogue Number on the loose, one that can cause some serious damage.”
Tempest added, “Which also means we have to be very careful. With him on the loose, he could ambush any of us at any given time. And we all know how sadistic and twisted he is, so that’s a serious threat. We have to pin him down once and for all; otherwise he’ll just keep coming back and causing more problems.”
Django stifled a large yawn before stating, “I’ve also alerted Chronos and Maxwell of the situation. Since Maxwell and Vylon have greater insight on Lucifer’s movements and plans, I figured it would be wise to inform them of what happened. If we don’t stop Number 96 ASAP, maybe Maxwell or Vylon will have better luck tracking him down than we can, as I admit my systems aren’t as efficient as I’d like them to be. And I had to let Alpha-1 and the rest of the Sentinel Drones recharge, so my Number tracker is offline for now. But knowing Number 96, he’ll show his ugly mug soon enough. I just hope we can pin him down right there and then, as he’s never been easy to keep down for long.”
Tempest turned to him, “I hope you’ll be okay. You did have to work through the night in hopes of tracking him down. I know that you’ve pulled all-nighters in the past, but that’s usually work reasons. Here, with a rogue demon Number on the loose, it obviously stressed you out all night. Maybe you should rest for a bit first.”
Django replied, rubbing his eyes, “I’ll sleep soundly once Lucifer and Number 96 are gone for good. I know I’m tired, but until we can do something about those two demons, I’m just gonna have to stay this way for a while.”
A voice then purred, “Don’t worry; I’ll help you sleep peacefully… permanently.”
The group looked around wildly for the source of that voice. Then a sewer lid started to rumble just before a black tar-like liquid started to leak out. The tar-like liquid gushed out from under the lid before taking form, revealing Number 96. Django stepped in front of the rest of the group, eyes narrowing dangerously as the dark Number grinned evilly.
Cody growled, “A sewer is a perfect place for a slime bucket like you, Number 96. Maybe you should stay down there, like the disgustin’ thin’ that you are!”
Number 96 merely chuckled, “I take that as a compliment, you dimwitted redhead. You know perfectly well why I’m here, don’t you, Django? Time to settle the score once and for all! And this time you will die! This’ll be the last Psychic Duel you’ll ever play!”
The inventor snarled, “I have no plans of losing or dying, so I hope YOU’RE prepared to lose it all! D-Pad, let’s go! Duel Gazer, let’s rock and roll!”
Django donned his standard D-Pad and Duel Gazer, while Number 96 formed one from his arm, the rest of the gang putting on their Duel Gazers. Both Duelists’ eyes started to glow, generating the needed psychic energy to create the Psychic Duel. Their Life Points were set to 4000.
They said in unison, drawing their starting hands, “Let’s Duel!”
Number 96 stated, “I think I’ll open things up. I Draw! I’m gonna scoop out a victory with my Malicevorous Spoon in Attack Mode!”
A new monster appeared. It was a moderate-sized somewhat spindly fiendish creature wearing dark purple armor, slit-like red eyes, sharp horns, and was holding a spoon that was as long as the monster was tall. It was a Level Two monster with stats of 100/500.
“Next up, I activate Malicevorous Fork’s ability from my hand! By sending one Fiend-type monster from my hand to the Graveyard, I can Special Summon it from my hand. So I’ll send my Malicevorous Knife to the Graveyard to summon Malicevorous Fork to the field in Attack Mode!”
He sent one card from his hand to the Graveyard. This allowed another monster to be summoned. It looked near identical to Malicevorous Spoon only it had differently shaped horns and was holding a large fork. It was a Level Two monster with stats of 400/400.
He sneered, “The table is almost set, so now I activate Malicevorous Spoon’s ability! When a Malicevorous monster is summoned on my side of the field, I can target one Level Two or lower Fiend monster in my Graveyard and Special Summon it. Its abilities will be negated, but that won’t matter shortly. So I revive my Malicevorous Knife in Attack Mode!”
The Graveyard Portal opened up, allowing the third Malicevorous monster to emerge. It looked just like its other counterparts, only with differently shaped horns and was holding a large knife. It was a Level Two monster with stats of 600/100.
Leo observed, “He’s got three Level Two monsters on the field. I think we all know where this is going.”
Number 96 smirked, “Even if you don’t, I’ll tell you anyway! I Overlay my three Level Two Malicevorous monsters! With these three monsters I built the Overlay Network! I Xyz Summon Number 96: Dark Mist in Attack Mode!”
All three monsters became purple orbs of light, shot up into the air, and entered the galaxy-style Overlay Network. Out emerged Dark Mist’s sealed form, but it quickly unfolded into its true self. It gave a roar as it entered the field, ready to battle.
“To wrap things up, I place one card face-down on the field. That should do for now.”
Django stated, “Then it’s my turn, I Draw! First I summon Gemini Elf in Attack Mode!”
He summoned the twin elven females, who gave a strong battle cry, ready to rumble.
“To keep you guessing, I place two cards face-down on the field. That should do for now.”
Fiona said, “I wonder what Django’s strategy is? Gemini Elf, while powerful for its respective Level, won’t last a second against Dark Mist’s ability.”
Jack stated, “Maybe he’s trying to get Dark Mist to use up all its Overlay Units on weaker monsters, then cut its Attack back down with an ability, like what he did last time.”
Tempest replied, “I don’t think Number 96 would fall for that again. We can’t underestimate him, as he’s proven to be a handful many times. No, Django’s up to something, but what he’s up to is unknown.”
Number 96 grinned, “Trying to lure me into a fight so I can expend all of Dark Mist’s Overlay Units again? That won’t work this time. So I’ll prove it. It’s my turn, I Draw! I activate the Spell: Pot of Greed. I can draw two more cards from my deck.” He drew two cards, looked at them, then played one of them, “I summon Giant Germ in Attack Mode!”
Giant Germ appeared on the field, just as gross as ever. Django, however, was smiling.
“Thanks, Number 96, you did exactly what I wanted you to do. I activate the Trap: Dark Renewal! When you summon a monster or monsters on your side of the field and I control a Spellcaster monster, I can send those monsters to the Graveyard, and in exchange I can Special Summon any DARK Spellcaster monster from my Graveyard or deck! So I send my Gemini Elf and your Giant Germ to the Graveyard!”
A large dark red and gold casket with a gold cross appeared. It then opened up on four hinges, revealing a soft red cushioned inside. It then released two reddish beams of light that grabbed Giant Germ and Gemini Elf, dragging them into the casket. It closed up behind them and gained a glowing aura.
“I summon my Dark Magician from my deck in Attack Mode!”
The D-Pad ejected a card from the deck, which Django played right away. The casket opened up again, allowing Dark Magician to jump out of it. He glared at Dark Mist angrily, ready to fight.
Number 96 stated, “Why go through all that when your magician will be destroyed by my Dark Mist’s ability? But suit yourself. If you want your most famous monster destroyed by my other self, then who am I to stop you. Dark Mist, attack Dark Magician! And get ready to use your ability to cut his magician down to size!”
Dark Mist prepared to attack, but Django was smiling again, confusing the malicious Number.
He stated, “You walked into another Trap! Say hello to my Breakthrough Skill Trap! This targets one monster on your field and negates its abilities for the turn! But your monster won’t be around for much longer, anyway! And it’s too late to call back your attack, so be prepared to say goodbye to your other self! Dark Magician, counterattack!”
The Trap fired a beam at Dark Mist, whose color faded as its ability was negated. It still attacked, but Dark Magician swatted the attack aside and fired his trademark Dark Magic Attack. The beam struck Dark Mist, causing it to explode, with the attack slamming into Number 96. He was thrown off his feet, landing on the ground behind him. His Life Points dropped by 2400 to 1600.
Cody cheered, “That’s what D-Man was up to! He knew if he could bait Dark Mist into attackin’ by usin’ a powerful monster like Dark Magician, he could negate Dark Mist’s abilities and launch a powerful counterattack! And that attack took out more than half of Number 96’s Life Points! Way to go, buddy!”
Number 96 snarled, “Don’t think you’re out of the woods yet, Django! I active my own Trap: Xyz Reborn! I can revive an Xyz Monster from my Graveyard and attach this Trap to it as an Overlay Unit! So Dark Mist will be doing an encore performance, and that means I can still take down your precious magician! Come back to me, Dark Mist!”
The Graveyard Portal opened up, allowing Dark Mist to emerge from it. The Trap then transformed into an Overlay Unit that started to orbit Dark Mist. Django grimaced, knowing perfectly well what was going to happen next.
“Since it’s still my turn, as well as still being my Battle Phase, I can attack you again! This time you can’t use your Trap to stop Dark Mist, and you can’t activate Breakthrough Skill’s other effect this turn, as each ability can only be used once, but not on the same turn! So Dark Mist, use your special ability to drain Dark Magician of his powers and add them to yourself! Shadow Gain!”
Dark Mist absorbed its only Overlay Unit, then fired a dark stream of energy. It struck Dark Magician, whose eyes were wide as he felt his power drop. His power dropped by half to 1250, while Dark Mist’s power increased by the same amount to 1350.
“Now, Dark Mist, attack Dark Magician! Rid the field of Django’s favorite monster! Whiplash Whirlwind!”
Django watched in horror as Dark Mist launched its attack on a defenseless Dark Magician. The attack mercilessly slashed the powerful Spellcaster before shattering him in a flurry of sparkles. Django’s Life Points dropped by 100 to 3900, but he was left stunned.
Leo barely managed to say, “Dark Magician has been… destroyed!? That has never happened before! I’ve watched countless amounts of Django’s Duels, and I’ve never seen Dark Magician get destroyed at all!”
Fiona whimpered, “Poor Django and Dark Magician. If that’s never happened before, then it must be a particularly harsh blow to them.”
Django muttered through gritted teeth, “Sorry, old friend, I didn’t expect that. Please forgive me.”
Number 96 laughed, “Hah! If I had known that destroying your most famous monster would rattle you that badly, I would’ve done so a long time ago! Next up, I activate my Spell: Meteor of Destruction! I love kicking someone when they’re down, so say goodbye to 1000 Life Points, Django! I’m gonna enjoy this!”
A massive meteor came barreling down at Django. He braced himself for impact, eyes narrowing angrily. The meteor struck, causing him to skid back a bit, but he remained upright, though he was smoldering a bit. His Life Points dropped by 1000 to 2900.
“Now, to wrap things up, I place one card face-down on the field. That’s enough destruction for now. Do you have the will to fight back, Django?”
Django’s eyes narrowed, but he said calmly, “I’m far from done, Number 96, so watch out. Don’t think that losing Dark Magician will make me lose this Duel. While I do feel sorry for that mistake, his destruction will be avenged! And I’ll show you how! I Draw! Next up, I activate Graceful Charity! This allows me to draw three cards so long as I discard two of them.”
He drew three cards from his deck. He then took a moment to observe his hand before deciding what to do.
He said silently, “I knew my deck wouldn’t let me down. There’s hope yet.” He said aloud, “I discard these two cards to the Graveyard.” He discarded two cards before stating, “Next up, I summon another old friend to the field. My Junk Synchron; and I’m putting him in Attack Mode!”
Junk Synchron appeared on the field, ready for battle.
“Now I activate Junk Synchron’s ability! When it’s Normal Summoned, I can Special Summon a Level Two or lower monster from my Graveyard in Defense Mode. Its abilities will be negated, but that’s no big deal. So I Special Summon Ghostrick Doll from my Graveyard!”
The Graveyard Portal opened up, allowing a new monster to appear. Ghostrick Doll looked like a sweet yet somewhat eerie bisque doll with long pink hair, wide green eyes, pale “skin”, and was wearing a blue dress with a matching bonnet, small black shoes, and holding a bouquet. She was a Level Two monster with stats of 300/1200.
“Now I Tune my Junk Synchron with my Ghostrick Doll! I Synchro Summon another good friend, Junk Warrior, in Attack Mode!”
Junk Synchron pulled the ripcord on its stomach, revving up its engines, before transforming into three rings of light. Ghostrick Doll flew into the rings, becoming just an outline of herself, then transformed into two glowing stars. They were joined by three more stars, followed by a beam of light, and Junk Warrior appeared on the field. It flew around the field briefly before standing in a battle position.
Django instructed, “Now Junk Warrior, attack Dark Mist with Scrap Fist! And I activate Breakthrough Skill from the Graveyard! I can banish it to negate one of your monster’s abilities for the duration of the turn! So I’m gonna do just that! So not only will Dark Mist lose the power bonus it gained from earlier, but now it’ll be vulnerable to destruction again! Take it down, Junk Warrior!”
Junk Warrior flew up into the sky, got into position, then came barreling down toward Dark Mist, fist extended. It gained a fist-shaped aura as it charged down. At the same time, the Graveyard Portal opened up, revealing Breakthrough Skill, which fired another beam at Dark Mist. Its body lost its color as its power disappeared, returning it to its original 100 Attack Points.
Number 96 snarled, “I won’t fall for that twice in a row! I activate my Trap: Negate Attack! So sorry, but this negates your attack and ends your Battle Phase! So much for your attempt to destroy Dark Mist and the rest of my Life Points. Better luck next time.”
Junk Warrior was deflected by a spiraling vortex, forcing it to return to its original position.
Django growled before saying, “I’m far from finished. I place two cards face-down to end my turn.”
Jack snarled, “Leave it to Number 96 to weasel his way out of defeat. Junk Warrior could’ve easily ended the Duel with one punch, but he managed to stop the attack.”
Fiona stated, “At least Dark Mist is out of Overlay Units, so it can’t really mount a counterattack unless Number 96 replenishes its Overlay Units. And since Django’s Trap returned Dark Mist to its original value, it’s still vulnerable. Unless Number 96 has another plan, Django can still win, he just needs to survive the next turn. And if there’s one thing Django’s really good at, it’s surviving.”
Number 96 touched his deck, “I’m also far from finished, Django, so don’t think you’ve won yet! I Draw!” He looked at his new card before bursting into a psychotic cackle, eyes bulging grotesquely, “I’ve done it! I have just the card I need to destroy any chances you had at victory! I activate the Spell: Rank-Up-Magic Barian’s Force!”
Everyone said in shock, “Rank-Up-Magic Barian’s Force!?”
Tempest said worriedly, “This is bad! When did Number 96 get Barian’s Force?!”
Number 96 laughed, “I have a friend in a high place, one that has unlimited access to this card! So I shall activate it! I Rank-Up my Xyz Monster into a Chaos Xyz Monster! So I rebuild the Overlay Network with my Rank Two Dark Mist! Go, Chaos Xyz Evolution!”
Dark Mist turned into a bolt of energy, entered the Overlay Network, and it erupted with power. As it was bathed in the energy released from the Barian Gate, Number 96 could also feel himself be bathed in the same energy. He started to transform, gaining considerably more muscle mass, a broader body, sharp devil wings sprouting from his back, his hair gaining more volume, and the Barian Emblem appearing on his forehead. At the same time, a new sealed form appeared. It looked like a dark misshapen blob with six flames. It then unraveled to reveal the monster within.
Number 96 roared triumphantly, “I Xyz Summon Number C96: Dark Storm!”
Number C96: Dark Storm was a monstrous creature. It had become a quadrupedal creature with large, sharp blood red claws, a bulky black body adorned with several spiky armor plates, two large yellow flaming eye-like structures on each side of it, two whip-like tails, a thick neck with a animal-like head equipped with two curved blood red horns, flaming yellow eyes, and the pinkish chaos energy rippling on its face. On its back were two blade-like structures, one with the number “96” written on it, and in front of it was one Chaos Overlay Unit. It was a Rank Three monster with stats of 1000/1000.
Number 96 looked himself over, grinning, “Chaos does a body good. I’m invincible now! You chances for victory just went down to zero, Django! Go, Dark Storm, attack Junk Warrior! And I activate its ability! Once per battle, if Dark Mist is one of Dark Storm’s Overlay Units, I can use one Chaos Overlay Unit to drain your monster’s attack to zero, as well as gain the same amount in power! So say goodbye to your Junk Warrior and the rest of your Life Points!”
Dark Storm released a large amount of shadowy energy that struck Junk Warrior. It was drained of all its strength, its Attack Points dropping down to zero. While at the same time, Dark Storm’s power increased by 2300 to 3300. It then launched its attack, ready to destroy Junk Warrior.
Tempest cried out, “Django!”
Cody sputtered, “If this attack hits, then it’s over!”
Django stated, “I’m not done yet, Number 96! I active my Trap: Damage Diet! I can cut all Battle Damage I take this turn in half, so I’m not out of this Duel yet!”
The Trap fired a beam at Dark Storm’s attack, cutting it down to half its power. Junk Warrior was still destroyed, engulfing Django’s side of the field in an explosion, but he endured the attack, though his clothes had various tears in them and he had a few wounds on his body. His Life Points dropped by 1650 to 1250.
He then stated, “I’m not quite through, Number 96! I activate my other Trap: Soul Rope! When a monster I control has been destroyed, I can pay 1000 Life Points to Special Summon a Level Four or lower monster from my deck. So I pay 1000 Life Points to summon Gagaga Magician to the field! And I’m putting him in Attack Mode!”
Django’s Life Points dropped by 1000 to 250, but his D-Pad ejected a card, which he played. Gagaga Magician appeared on the field, ready for battle.
Number 96 huffed, “Big deal, he won’t help you. But if you want to go down like that, then so be it. I place one card face-down to end my turn. Let’s see if you can get anything good on your next turn, though I doubt it.”
Django stated, “My deck has never let me down, so don’t count your victory too soon.” He touched his deck, thinking, “Please, deck, I need help. Give me something to work with, please.” He said aloud, “I Draw!” He looked at the card, smiling, “Told ya. I activate the Spell: Pot of Greed. I can draw two more cards from my deck.” He drew two cards, looked at them, and smiled, “I’m still in this. I activate the Spell: Monster Reborn! I revive my Gagaga Girl in my Graveyard! So come on out, girl!”
The Graveyard Portal opened up, allowing Gagaga Girl to emerge from it. She stood next to her mentor, ready to fight.
Jack asked, “When did Gagaga Girl get in his Graveyard?”
Leo said, “Probably the same way Ghostrick Doll got into his Graveyard, through Graceful Charity. Now the stage is set for a comeback!”
The inventor stated, “I activate Gagaga Girl’s ability. Once a turn, she can copy the Level of a Gagaga Magician I have on the field. So her Level will change from Level Three to Level Four.”
The stars representing Gagaga Girl’s Level changed from three to four.
“Now I Overlay my two Gagaga monsters! With these two monsters I build the Overlay Network! I Xyz Summon Number 39: Utopia!”
Both monsters became purple orbs of light, shot up into the air, and entered the galaxy-style Overlay Network. Out emerged Utopia’s sealed form, which quickly unfolded into his true self. He glared down at Dark Storm, but seemed surprised at Number 96’s transformation.
Number 96 stated, “Big deal. Even Utopia won’t be able to stop Dark Storm.”
Django smirked, “Guess again, Number 96. I activate Gagaga Girl’s other ability! When she’s used as an Overlay Unit for an Xyz Summon along with only other Gagaga monsters, she can reduce the Attack of one Specially Summoned monster on your field to zero! Go, Cell Phone Subtraction!”
A ghostly image of Gagaga Girl appeared. She typed something on her cell phone, then faced it toward Dark Storm, and it fired a beam at it. It struck Dark Storm, much to Number 96’s horror, its power dropping down to zero.
“Now, to ensure you don’t pull a fast one with that face-down card of yours, I activate my own Rank-Up card! I activate Rank-Up-Magic Limited Barian’s Force! I rebuild the Overlay Network with Utopia! Go, Chaos Xyz Evolution! I Xyz Summon Number C39: Utopia Ray V!”
Utopia turned into a bolt of energy and entered the Overlay Network, which erupted with power. Out emerged Utopia Ray V’s sealed form, which quickly unfolded into his true form.
Cody stated, “It’s a showdown between two Chaos Numbers. This’ll be good.”
Fiona asked, “I don’t know why Django still uses Limited Barian’s Force, even though he knows it’s the product of Lucifer. And why did he summon Utopia Ray V? Wouldn’t Utopia Ray Victory be better? And if he was going to use Utopia Ray V, then why did he use Gagaga Girl’s ability?”
Leo explained, “While I can’t answer the first question, I can guess the second one. If Number 96’s face-down card is a card like Xyz Reborn, if the battle doesn’t win Django the Duel, then he can just turn around and use Utopia Ray V’s ability to destroy Dark Storm and deal burn damage. While the burn damage won’t win the Duel, at least it’ll keep Dark Storm from doing any more encore performances. As for the choice of monsters to Xyz Summon with, I think Django’s trying to avoid any more plans backfiring. That’s my guess, anyway.”
Tempest said, “I think you’re right, Leo. Django’s taking precautions here. If Number 96’s face-down card is something like Xyz Reborn or Call of the Haunted, Utopia Ray V’s ability can just trash it regardless. And, if I had to guess, the reason Django kept Limited Barian’s Force in his deck is so he’d have a back-up plan, as well as be able to draw out as much power as possible. In the fight against Lucifer, he’s gonna need all the power he can get, and maybe even turn that fiend’s precious Barian power against him. At least, that’s what I theorize.”
Django stated, “It’s over! Utopia Ray V, attack Dark Storm with Rising Sun Star Slash!”
Utopia Ray V drew both of his sinister swords and swiftly performed a V-shaped slash attack. The attack struck Dark Storm, engulfing it in a blast.
Number 96 roared, “I haven’t lost! Not only can’t you destroy Dark Strom in battle, but any Battle Damage I take will be dealt to you as well! So you just defeated yourself as well as me!”
Both of them were struck by the blast, being thrown off their feet. They landed on the ground, worn out, both of their Life Points dropping down to zero. Dark Storm and Utopia Ray V vanished as the psychic energies disappeared.
Cody sputtered, “No way! The Duel ended in a draw!? That’s never happened with D-Man before!”
Django wearily sat up, “I may not have won, but I didn’t lose, either. But I’ll still destroy you here and now. Ow...” he flinched in pain.
Number 96 snarled, “Guess again, Spirit scum. I’m outta here, but this isn’t the last you’ve seen of me!”
He vanished in a newly-opened portal, which closed up behind him. The gang ran over to Django and helped him up. He staggered briefly, but managed to stay upright. He tilted his head away in shame.
He said, “I’m sorry, guys. Just like what happened with Lucifer, I didn’t react quickly enough to put an end to Number 96. Now he’s more powerful than ever. Sorry, guys, I failed again.”
Cody stated, “It’s not yer fault, D-Man. Psychic Duels take a lot outta ya, especially since yer still perfectin’ your abilities. While Number 96 is an even greater threat now, we’ll get him, just you wait and see. Just try to cheer up, buddy, as we’ll shut both him and Lucifer down fer good one day soon.”
Jack nodded, “Cody’s right. We’re just gonna have to be careful for a while, but we’ll stop Number 96 once and for all. And Lucifer will follow shortly after that. So try to cheer up, as we’ll get them soon.”
Django nodded, “Thanks guys, that means a lot. But we’ll have to be extra alert now, as not only is Lucifer’s most powerful ally still loose, but stronger than ever. I guess I still need some fine-tuning in my Psychic Dueling abilities; otherwise I would’ve been able to defeat Number 96. Guess it’s back to the drawing board for a new plan. Ow…” he stumbled briefly, with Cody and Jack catching him.
Tempest said soothingly, “Just try to relax, Django. While the war between the Spirits and the Bloodlusts has been kicked up a notch, we’ll still win. Now, let’s get you patched up and take a break for a while. Okay?”
While the gang helped Django rest and heal, Lucifer had been watching the whole time. He grinned, leaning back on his throne with a satisfied look on his face.
“I knew recovering Number 96 was a smart move. Why didn’t I think of that before? Anyway, it would appear that Django didn’t quite think things out fully this time, as Dark Storm’s ability caught him off-guard. But he’ll learn from it and come back stronger next time. In the meantime, I’ll get to work on my next move. Watch out, Django, as your days are numbered.”
Next Chapter: Birth of Hope