“Ah, Optimus,” gulped the Holo-Droid. “Er, this probably requires some explanation…”
“Teletraan briefed me on the situation when Sira, Natalie, and I teleported past the lock-down procedures,” interrupted Optimus. “You really should have stepped down.”
“Well, given the circumstances,” replied the Holo-Droid. Optimus wasn’t having any of that.
“Execute Shutdown Program Alpha Omega Prime!” he ordered.
“Wait a klik!” yelped the Holo-Droid. Too late. The image faded to reveal a boney, bronze looking endoskeleton with a blank face.
“Wait, WHAT?!” squawked Ironhide.
“If you’re wondering why I didn’t give you bots that shutdown code,” called Optimus, “it’s because it was keyed to my voice patterns.”
“Uh HUH,” mused Ratchet.
“Is everyone okay?” asked Optimus. Teletraan’s avatar shook his head.
“I speak for all of us when I say we’ve been better,” he groaned.
“Probably a good thing we haven’t tested out the new tanks G.U.N built for us,” supplied Bumblebee.
“How’s your brother?” asked Optimus. Bumblebee checked over Cliffjumper.
“Don’t worry, Twilight!” mumbled Cliffjumper. “We’ll stop Discord and Q!”
“I think he’ll be all right,” reported Bumblebee.
“Cliffjumper’s a Brony?” muttered Jazz.
“I’m surprised too,” replied Optimus. “In any case, Teletraan 1, end the lockdown.”
“Belay that!” shouted a voice. It was the Holo-droid! The image it was projecting was still Optimus, but it looked like the image was static-like.
“Bent on locking us in?” asked Optimus.
“We need to talk! I…” The Holo-Droid then stopped. “You’re the only one who doesn’t look surprised that I’m online again.”
“You’re based off my memories and mental patterns,” replied Optimus. “It’s natural for you to make back-ups.”
“Yeah, true that,” conceded the Holo-Droid. “I doubt you can stop me now. Teletraan, get a signal out to…”
“Frag that! I’m shutting you down!” snapped Teletraan. The Holo-Droid snapped its fingers. Nothing happened. The Holo-Droid was confused and tried again. “Deleted that,” explained Teletraan.
“Well, poopy,” muttered the Holo-Droid.
“Good work, Teletraan,” praised Optimus. “However, hold off on shutting it down. I need info from it.”
“You’ll have to beat me in a fight,” taunted the Holo-Droid.
“I have another idea,” replied Optimus. “Secondary computer, bring forth my Duel Monsters collection.”
“You’re seriously challenging me to YuGiOh?” scoffed the Holo-Droid. “You want to settle this with a children’s card game?”
“It’s going to be two decks of 40 random cards,” explained Optimus. “You may choose the rules.”
“You’re really going through with this,” sighed the Holo-Droid. “All right, ARC-V rules.”
“Teletraan, give us 8000 life points each,” directed Optimus. Teletraan brought up a life point screen. He looked up the rules and then assumed a referee’s uniform.
“Call it,” called Teletraan.
“Heads,” replied Optimus. Teletraan flipped a coin and caught it. “Well?”
“Bad luck, Prime,” sighed Teletraan to Optimus. “Activating holo-projectors.” Optimus then took one deck while the Holo-droid took another. They activated their duel disks.
“If you win,” offered Optimus, “the base is yours and we’ll relocate to the Space Colony ARK. If I win, you’re going back to factory settings after being shut down.”
“Fine by me,” replied the Holo-Droid.
“It’s time to duel!” announced Teletraan.
“Let’s see,” mused the Holo-Droid. “I think I’ll activate Unexpected Dai and special summon Warrior Dai Grepher from my deck. Next, I’ll normal summon Star Drawing” A male humanoid warrior with a large sword came up as well as a cutesy monster with a wand and beret. The monsters had two attributes, one for attack, and the other for defense. Grepher’s attack/defense ratio was 1700/1600 and Star Drawing’s was 1600/1000. “Now, I think I’ll use those two to XYZ summon Tornado Dragon!” A dragon made of wind appeared next to the previous two monsters before they were put inside the monster. Its ratio was 2000/2100. “Now, because of Drawing’s effect, I can draw a card. After that, I’ll just set this thing down,” the card was set in the spell/trap zone, “and end.”
“I’m not risking it,” replied Optimus. “I’ll play Hand Destruction, so we’re sending two cards from our hand to the graveyard and drawing their replacements.” They both did so. “Now,” declared Optimus, “I’ll summon Alexandrite Dragon,” a dragon with prismatic scales came up with a ratio of 2000/100, “and attack your Tornado Dragon with it.”
“Poor choice,” chuckled the Holo-Droid. “Here comes my trap card, Mirror Wall. That brings your Alexandrite Dragon down to 1000 attack points, leaving it open to Tornado Dragon!” Tornado Dragon bit into Alexandrite Dragon’s neck and tossed it aside. Alexandrite Dragon vanished, and Optimus’ life points went down to 7000.
“Scrap!” swore Optimus. “Still, you DID help me satisfy the conditions for my new monster. Because a normal monster was destroyed in battle, I’ll special summon Orichalcos Shunoros.” An elaborate, humanoid machine came up. Its ratio was ?/0. “Since Shunoros’ attack depends on the opposing monsters on the field, his attack is 1000.”
“Not going to help you on this one,” laughed the Holo-Droid.
“I wasn’t finished,” replied Optimus. “I’ll activate Swing of Memories to get Alexandrite Dragon back.”
“That’s gonna be destroyed when your turn ends!” observed the Holo-Droid.
“With Shunoros’ effect? Not likely,” countered Optimus.
“Scrap, you’re right,” swore the Holo-droid.
“Now, I set this little card in the spell/trap zone, and end,” finished Optimus.
“Let’s see what I draw,” muttered the Holo-Droid. It gained a smile when it saw the card. “Oh, perfect!” it laughed. “Let’s see, I think I’ll forgo paying Mirror Wall’s 2000 life point cost, so away it goes. Next will be the normal summon of Skilled Dark Magician.” A humanoid appeared next to Tornado Dragon. It was dressed in robes and shoulder armor, carrying a staff, with a ratio of 1700/1900.
“That raises Shunoros’ attack to 2000,” replied Optimus.
“Then I set this card here,” continued the Holo-droid as it was put into the spell/trap zone, “and put Tornado Dragon into defense mode. I end.”
“Thus, activating my trap card, Zoma the Spirit,” called Optimus. A creepy, impish looking creature came up. “I’ll just special summon it to the field and end.” An attack/defense ratio appeared with 1800/200. “I believe it’s my turn.” Optimus drew a card from the deck. “I’ll attack your Skilled Dark Magician with Zoma the Spirit.”
“Which only drops my life points by 100, if I’m not mistaken,” mused the Holo-droid.
“It’s right,” sighed Teletraan. The Holo-droid went from 8000 to 7900
“And Shunoros’ attack just went back because now it’s just my Tornado dragon again,” chuckled the Holo-Droid.
“Then I just set this and end,” replied Optimus. The card went to a spell/trap zone.
“I’ll just detach Star Drawing from Tornado Dragon, destroying whatever spell or trap you set,” laughed the Holo-Droid.
“FRAGGIT!” swore Optimus.
“Let’s see, since it’s my turn,” mused the Holo-Droid as it drew a card, “I’ll just set this and end.” It went into the spell/trap zone.
“Then, I’ll draw and pass,” answered Optimus.
“Pass?!” yelped the Holo-droid. It then sighed as it drew a card. “Your funeral. I’m playing the spell I just drew, Shield and Sword. That swaps the attack/defense ratios on everything on the field. Your Shunoros now has an attack of 0, your Zoma the Spirit has 200, your Alexandrite Dragon has 100 and my Tornado Dragon has 2100. Speaking of Tornado Dragon, I’ll switch him to attack mode, so he’ll attack Shunoros. So, I believe your life points are 4900?”
“Scrap!” swore Optimus.
“Your turn,” offered the Holo-droid. Optimus drew a card.
“Oh, perfect!” he cheered. “I summon Junk Synchron!” A short, stout creature in orange armor, a scarf, and goggles appeared. “Now, I’ll tune it with Alexandrite Dragon to synchro summon Clear Wing Synchro Dragon!” The previous monsters vanished, and Optimus put their cards into the graveyard. A dragon with a mix of crystal and machine appeared and roared. Its ratio was 2500/2000. “Clear Wing Synchro Dragon, get Tornado Dragon out of here!” Clear Wing Synchro Dragon roared in acknowledgement and swiped Tornado Dragon. The monster faded, and the Holo-Droid’s life points went to 7500. “Now, I switch Zoma to defense mode, set this, and end my turn.” Optimus set a card in the spell/trap zone.
“Hm,” mused the Holo-Droid, “I think I’ll activate Jar of Greed to get another card. Next, I’ll normal summon Ancient Gear Hunting Hound.” A metal, corroded dog appeared. Its ratio was 1000/1000. “You know the automatic effect he’s got on you,” said the Holo-droid.
“I take 600 damage,” answered Optimus. His life points went to 4300.
“Now, for its second effect,” chuckled the Holo-Droid. “I’ll send it and the Ancient Gear Beast I drew earlier to the graveyard to fusion summon Ancient Gear Howitzer in defense!” A winged creature made of pipes and with turrets for hands came up as Hunting Hound faded away. Its ratio was 1000/1800
“Clear Wing will chain with its effect!” called Optimus.
“You dimwit!” insulted the Holo-Droid. “That’s not gonna do you any good! Card effects can’t affect Howitzer! Down go your life points, due to Howitzer’s effect!” Optimus’ life points went to 3300. “And I’ll just set this in the spell/trap zone and end.”
“Scrap!” gulped Ironhide. “Prime’s at a major disadvantage!”
“This game has a way of turning things around,” mused Jazz, “if there’s no cheating, at least.”
“Clear Wing will attack Howitzer,” announced Optimus.
“Will it?” asked the Holo-Droid. “Tell me, are there any Ancient Gear monsters in your deck?”
“Scrap! Howitzer’s effect!” swore Optimus. “Wait, there’s still Clear Wing’s effect to consider!”
“Oh, I have considered it!” laughed the Holo-Droid. “Hence why I’m playing Forbidden Chalice. I hope Clear Wing enjoys 400 extra attack, because its effect is gone!”
“Slag!” shouted Optimus.
“And Howitzer can’t be affected, so you’re still handing over your Ancient Gear Monster!” The Holo-droid held its hand out. Optimus handed over the monster. “Thanks to Howitzer, I can summon this bad boy, ignoring the terms of summoning! Didn’t expect your Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon to be on my end, did you?!” A metal, corroded dragon appeared and roared. Its ratio was 3000/3000. “I believe it’s still your turn,” giggled the Holo-droid.
“I’m setting this and ending my turn,” sighed Optimus. Another card went into the spell/trap zone. The attack points went back to the original number for Clear Wing and its effects were back.
“My turn,” declared the Holo-Droid. “Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon will attack Clear Wing Synchro Dragon. I see you trying to activate a spell/trap, don’t even try! You know as well as I do, Reactor Dragon can’t be affected by spells, traps, or monster effects until it attacks, and you take damage!” Reactor Dragon attacked and destroyed Clear Wing. Optimus’ life points went down to 2800. “And because of Reactor Dragon’s effect, say goodbye to Zoma! Your go!”
“Slag!” swore Optimus as he drew a card. “I’m playing Pot of Desires, so I’ll banish 10 cards from the top of my deck to draw 2 more.” He did so. “Now, I’ll play one of the cards I drew, Smashing Ground. Ancient Gear Reactor Dragon must go!” The monster was thrown off by the ground beneath it shaking like Jell-O. “Now I set this card and end my turn.” Another spell/trap.
“My turn,” replied the Holo-Droid as it drew a card. “Ah, I can use this! I play Overload Fusion! So, I’ll be using Ancient Gears Hunting Hound, Beast, Howitzer, and Reactor Dragon to fusion summon Chaos Ancient Gear Giant!” A metal giant came up with a ratio of 4500/3000.
“Hang on!” yelped Ratchet. “I saw those beasts go into the graveyard space! You shouldn’t be able to use them!”
“With Overload Fusion,” explained Optimus, “the Holo-Droid can use any Ancient Gear monsters on the field or in the graveyard. Banishment doesn’t mean death.”
“This game makes no sense!” shouted Bumblebee.
“Button it, pipsqueak!” snapped the Holo-Droid. “My turn’s not over. Unless Optimus has a spell or trap to use…”
“Which I do!” replied Optimus. “I activate Bottomless Trap Hole! Want to chain anything to the effect?”
“I see no reason to,” dismissed the Holo-Droid. “My Giant can’t be affected by spell or trap effects.”
“There IS a way for it to be vulnerable to that,” countered Optimus. “I’m chaining Effect Veiler to Bottomless Trap Hole!”
“WHAT?!” yelped the Holo-Droid. A blue haired angel briefly flashed before a hole opened beneath Chaos Ancient Gear Giant. It fell down the hole.
“That’s right, Effect Veiler can remove any effects, no matter the monster!” boasted Optimus. “With that, your Giant had no protection against my Trap Hole! Anything else you wish to do?”
“I pass,” hissed the Holo-Droid.
“Then I set this card and end,” finished Optimus.
“Give me something good!” begged the Holo-Droid to Primus. Its optics flashed. “Thank you! I activate Cup of Ace! Teletraan, flip a coin! If it’s heads, I draw 2 cards. If not, Optimus draws 2 cards!” Teletraan did so. “Well?”
“Bad luck, Optimus, the Holo-Droid won that one,” sighed Teletraan. The Holo-Droid drew.
“Perfect!” it cheered. “I’ll normal summon Clown Zombie!” A zombie clown appeared with a ratio of 1300/0, laughing creepily. “Since I control a level 2, Dark monster, I can special summon Caligo Claw Crow!” A cartoonish crow with oversized talons appeared with a ratio of 900/600. “Now, I’ll use these to XYZ summon Number 65: Djinn Buster!” A dark, metal encrusted monster with large swords for hands appeared with a ratio of 1300/0. “Djinn Buster, attack Optimus’ life points directly!”
“Hold that thought!” called Optimus. “I’m playing Call of the Haunted to revive my Clear Wing Synchro Dragon. You’ll have to go through a replay for that.”
“Then Djinn Buster will break off the attack,” replied the Holo-Droid. “But, that does permit me to use Rank-Up-Magic Quick Chaos! That ranks Djinn Buster to Number C65: King Overfiend!” Djinn Buster changed into an overlord style monster with a ratio of 1600/0. “Now, I’ll activate its effect, targeting Clear Wing by detaching Clown Zombie! As long as Djinn Buster is attached to Overfiend, you can’t activate any monster effects!” Clear Wing’s attack went down to 1500. “Your move,” offered the Holo-Droid. Optimus drew.
“I activate Limit Reverse to revive Effect Veiler,” he announced. “Next, I’ll use him and Clear Wing to synchro summon Crystal Wing Synchro Dragon!” A dragon made of crystal came up and roared, armed with a ratio of 3000/2500. “Crystal Wing, get rid of Overfiend!” Crystal Wing roared and slashed at Overfiend with its claws. The Holo-droid’s life points went to 6100. “Your move.”
“Indeed, it is,” agreed the Holo-Droid as it drew a card. “I’m playing the card I just drew, Fissure! Say goodbye to Crystal Wing!” Crystal Wing fell into a crack in the earth. “Now, I end my turn.”
“It’s playing with Optimus like a cat with a mouse!” gulped Ironhide.
“A non-Mobian cat, maybe,” sighed Sira.
“Come on!” pleaded Jazz. “Primus, let Optimus turn this thing around!” Optimus drew a card.
“I summon Necroface!” he called. A creepy baby’s head with tentacles coming out appeared with a ratio of 1200/1800. “Its effect allows all banished cards to return to the deck and gain 100 attack from each card. Teletraan, how many cards were banished?”
“15,” reported Teletraan. “So, Necroface will gain 2700.”
“Thank you,” bid Optimus. “Necroface, attack him directly!”
“And that activates my trap card, Nutrient Z!” laughed the Holo-Droid. “I’ll be gaining 4000 life points before taking damage.” The Holo-Droid’s life points went to 10100 before Necroface smacked it with its tentacles, bringing it to 7300. Optimus sneered.
“I end my turn,” he sighed. The Holo-droid drew a card.
“Oh, yes!” it cheered. “Mystical Space Typhoon! I think I’ll target…that spell/trap card right there!”
“That was my Burying Mirror Force!” thought Optimus. He discarded it.
“I end,” declared the Holo-Droid.
“All right,” answered Optimus as he drew, “I’m playing Allure of Darkness to draw two cards. However, one of my cards is banished because of Allure’s effect. Necroface shall attack you again!”
“Scrap!” swore the Holo-Droid. Its life points went to 3600. “Still, I have a life point advantage!”
“Then, use it,” insisted Optimus. “It’s your move.”
“Very well,” chuckled the Holo-Droid as it drew. “I’m playing Dark Hole to destroy all monsters on the field. Since Necroface is the only one, away it goes. With that, I end.”
“All right,” replied Optimus. “I set this one and end.”
“Already?” asked the Holo-Droid. “Well, I’m not one to take chances. I play Pot of Dichotomy. I’ll take three cards of different types from my graveyard and reshuffle them into my deck. Then I’ll draw two cards. Hey, the one I’ll summon is one Necroface returned a while ago. Come on back, Ancient Gear Hunting Hound!”
“You can’t conduct the battle phase,” replied Optimus.
“And yet, Hunting Hound still inflicts 600 damage due to its effect,” countered the Holo-Droid. Optimus’ life points went down to 2200. “Now, I’ll use Hunting Hound’s second effect to send it and another Ancient Gear monster to the graveyard to fusion summon Ancient Gear Howitzer again in defense!” Howitzer came back. “And, due to the effect, Howitzer inflicts 1000 damage on you!” Optimus’ life points went to 1200. “All that damage and my monsters didn’t need to lift a finger! I end my turn!” Optimus drew.
“I summon Mechanicalchaser!” announced Optimus. A spheroid machine with various hunting tools and wings came up with a ratio of 1850/800. “Those 50 extra attack points are what I need. Mechanicalchaser attacks Howitzer!”
“And Howitzer’s effect allows me to special summon Ancient Gear Beast!” laughed the Holo-Droid. Another creature built like Hunting Hound came forward as Howitzer fell. Its ratio was 2000/2000.
“Ample opportunity for me to play my trap card, Escape from the Dark Dimension,” announced Optimus. “I’ll bring back the card Allure got rid of, Dark Horus!” A black, metal dragon appeared with a ratio of 3000/1800. “Dark Horus will attack your Beast!” Dark Horus swatted Beast aside, bringing the Holo-droid down to 2600. “That’s my turn, what’s yours?”
“I’ll set this card I drew facedown and end,” finished the Holo-Droid.
“All right,” replied Optimus. He drew a card. “Oh, hello!” he said as he grinned. “First, Mechanicalchaser will attack your face-down.”
“Poor move!” giggled the Holo-droid. “My face-down was Charcoal Inpachi!” A wooden golem that was smoking appeared in a defense position. Its ratio was 100/2100. “Now, you receive damage for attacking a monster with a stronger defense!” Optimus’ life points went to 950.
“All right, Dark Horus will stomp Charcoal Inpachi,” answered Optimus. Dark Horus smashed Charcoal Inpachi. “Now, I’ll set this, and end.”
“I’m just going to set this one and end,” chuckled the Holo-Droid. Optimus grinned.
“He’s got him!” remarked Jazz.
“Who?” asked Ironhide.
“Optimus, he’s got a plan for the Holo-droid,” explained Jazz. “I see that win grin!”
“He’s at 950 life points!” protested Tails.
“If he plays it right, that may be an advantage,” assured Jazz.
“What makes you so sure?” quizzed Bumblebee.
“…Well…YuGiOh is a very deep and involved game,” floundered Jazz. “His strategy will become apparent any cycle now.”
“…You have absolutely no idea how this game is played,” guessed Trema.
“…I can’t hide anything from a Witch, can I?” sighed Jazz. Trema shook her head. “Well, I DID develop an appreciation for it.”
“Since when?” inquired Tails.
“Since his girlfriend taught him everything he knows about the game,” explained Jazz. “He doesn’t flash that grin unless he’s got an ace up his sleeve.”
“My turn, I believe,” recalled Optimus. “I’ll draw.”
“Perfect chance to activate Ring of Destruction on Mechanicalchaser!” boasted the Holo-droid.
“I discard the card I drew to chain your trap with my own, Rainbow Life!” replied Optimus. “Whatever damage you were going to inflict on me becomes a life point gain!”
“Confirmed!” cheered Teletraan. Optimus’ life points went up to 2800 while the Holo-droid went down to 750.
“NO!” shouted the Holo-Droid.
“What did I tell you?!” cheered Jazz.
“Don’t celebrate just yet,” urged Optimus. “It’s the Holo-Droid’s turn.” The Holo-droid drew.
“I set this and end,” it announced.
“All right,” smirked Optimus. He drew. “I use Twin Twisters to discard 1 card and target that spell/trap you set. Dark Horus, end this! Attack the Holo-Droid’s life points directly!” Horus roared and sent the Holo-Droid sprawling as its life points went to 0.
“VICTORY! OPTIMUS PRIME!” announced Teletraan. Cheers rang throughout the base.