Duel 1 – Setting the Stage
“I sing of children’s card games, the dire fates that we humans
must duly face, and the nerds who think they’re warrior poets,
these so-called ‘duelists’, as they try to control the world’s future.
I’ve learned all kinds of unwisdoms, unlearned many secrets,
bringing knowledge from farther back than the life of our species,
partly from Yifan, partly from my time on this brown earth.
My parents made and have raised me as two-thirds fiery venom
and one-third loathing while, of course, not knowing what they were doing.
Can the mind of a small sad meme queen, ever so human
– Yifan, I mean – have a scheme so divine it out-trumps all the old gods?
Sour old notes aside, I bring strength, joyous and outrageous.
In both One Player Campaign and PvP Duel Arena
I will send every god to a rainbow of colorful deaths.”
Maya recites these lines she invented in good fun, or so she thinks, until Sofia claps her hands from the corner of the stage. Sofia praises Maya two ways at once, one sarcastic and the other genuine, and Maya reads both messages through Sofia’s body language. The older woman invites the younger to join her on center stage and the younger woman obliges.
There Maya and Sofia stand, alone together, in the abandoned Fabian Theatre in Peterson, New Jersey with ghosts and the unborn for an audience. “The Fabian,” Maya Mis-Exposition explains to the audience. “Was a vaudeville theatre that later also did film screening in the early days of cinema.” Hence, she points to the old big screen behind her. “What did you think of my lines, Sofia?”
“It was kind of pretentious and douchey.” Sofia admits. “But I like all the little parodies you threw in it like it was a kind of parody fruit salad… all while making a mockery of dactylic hexameter, one of the most ancient and venerable poetic forms… That’s horrible! That’s like ruining a classic meal like Margherita Pizza by putting pineapple – no, worse, M&Ms or golden crust on it! – Wait, how does golden crust debase pizza? Doesn’t it make it rarer by making it ridiculously expensive? Ah! I’m losing track of my food metaphors! Why do you do this to me, Maya?”
“Food similes.” Maya corrects her student as she opens a laptop and connects it to a small projector. “First lesson: the sublime and silly are two sides of the same coin. This is the bread and butter of Yugioh. Anyway, we shall do nothing less than commence a revival festival for The Fabian Theatre, an audience for two. The first film of the programme? Riding The Golden Elevator, never before seen footage of the Pentagon getting on top of KaibaCorp at one of those backdoor corporate meatings we hear so much about.”
“Which would not be possible without me.” Sofia reminds her tutor, pointing at herself. “Jolene and I hacked the building’s cameras. Thanks to us, you’ll know everything KaibaCorp, the Pentagon, and other multibillion dollar institutions will be planning for the next several years, giving you the chance to plan your next move. You know, for your so-called endgame.”
Maya then points at you – yes, you! – the audience. “Pay attention. Two ‘seasons’ ago I had a vision, while I was buried under stones deep in an Egyptian tomb, that let me break the fourth wall. We are all simulations from a person’s programming or projections of information from the inside of a black hole often called a universe. Yet those programmers and black holes are themselves simulations from something else, and it goes on in a cycle forever and forever.
“For example, every Yugioh universe, or dimension, that has ever existed forms a multiverse created by a programme called the Numeron Code, which was itself created by a basement-dwelling brony incel nerd called Darius ‘Orochi’ O’Reilly who lives with your mother. Your universe, in turn, is a projection from inside the event horizon of a black hole, which is itself a program created by Xenu, and so on.
“There exists four Yugioh dimensions that concern us the most. The first is the ‘manga dimension’, which features Dark Side of Dimensions, and continues with the ‘GX manga’, ‘5Ds manga’, and so on. There is an ‘anime dimension’ that does not have Dark Side of Dimensions, instead going straight to ‘GX anime’, which then splits into at least four separate dimensions because some chud named Zark gets real salty after losing to a girl.
“Our realm is the ‘manganime dimension’, which does feature Dark Side of Dimensions, and carries on to the present moment. The last dimension is the ‘dark dimension’ where Bakura, Zorc, Cody Martin, and a demon-possessed teddy bear succeed in destroying the world by singing Disney songs, replacing it with a realm of darkness.”
“You made up the Orochi and teddy bear stuff, didn’t you?” Sofia demands, incredulous.
Maya laughs ruefully before saying, “I’m afraid not. I saw it all in my vision, or stress-induced hallucination. Whatever you want to call it.”
With the fun and games over, Maya takes the time to confess to Sofia something very important. “Whether or not we know exactly what Kaiba, Yifan, or anyone else are planning at the moment, I know all the major events that will most likely happen. I don’t need a Millennium Item to see the future. I just see what is necessary for us, what we must do, the trials we must face if we are to conquer any of the demons in our way.” Sofia asks what is in the future and Maya tells her everything, leaving an awkward silence.
Maya finishes setting up the projector and dusting two front row seats. She beacons Sofia to sit by her and, when Sofia does, gives her a warm kiss on the cheek. “The curtains roll back. The show begins. Everything that happens from now on is for you.”