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TEASER

(Night at a multi-story apartment building on a narrow, paved alleyway somewhere in the city. Every light is on, and residents on the upper stories whisper to each other, both curious and frightened. Several other bystanders crowd around the first-story doorway.) - What's going on? Thug 1: What're you all staring at? Get lost!! (This last has come from inside the first-story door. The bystanders crowding around it nervously draw back a step, still craning their necks. Then they duck out of the doorway as a flat-screen monitor is thrown unceremoniously out the front door onto the hard pavement. The thug who threw it wears a white blazer over a bright pink shirt; his head, hair included, is shaped like a wooden peg. I'll call him Thug 1.) Thug 1: Guess it's true-- T.V. *is* bad for ya health! (He shares a laugh with a second thug who's in the process of rummaging through the desk behind him. Chubby guy, wears a light blue shirt and tiny, tiny sunglasses. He's Thug 2. In the center of the room, a plump, well-fed man in a mustard-yellow suit coat over a gray shirt and pink tie is in control. He looks down his small, bubous nose with a zigzag mustache and wide, thick lips at some duel cards fanned in his chubby hand, each finger of which bears a different gaudy ring. He then smiles as a desperate-looking man whose house this must be approaches him pleadingly.) - Please, Don Piero! I promise to pay back the money, I just need more time! (In another corner, a woman and a young boy, probably mother and son, huddle together, staying far away from a third thug who has been rummaging in a dresser drawer and pulls out a deck of duel cards. He has long, reddish-blond hair, roughly cut above the shoulders, and a pink button-up shirt over a black undershirt. He's Thug 3 in this transcript.) Thug 3: Hey, look what I found *here*! Some *duel cards*! (The mother gasps, and her young son, maybe seven or so, springs to get his cards back.) - Hey, those're *mine*! (He runs up to the thug and reaches for the cards; Thug 3 holds them out of reach.) Thug 3: *Were* yours! (Thug 3 hands the deck to Don Piero.) Thug 3: Here, boss. (Piero glances through the deck.) Piero: Hmm. These aren't any good. Of course then *again*... (The boy and his mother watch in fear; she's holding him back from taking on the thugs again.) Piero: When you owe Piero, *I* own *you*! And *everything in your possession.* (He stuffs the deck into a pocket. Tears are streaming down the little boy's cheeks; he gasps out loud, then clenches his teeth, knowing better than to object.)

(Opening)

ACT 1 <1:34>

(Sunlight filters through the windows of Yusei, Jack, and Crow's makeshift garage in Zora's basement. Yusei is once again working away on the test runner. He sits back to wipe away sweat, gripping a small wrench, then looks up at the World Racing Grand Prix poster on the wall. He hears the door open, and a voice call--) Marco: Yusei? Yusei: Huh? (A kid, maybe nine or ten, enters the room and closes the door.) Marco: Hey there, have you got anything for me to recycle today? Yusei: Marco! It's good to see you again, pal. How've things been with you? (Marco's smile looks a bit forced.) Marco: Oh, well, you know. Busy as ever. But I'm not complaining, that's the way I like it. In fact, I've got nine more stops today. Yusei: Then I won't keep ya. <2:00> I'll get you what we have. (Yusei walks elsewhere in the room to get the recycling. Marco notices the test runner, which is looking more like a runner every time we see it, though it's still without wheels, and smiles, excited and curious.)

(Yusei sees Marco off from the doorway; Marco pulls a big, flat-bottomed cart for collecting people's recycling.) Marco: Thanks, Yusei, see ya! Yusei: Take care, Marco! (Yusei smiles, and goes back inside. As he walks in and shuts the door, Crow descends the stairs on the other side of the room, sighing wearily.) Yusei: Heya, Crow. Crow: Huh? Oh. What's up. (getting upset) Hey-- that wasn't a *bill collector* at the door, was it? I swear, those guys just don't ever let up! (He sighs and looks at the WRGP poster.) Crow: Who knew it would be so hard to make a living *and* train for the Grand Prix? Yusei: Come on, we're makin' ends meet. Crow: Yeah; I guess so, dude. I'm just glad *Jack's* finally out pullin' his weight. Yusei: I think you mean *throwing* his weight. Crow: Uhh, *throwing* his weight?

Jack: Faster, faster, it's gonna get *cold*! (Jacks sitting at an outdoor cafe table, arms folded with annoyance; a young, redheaded waitress places his porcelain coffee cup on the table.) Stephanie: Sorry for the wait, Mister Atlas! Jack: Ah, the sweet aroma of Blue-Eyes Roast. Nothing better! (He's about to sip, then notices the waitress is still standing right next to the table. When he notices her she bows her head, probably to hide her blushing.) Stephanie: Excuse me, Mister Atlas! (And she all but runs for cover. Jack watches her antics with demure confusion. She ducks behind the corner and sighs.) Stephanie: Ahh.. no one could love 'im like I do! <3:00> Carly (singsong): Jackie! (The waitress gasps and looks back around the corner, instantly jealous. Carly hurries up to Jack's table, sets down her bag, and takes a seat.) Carly: Hey, Jack. What's up? (The waitress is still watching jealously from behind the corner.) Stephanie: Oh! Oh right, except for maybe *her*! Jack: Yes, Carly. Is there something I can help you with? Carly: As a matter of fact there *is*; the Duel Statue! Jack: *Duel Statue*? (Carly opens her shoulder bag.) Carly: Don't tell me you haven't *heard* about it. I'm doing an *exclusive* story on it for the newspaper. (Jack sips his coffee and listens, looking slightly bored.) Carly: See, ya make a wish, give an offering, then your dreams come true! (Carly eagerly presents a few photographs, getting right up next to him.) Carly: Look! See-e-e-e? (The waitress is grinding her teeth. The top photograph shows a small stone or concrete shrine sitting in the middle of a tiny park. At its center is a winged angel. It looks like a bouquet of picked flowers is set before it.) Carly: So? Whaddaya think? Jack: Hmph. Pure bunk. Crow: Jack...?! (Jack and Carly look up; Crow is standing over them and the cafe table, and he does not look happy.) Jack: Oh, hey there, Crow. You care to join us for some coffee? (Crow sits down in a chair opposite Jack.) Crow: *You* care about making *rent*? Carly (trying to be charming): Uh, hiya, Crow! Crow (flatly): Hi. (Carly groans angrily under her breath, put out by Crow's rudeness. Jack calmly sips his coffee.) Jack: You *really* need to relax, Crow. Can't I enjoy a simple cup of Blue-Eyes coffee? Crow: Blue-Eyes coffee...? But... (Crow spots the check sitting on the table, which reads--) Crow: Huh? That- that's *thirty bucks*!! Jack: Yes, but it makes you feel like a million. (sets down his cup) By the way, I'm a little light today, d'you mind picking up the tab for this one, buddy? (Crow slams both fists down on the table, splashing the coffee. <4:00> The waitress, still watching from behind the corner, gasps.) Crow: Rrrgh!! Stephanie: Aah! Carly: What gives?! Jack: You forget your wallet? Crow: *No I didn't forget my wallet*-- I forgot what a dimwitted, thickheaded imbecile you are!! (Jack frowns, then replies condescendingly,) Jack: You're all worked up. Let me order you a coffee and we can-- Crow: No! Don't you see, that's the whole point, Jack! *We can't afford coffee*! We can barely afford the very basics like *food and rent*! Bottom line is, you need to start earning your keep, like me and Yusei! Jack: Look, I would love to, Crow. But jobs aren't my *thing*, I mean they're just so much *work*, you know? Crow: *Yeah*, I know, that's why they're called *work*! Carly: Oh-- how 'bout a job as *your* boss? Crow: How about *no*! (Carly shrinks back, rebuffed, then sighs. Jack takes another sip of coffee. We return to the waitress hiding behind the door.) Stephanie: *I'd* hire Jack *any* day...! (Just then, Marco shows up at the door to the cafe.) Marco: Good morning! Here for today's recyclables! Stephanie: Oh, hey, Marco, it's good to see ya. (Another waiter or a manager from the cafe walks out to meet him with a stack of neatly folded and bound cardboard. He hands it to Marco with praise.) - Always right on time! Marco: Hey, that's part a' the job, right? - Here's this week's pay. Marco: Thanks. (Jack, Crow, and Carly are watching the exchange from their table.) Crow (to Jack): Boy, you could *really learn* a thing or two from Marco. That kid works odd jobs day and night to help take care of his family. The only thing *you* work on lately is your *hair*! <5:00> Jack: Hmph. Well, it *is* a full-time job. Speaking of, do you have any more gel? Crow: I know ya still think you're some kinda bigshot. The *master of faster*, the *sultan of speed*, all that guff. Well, *think again*! When's the last time you did *anything* of use!! (Carly gasps dramatically, looks at Jack-- who's barely showing any emotion at all-- and exclaims--) Carly: Crow, take it back, you've *hurt his feelings*!! Crow: *Sure*, I'll take it back, when he proves me *wrong*! (he folds his arms) The gauntlet has been thrown, Jack, ya think you're up to the *challenge*? (Jack stands.) Jack: *Challenge*?! You call this a *challenge*, mate? I'll land so many jobs your head'll spin! (Jack strides away.) Carly: Wait-- Jack--!! ... Oh, boy...

(The dish is a complete and utter disaster. I see hot dogs, onion rings, a strawberry, a lemon, a cherry tomato, and several fried shrimp all poking out of the same dish. Jack, in a yellow apron, stands at the utterly trashed cooking counter while four others in yellow aprons stand gawping.) Jack: Look, is Jack Atlas not the finest sushi chef in the land? (One of them groans, looking sick.)

(Jack finds himself booted out the door and walks away, undaunted. Someone calls out the door after him--) - We're a *pizza joint*, ya nut!

(In a bookstore, a man appears at the door with a shipment of books bound together in neat stacks.) - Delivery! (Jack walks up to him wearing a green apron, scornfully waving his cloth duster.) Jack: I don't think so. I ordered the kung pao chicken with a side of soup! (Another man in a green apron hurries over and frantically gets between Jack and the delivery guy.) - You nincompoop! That's our store delivery, not your lunch!

- Beat it! (Jack gets kicked out again, and walks away, still unaffected.) Jack: Whatever.

(There's an iron-shaped, charred hole through the sleeve of a shirt, and the man receiving it is not happy about it. Jack's next attempt is dry cleaning.) - Ugggh! What's with this hole in my shirt?! <6:00> Jack: What? You said 'get rid of the stain', and that's *exactly* what I did.

Jack: What do you *mean* I'm fired?! (And Jack comes flying out of another door and walks away.) Jack: People're so *strange*... (As Jack passes, Carly peers out from behind a corner.) Carly: Oh... My poor Jack. If he can't prove his worth, the guys may not think he's worth keeping around!

ACT 2 <6:16>

(That night, Crow's sitting at the desk working. Yusei walks over.) Yusei: Hey, Crow. Have you seen *Jack* anywhere? Crow: Sure haven't! Must be out workin' the *late shift*. Yusei: Hmm...

(The full moon reflects onto the water, then is shattered by a huge splash as a rock the size of a fist crashes through it. Jack's standing on the bridge above, bitter and frustrated after a day of job-hunting. He's holding another, even bigger rock in his hand.) Jack: Fine, so maybe work isn't *exactly* my thing. But that doesn't mean Crow's right and I'm *useless*! (He throws the other rock into the water. A fragile wisp of smoke wafts up from below the bridge; he sniffs appreciatively.) Jack: My, something sure smells good...!

(Under the bridge right below him, Carly is fanning the smoke upward from a little portable cooking stove on which a couple small, thin fish are cooking.) Carly: That's right, Jack-- I've got what you need! Can't find work on an empty stomach!

(Jack never notices her, though, because just then he notices Marco, the recycling delivery kid, walking past the bridge all alone. Jack follows him.)

(Carly, hearing footsteps, squeals.) <7:00> Carly: Yess!! He's coming down! I'll help Jack find a job and then he'll love me!! (She stands up, holding the fish on a plate, then notices that Jack is walking off in a different direction.)

(Jack walks down a dark street, and Carly tails him, ducking behind a corner in case he turns around.) Carly (whispers): Where could he be *headed*? (She sees Jack turn a corner through a pair of stone gateposts and into a small, forested lot amid tall apartment buildings.) Carly: Uh... (She spots a familiar sight through the fence around the forested lot--) Carly: The Duel Statue! But why? Is he planning to make a wish? Wait just a minute!! *I* know what he's up to-- he's planning to steal the offerings to make some dough!!! No, Jack, don't--!! (She frantically runs through the gate and runs right into him. He claps a hand over her mouth and pulls her out of sight into the trees before they're seen.) Jack (whispers): Quick-- this way! (to her) Can you be *quiet*?! (Carly nods. Jack lets her go. Carly looks up at him, her wide grey eyes visible through her glasses.) Carly (think): That's weird, he doesn't seem surprised to see me. In fact, he seems kind of distracted and nervous! Wait a sec-- he wasn't planning to rob the statue, he was planning to *propose*! (Carly is seeing dreamy pink bubbles. She puckers up and makes kissing noises. Jack is entirely not paying attention.) Carly (entirely ignored): ...Yoo-hoo, my sweet love... I'm right here, and *ready*... uh... (Then she realizes what Jack's looking at. Marco is standing before the Duel Statue.) Carly: Hey... it's that *kid*... The one from the coffee shop, yeah? Jack: Yeah. <8:00> He shouldn't be out alone *this* late.

(Marco takes his dueling deck from his pocket and looks at his top card, Smile Kid. He sighs, grips his deck with both hands, and sets it down on the small pedestal before the statue of the angel depicted on the card "Graceful Charity".)

Jack: What's he doing?

(Marco clasps his hands and says fervently,) Marco: Please, Duel Statue. I don't have any money; but still, I beg you. Take my deck, and let us be free of Piero.

Carly: *Piero*...?! Jack: What's a Piero? Carly (intensely): Not what, *who*. He's an underworld crime boss who preys on the weak. He'll loan someone a little money and make them sign a contract, but the fine print on it says that until he's paid back in full... he can take *everything they own*! (Another little kid who looks a lot like Marco, but with darker hair, runs through the gate.) Mikey: Big bro!

Marco: Huh? Mikey! Mikey (points accusingly): What're you doing here, *Marco*?! Marco: Nothin', little bro. Come on, let's just go home. Mikey: *Don't lie to me*! I see that deck sitting behind you! Marco: Uh... Mikey: And I recognize it; it's *yours*! And I'm not gonna let you toss it away-- not when you wanna be a duelist!

Jack: Huh?

Marco: I hear ya, Mikey; but there are some things that are more important than what *I* want. Than my dumb *dreams*. And getting out from under Piero's thumb is one of those things! <9:00>

(Jack is listening intently, with growing surprise.) Marco: We can't keep living this way.

Marco: He's taken *everything our family has*! All our money, all our stuff, and still he wants more!

Jack: Huh...?

(Marco looks back at the deck on the altar.) Marco: Which is why I'm gonna wish on this deck and prove Piero wrong!

(Flashback.) FB Piero: These cards are *useless*! Hah! (Piero flings them up in the air, and they scatter all over the floor. Among them are the trap Dust Tornado, the spells Scapegoat and Double Summon, and the monster card Spirit of the Breeze. End Flashback.)

(Marco is staring into space.) Mikey: Big bro? (Marco snaps out of it, and offers a hand for Mikey to hold.) Marco: Come on, Mikey. Let's get home so mom doesn't worry about us. Mikey: Hmm!

(Marco and Mikey walk home through the narrow alley under the bright full moon. Jack and Carly watch them go.) Carly: That Piero guy sure is a *worm*! I only wish there was something we could do to help those two! Jack: Well, maybe there is, Carly. Carly: Wait-- Jack-- you're not suggesting...? W-wait, *what're* you suggesting? Jack (serious and intense): A *duel*. (Jack picks up the deck Marco placed on the altar.) Carly: Wait, Jack, you can't take those, they're Marco's *offering*! Uh... for his wish...! Jack (think): And I plan on using these to *grant* that wish!

ACT 3 <10:00>

(In a building somewhere in this same part of town...) Thug 3: Don'tcha just love how that kid Marco grovels? Thug 2: Yeah-- 'please, Don Piero, don't take all our money, then I can't buy my sick mom her medicine'! (The two thugs and Piero himself, seated over at the desk, all guffaw. Thugs 2 and 3 are lounging on couches; Thug 1 stops crunching numbers with a calculator, computer, and several forms at a nearby table to join in laughing. Just then, a familiar boot kicks in the front door. Everyone stops laughing. Piero looks mildly annoyed. Jack steps through the doorway. Thug 1 stands.) Thug 1: You got a lotta nerve! (Jack coolly surveys the room, until his eyes fall on the only person in the room still seated.) Jack: I'm guessing that *you're* Don Piero. (Piero answers with cheerful affability. He doesn't need to be overtly threatening himself in order to get his way; his style is all innocent smiles and flattery, with the other three providing the knuckle-cracking to occasionally back up his friendly 'requests'.) Piero: Why, yes I am! And unless *I'm* mistaken, you're Jack Atlas. The master of faster! Thug 3: The master of wha...? (to Thug 2) Of *plaster*? (Thug 2 shrugs; he doesn't get it either. Jack seethes quietly.) Piero: You'll have to excuse them, Jack. These kids today-- they simply don't know the *old-timer duelists* like they really ought to! Jack: I'm not here for *them*. I'm here for *you*, Piero. (to Thug 1) *And* those contracts! (Thug 1 is holding a sheaf of papers; clearly they're copies of all of the restrictive contracts Don Piero has with those indebted to him.) Thug 1: Uh... Piero: The *contracts*? Jack: *I want them.* And I'm prepared to *duel* for them. So are you *man* enough? (points at Thug 1) Or are you gonna hide behind your *goons*! <11:00> Thug 1 (to Piero): I say *hide*! Piero: Don Piero is afraid of no duelist on *all* of planet Earth. But those contracts are worth *quite a bit* to me. If I'm going to put all of them on the line, then I think it's only fair that *you*-- put up something that's of equal worth! (Jack gasps.) Piero: Let's see, something like, oh I don't know, maybe one of your duel cards? Maybe one of your most *prized* duel cards? Maybe your Red Dragon Archfiend?? Jack: My Red Dragon Archfiend?! Piero: And let's add your *duel runner* as well, just for good measure. *If* you're not man enough, I understand completely. (Jack only hesitates slightly.) Jack: You're on.

(Yusei and Crow wander down the sidewalk.) Crow: ... Seriously, Yusei, why're we out here? Jack is *fine*, trust me! (Yusei, looking around, is the first to spot what's going on across the street.) Yusei: ...Huh? (Then Crow looks the same direction; they've found Jack, standing on one side of a small parking lot looking tense. A duel is brewing.) Yusei (deadpan): Are you *sure*? Crow: Uhh... no. What's goin' on? (They look to the other side of the lot, where Don Piero himself is squaring off against Jack. His three flunkies stand behind and to one side of him.) Yusei: A duel. (They walk over to Jack.) Crow: Jack--! Jack: Hullo, boys. Yusei: We've been looking for you; what's happening? Marco: --Where're you *taking* me? W-what do *I* care about some *duel*? (They turn; Carly is leading Marco to the sidelines.) Jack: He's here. <12:00> Crow: *Marco*? Marco: Huh? ...What's this? The guys? But why? (looks over at the other side of the field) *Piero*!! Piero: Heheheheheh. Remember, I *win*, and I get your legendary Red Dragon Archfiend card and your duel runner to boot. (Yusei, Crow, and Marco gasp in shock-- what?!) Jack: Don't you worry, I remember! Yusei: What did we walk *into*?! Crow: Some high stakes, that's what! Carly: Jack's dueling Don Piero for the freedom of all those in his debt. Marco: Huh?! No, Jack, you *can't*! That card and your runner, I *know* how much they mean to you! Jack: They mean *nothing*, Marco. Not when you put it up against a person's wish! Marco: Huh...? A wish...?

(Flashback.) FB Marco: Which is why I'm wishing on *this deck*. (End Flashback)

(The full moon is still bright above, casting plenty of light for a late-night duel.) Jack and Piero: Let's duel! Carly: Take this jerk down, Jack!

Piero: I'll start off. (draw) Ah! (His opening draw is Upstart Goblin.) Piero: And *first*, I activate the spell card "Upstart Goblin". Now I get to draw an extra card from my deck, and *you* get an extra one thousand lifepoints! (Jack looks up, slightly confused, as shining golden cash rains down on him from above. <13:00> His lifepoints are now 5000.)

Carly: Huh?! Why's he giving Jack extra points?!

Piero: Because I happen to be a *very* nice guy. Why, in fact he can have all the lifepoints that he cares to borrow!

Carly: Oh, ahh... Marco: Jack can't trust him! (yells to Jack) It's a trap, he's got something up his sleeve, I know it!!

Jack: Just relax; I'm no fool. Piero: Really? 'Cause I just *played* you for one! I special-summon Nefarious Trader. [Nefarious Trader 0//L1/] Piero: Since you have more attack points (sic) than me, I'm allowed to bring him out. *Next* I'll bring out Toichi the Nefarious Debt Collector in defense mode! [Toichi the Nefarious Debt Collector /1300/L3/] Piero: And then I'll place one facedown to end my turn. Now then, how about repaying those lifepoints I loaned you, *friend*? Jack: We're not *friends*, you bloodsucker. *My* turn! (draw)

Marco (think): Um...

Jack: First, since you *already* have two monsters out, I can summon *this* chap without having to release a *thing*! Come on out, Power Invader! [Power Invader 2200/0/L5/dark] <14:00> Piero: So you're really not going to repay those lifepoints, *eh*? Fine, but you asked for it-- I activate the trap "Endless Loan". This makes it so that when you summon a monster, I can summon a Loan Token on your field in defense mode. (Jack's new token is a little, kinda cute little lizard creature with horns, who is then loaded down with a huge 1000 pound weight that it can barely hold up.) [Loan Token /0/L1/] Jack: *What* is a *Loan Token*?!

Carly: Sure is ugly!!

Piero: Since you refused to pay me back the lifepoints I lent you, I've decided to *take* them back. Actually my Debt Collector Toichi will be the one doing the *taking*. And for every Loan Token he takes off your field, Toichi deals *you* one thousand points of damage!

Carly: One thousand?! And that's *per Loan Token*?!

Piero: Oh, and there's no use in *attacking* Toichi. Jack: Huh? Piero: After all, so long as there's a Loan Token out on the field, my Debt Collector can't be destroyed in battle. Of course you can destroy a Loan Token yourself, but it'll cost you a card from your hand.

Yusei: The way Piero makes it sound, the only way Jack will stand a chance to win this duel is by getting rid of his cards. Marco: Quick, Jack! You gotta do what Piero says or you're going to end up taking some major damage! <15:00>

Jack: You may be right, but I don't do business with bullies like him! Now; Power Invader, attack that Nefarious Trader! (Power Invader delivers a crushing punch to Piero's batwinged businessman and his giant cell phone; Piero gets slammed down to 1800 lifepoints. All three thugs chorus--)

Thugs: Piero!

Marco: Yeah!! Carly: Way to go, Jack, take it *right to 'im*!!

Piero: What you *should've* taken was Marco's advice. But since you decided not to, you're *deeper* in debt, because when Nefarious Trader is destroyed in battle, Another Loan Token is summoned onto your field!

Carly: Gah! Now he's got *two tokens*!! Yusei: And if Jack summons any monsters, he'll only get *more* of them! Crow: So then what's he supposed to do?!

Piero: *Simple*-- he should do some business with me and *pay a card*!

Marco: Jack, just *pay*! Otherwise, next round, you'll--

Jack: I *refuse*!! I play two facedowns, and end my turn! (Piero tugs his unnaturally crimped mustache.) Piero: Fine; refuse to pay a card. Instead I'm just going to make you pay the price, and a very *hefty* price it's going to be! <16:00> (draw) I equip the spell "Illegal Business Practices", onto Toichi the Nefarious Debt Collector. This doubles *all* effect damages!

Carly: Wait...! Then, with *two* tokens out, the damage Jack's gonna take will be... *a lot*!!!

Piero: Time to collect our debt, Toichi! (Toichi arms himself with a nasty, official-looking piece of paper that reads 1000. Jack doesn't blink...)

ACT 4 <16:22>

Piero: It's time you gave Don Piero *some respect*!! And by *respect*, I mean four thousand of your lifepoints! (Another 1000 weight falls on each of Jack's Loan Tokens. Those poor, poor lizard-things. Jack stumbles, suddenly hit with the damage, and when his lifepoints have dropped to 1000, he's still shaking.)

(Marco runs a few steps forward.) Marco: Jack! Oh no...! (Behind him, Yusei and Crow also move in closer to the duel, looking concerned.)

(Jack glares fiercely at Piero.) Piero: Just face it, Jack; if you want to save the last of your lifepoints, you'll do as I say!

Marco: He's right, Jack; just give up some of your cards!

Jack: No way! I am *not* gonna play by *his rules*!! It's my move! (draw; his card is Smile Kid.) And first, by sending one card in my hand to the graveyard, I'm going to summon *this* monster. Come out-- Smile Kid!! (Smile Kid is a small child with butterfly wings.) [Smile Kid 0/0/L1/light] <17:00> Computer: When the monster card Smile Kid is destroyed by a card effect, you can summon one Smile Angel from your deck onto the field.

Marco: But Smile Kid...?! That's *my* card!

Piero: Ah, that was an excellent move, Jack, excellent for *me* that is. Because now "Endless Loan" activates! Which means another Loan Token will appear on your field. (And a third little lizard-guy appears on Jack's field and then gets all but squished with a gigantic weight.)

Carly: Ohh! That makes *three* now!! Marco: Come on, Jack! You can't owe any more! Just give up some cards from your hand!

Jack: Oh, I *will*, but not for Piero! I activate the trap "Compulsory Recoil Device"! Now by sending one card in my hand to the graveyard, I can return one monster on my field to my hand. Next I'll send another card in my hand to the grave and *re-summon*, Smile Kid! [Smile Kid 0/0/L1/light]

Carly: Whaat? All that to summon out the *same monster*? Here comes another token...! Oh. Maybe not. Oh right! Since Jack's field is full, no more monsters can fit on it!

Piero: All right, you *fool*, I hope that you're quite happy with yourself? <18:00> You got rid of your cards on your own terms. But what did you *prove*? Toichi is still going to take out the rest of your lifepoints next round! It's *done*-- you've lost! And you know what *that* means... your Red Dragon Archfiend and your duel runner now both belong to me, the great Don Piero! Aaahahahahahahaha!

Yusei: Uh... Marco: Jack...!

(Then Jack reveals a small smile.) Jack: ...Not just yet. (Piero instantly stops smiling.)

Crow (to Yusei): *Go time!* (Yusei nods.)

Jack: I play "Zero Hole"! Go! (Jack's other facedown card activates.) Piero: "Zero Hole"?!

Yusei: With "Zero Hole" if Jack has no cards in his hand then *all* cards on the field are destroyed!

Piero: Say *what*?!*All* of the cards?!

Carly: Oh, so then *that's* why Jack was discarding from his hand. Crow: Uh-huh!

(A big huge black hole opens up in the center of the field, growing wider and wider. Don Piero nervously dances backward as it grows. His entire field shatters and vanishes, as do all three of Jack's Loan Tokens, Power Invader, Smile Kid, and activated facedowns.)

Yusei: And knowing Jack like *I* do, he's *not done yet*!

Jack: Next I activate Smile Kid's ability! <19:00> And now that I have Smile Angel on the field, I can turn Marco's frown upside-down! [Smile Angel 1800//L4/] (Smile Angel is a young female angel with big, white feathery wings, as well as wing-shaped fluffs of her hot pink hair and little wings on the back of each of her slippers.) Piero: Ah! Eighteen-hundred attack points?! Jack: Got *that* right!! And that's enough to take you down! (Smile Angel laughs with delight, beaming a raging storm of pink hearts and bright light right at Piero.) Piero: Ugghhh! Your smile is so disarming!! Uuuggghhuwaaaaaaahhhh-- uugghh... (He goes flying backwards; the toupee he was wearing falls off, revealing him to be almost completely bald. He lands hard on the ground, and gets a faceful of toupee. His lifepoints fall to zero.)

(Marco and Carly cheer, and then Carly spontaneously hugs him.) Carly: Oh, *yeah*!! (Across the field, Piero's three thugs hurry over to him.) Thugs: Piero! Piero: No, this isn't *happening*! The Don *never* loses a duel! (Jack walks over and stands over him.) Jack: You lost more than just that! A deal's a deal, now hand over those contracts *right now*! (Piero gets to his feet, and--) Piero: Run! (The four crooks scramble to get away. Jack throws a card. It hits the guy carrying their bag of stuff, including the contracts, in the back of the neck; he stumbles, drops it, and keeps running.)

(Jack rips the final contract in half. He, Yusei, Crow, Marco, and Carly are back at Yusei, Jack, and Crow's place, standing next to the test runner. He crumples up the pieces into a wad of trash.) Jack: Now you and *anyone else* who was in Piero's debt is *free*. Marco: Thank you so much, Jack! Jack: And don't forget *these*. (Jack offers Marco the deck he took from the altar, with Smile Kid on top.) Marco: The cards I wished on...! Gee, I dunno... Jack: I heard you when you made that wish. <20:00> I know it's your dream to become a duelist. And I also know you've been through hard times; helping your family, your mom being sick... but that's why you *must follow your dream*, so you can make them proud! Marco: ... Ya think so? Jack: I *know* so. And I'm sure one day we'll meet on the duel field! (Marco nods, and takes his deck from Jack.) Marco: Thanks. Carly: Go get 'em. (Marco nods, smiling.) Crow (aside to Yusei): Well Jack sure proved *me* wrong; talk about doing something of use! Yusei (aside to Crow): Yeah-- big-time!

(The next day, bright and sunny...) - You're *useless*! (Jack stalks out of the cafe he had coffee at the day before.) Jack: Oh yeah? Well you can't fire me, 'cause I *quit*! (The redheaded waitress runs out after him.) Stephanie: Jack, *wait*! (Jack doesn't turn around or stop walking.) Jack: You people're *crazy*; I did everything that you said! Stephanie: You think clearing dishes means tossing them to the floor...? (gusty sigh) Ugh! I think I'll just let Carly have you! (Yusei and Crow are watching from the opposite side of the plaza.)

Crow: Oh, *man*! I guess I'd better pick up a double-shift tonight... (Yusei shrugs and smiles; Crow groans and sighs.)

END <20:52>

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