• Published 30th Apr 2016
  • 9,137 Views, 967 Comments

My Little Pony: Friendship is Numerous - Monty Eggman



Based on the Equestria Girls movies and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, this series tells the story of Sunset Shimmer in her quest to locate a series of dangerous cards that corrupt those who find them. It's time to Duel!

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Author's Note:

This episode marks the first appearances of several familiar characters, such as Flash Sentry, Scootaloo, Photo Finish, and Hoity Toity. In the case of Hoity, at the time that this episode was written, he had yet to have an EG-World counterpart (and I still believe that he doesn't have one, but feel free to politely correct me if I'm wrong). I felt it was worth the risk, since I came up with a neat design for his human world version. In any case, it's best to treat this series as something different from the Equestria Girls movie trilogy, even though there are several similarities, on the grounds that some of the characters may end up different from the canon universes. In other words, just enjoy it for what it is. :twilightsmile:

RANK 3: Picture Imperfect:
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THE STORY SO FAR...:
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In Canterlot High School, every student is wild over the world's most popular trading card game: Duel Monsters! Every day, players of the card game, known as "Duelists", go head-to-head to see who among them is the best around. Among the Duelists in attendance at CHS, one of the best is a young teenager named Sunset Shimmer, a girl from another world...

One day, Sunset Shimmer purchased a mysterious key-shaped necklace at the local flea market. That very night, she had a bizarre dream in which she encountered a large gate, which she unlocked using her new necklace. After she did, an incredible power flowed out from behind the gate, in the form of an intense light. When Sunset woke up, she obtained a strange Duel Monsters card, known as a "Number" card.

She wasn't the only one who found one of these cards: Octavia Melody picked up her own Number card, which, for reasons unknown, caused her to suddenly begin acting violent, even going as far as to attack her best friend, Vinyl Scratch. Luckily, Sunset Shimmer stepped in to stop Octavia from causing anyone any harm. The cello player then suddenly challenged Sunset to a Duel, with the safety of everyone involved at stake. It was a tough Duel, but Sunset was able to defeat Octavia and her Number card, Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk, using one of her own: Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech. After her victory, Sunset obtained Octavia's Number card, causing the cello player to return to her normal self.

As of now, Sunset Shimmer has yet to figure out the origins of the Number cards, but is determined to solve the mystery behind them... hopefully before anybody else falls prey to their dark power...

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It was another beautiful afternoon in the busy city of Canterlot. School had been dismissed some time ago, and Sunset Shimmer and her best friends were spending some of that afternoon at the local pizzeria, known as Mach Pizza. By the time that classes were over and the after school programs had ended, the group of six were practically famished. The red and yellow girl sat at a large corner booth table with Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Fluttershy, while Pinkie Pie waited by the front counter to get the pizzas. Once the food was ready, Pinkie carried them over to the table and said, "Okay, girls! Get ready to dig in!"

"Pinkie! Watch out for that wet spot on the floor!" Rarity alerted to her friend.

"Huh?" said the pink teen, but it was too late; she stepped right onto a small puddle of water next to a "Wet Floor" sign and slipped. "WOAH!!!!" she screamed as she flipped over backwards, tossing the pizza boxes into the air. However, Pinkie managed to land on both of her hands, while her feet caught the boxes before they could hit the tile floor. The silly girl then "walked" on the palms of her hands, continuing to head towards the table where her friends were.

"...How does Pinkie do that??" asked Sunset. "I could attempt that about a thousand times and I'd never pull it off."

"I'm just wondering how she's able to keep her skirt down the whole time..." Fluttershy noted. "Or is it up because she's upside down...?

Pinkie set the pizzas down onto the table and put herself right-side up before answering Fluttershy's question. "Clumsiness is no excuse for not being modest." she told her yellow and pink friend.

"I am glad that you feel that way, darling." Rarity chimed in. "Even when it should be physically impossible."

Applejack then reached towards the pizza boxes and opened them one at a time. "Alrighty then..." she said, "let's see... Here's the pepperoni one for Rainbow and Rarity..."

"Awesome!" said the cyan-skinned teen, taking the box from Applejack.

"And here's the one for me and Pinkie:" the farm girl continued. "Half-sausage and half... uh..." She then glanced at the other half of the pizza curiously before finishing her statement, saying, "...half-candy corn, apparently..." The orange teen then asked, "Pinkie, how'd you even get that as a topping?"

The pink girl shrugged her shoulders while still having that big smile on her face. "Beats me, AJ." she told her. "I didn't write the menu. Though I DO make frequent use of the suggestion box..."

Applejack sighed and opened the third and final pizza box. "Okay... that means the last one's the mushroom n' green pepper pizza for Fluttershy n' Sunset." She then handed the box over to them so that they could have their fill of the meal.

Rarity had already started eating a slice of the pepperoni pizza, using a fork and knife to carefully and cleanly enjoy her meal. Before she could bring the fork to her mouth, she heard Rainbow Dash next to her, slobbily eating her pizza slice and getting sauce and pepperoni grease all over her hands and face. Rarity narrowed her eyes and told her friend, "Rainbow Dash, don't you have any table manners?"

"Table what?" asked the cyan girl, still greedily devouring her pizza slice.

The white and violet teen sighed and then told her, "Well, could you at least use a napkin so that I won't have to be embarrassed sitting next to you?"

"...FINE. Whatever." said the athletic teen, grabbing a napkin and wiping her hands and mouth area with it. After doing so, she then glanced over at Fluttershy and Sunset next to her and asked them, "Hey, how come I've never seen you guys order anything like pepperoni or sausage or anything like that? No offense, it just seems kinda weird."

"Rainbow, you know that I'm a vegetarian..." Fluttershy reminded her. "I can't stand the thought of eating a poor, little animal..."

"As for me, I'm a pony from where I come from." Sunset Shimmer added. "And we're all herbivores over there. It would just be kinda weird for me to eat any sort of meat product. I've tried it; didn't really care for it."

"Well, you ain't the only ones that don't get meat toppings on their pizza." Applejack said, pointing over towards Pinkie Pie with her thumb. "Every time Pinkie orders a pizza, she always gets some sorta candy put on it... Just last week, she actually got hers with marshmallows and bits of chocolate on top, and had it served on a tray made outta graham cracker."

"I called it, 'Pizza and S'more to Go With it'!" the pink teen replied enthusiastically.

Sunset Shimmer let out a slight chuckle at Pinkie's response, and soon after, everyone else gave a chuckle of their own. Then, Rarity spoke up and asked the red and yellow girl, "So, Sunset... What was it that you were telling us earlier this morning? Something about a dream that you had on the night you stayed over at Applejack's house?"

Sunset's mood changed after Rarity asked her question. She didn't seem to want to talk about the bizarre dream that she had. However, she had promised, both to her friends and herself, that she would be more open to them about anything that bothered her. The otherworldly girl sighed and said to them, "Yeah... I guess I should tell you all exactly what happened concerning that dream..."

"Look, if it bothers you to talk about it, you don't hafta say anything..." Rainbow Dash informed her.

"No, no... I think I'll feel a lot better if I just get this off my chest right now and get it over with." Sunset responded. Taking a another deep breath, she then told them all, "Anyway... the dream I had... It started with me standing on some sort of cliff, with this really narrow path extending out from it. When I looked at myself, I was wearing some sort of ancient-looking outfit, like I was some sort of priestess or something; I couldn't really tell..."

"What did this outfit look like?" asked Rarity, becoming interested in that part.

"Um... I don't really remember it that well." the red and yellow girl answered. "It wasn't the most important thing that happened, really..."

"...That's your opinion." the violet-haired girl rebutted.

"Uh, maybe y'all can tell Rare 'bout that part later...." suggested Applejack. "Y'know, when you can remember more of it." Rarity huffed a bit, wanting to know more about the outfit Sunset had on in her dream. But she decided to let it go for now.

Sunset Shimmer nodded and continued her story, saying, "Anyway, I heard this weird voice calling out to me, and when I walked along the path to see what it was, I came across the largest door that I've ever seen."

"A door...?" asked Fluttershy.

"Yeah, it had chains all over it, and a REALLY creepy-looking face etched onto the front." the otherworldly girl described.

Pinkie Pie then leaned towards Applejack's ear and whispered, "...So totally called it...!"

"So what happened next?" asked Rainbow Dash.

"Well, the voice I heard was coming from behind the door... or maybe it WAS the door; it was hard to tell." Sunset told them. "It told me to open it to... 'fulfill my destiny'..."

"What did it mean by that?" asked Applejack.

"I don't know... Nothing it said made any sense to me."

"Well, you didn't open it, did you Sunset?" asked Rarity.

"I thought that I had to in order to wake up." the red and yellow girl answered her. She then held the key that she was now wearing around her neck and added, "So, I unlocked the doors, using the necklace that I got from the flea market."

"Hold up; you used THAT to open the gate in your dream?" asked Rainbow, pointing to the necklace. "And right on the same day ya got it? Now that's really weird..."

"Well, that makes two of us, then." Sunset replied, agreeing with her cyan friend. "Anyway, after I unlocked the gate, the chains vanished, and then there was a sudden flash of light... And after that, I woke up."

"So is that it...?" asked Fluttershy.

"I thought it was..." the otherworldly girl answered. "But, there's actually a little more to the story..."

The others leaned in closer to hear what their friend had to say next.

"After my dream, I saw something glowing on the desk that was in the bedroom..." Sunset explained as she took out her red deck box and opened it. "And that's when I found this..." She then pulled out a card from inside the box: Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech.

The others stared at the card that their friend was holding. "So that's the card that you were talking about..." said Rarity. She then asked, "What did you call this thing? A 'Number'?"

"It's awesome..." said Rainbow, reaching up to touch it. Then, all of a sudden, Sunset's hand jerked away, preventing the athletic teen from being able to come into contact with the card. "Hey! What gives, Sunset?!" she asked, annoyed.

"...Sorry, Rainbow. But I think it'd be best that you didn't touch this card." the red and yellow girl informed her. "I don't want anything bad happening to you."

"What do you mean by that?" asked Fluttershy.

"Well... don't you remember what happened a couple days ago?" asked Sunset. "I mean, you all saw what happened to Octavia, right?"

There was a sudden silence in the air when the others heard her say that. "Oh... yeah." Applejack spoke up. "Ah almost forgot about how she acted..."

"Yeah, she went comPLETELY crazy!" added Pinkie Pie. "And not the good kinda crazy like me, the bad kind: The get-picked-up-by-men-wearing-white-and-put-into-a-strait-jacket kinda crazy!" As she said the last sentence, Pinkie wrapped her arms around the front of her body to simulate wearing a strait jacket.

"But what does that have to do with your Number card, Sunset?" asked Rarity.

"Nothing." answered the red and yellow girl. "It was HER Number card that had me concerned. Don't forget; she had one, too. And I'm suspecting that it had something to do with her sudden personality change."

"And how, exactly, does a trading card cause someone to go totally nuts and attack their best friend?" asked Rainbow Dash, a bit skeptical.

"I'm not sure..." Sunset replied, "but what I do know is that, when I picked up my Number card, I suddenly got this massive headache, and I heard some weird voice in my head... It was as if someone - or something - was trying to take over my mind..."

"Take over your mind?" Fluttershy repeated. "Oh my..."

"But y'all seem just fine t' me, Sunset." Applejack noted. "You didn't start goin' crazy and attackin' people fer no reason..."

"Yeah, I know." Sunset told her. "For some reason, whatever force was trying to take control of me wasn't able to succeed in doing so..."

"But how? And why?" asked Rarity.

"I have no idea..." the red and yellow teen answered her. "All I know is that I should probably try and figure it all out before things really get out of hoo-, I mean, hand."

"Well, you can count on us to help out!" Rainbow Dash announced.

"Same here." added Applejack.

"Me too! Me too!!!" Pinkie Pie shouted excitedly.

"Um... I'll help if it's okay with you." Fluttershy meekly chimed in.

"I'll do whatever I can to aid you as well." Rarity calmly told her friend with a confirming nod.

Sunset Shimmer smiled and said to her friends, "Thanks, girls... I really appreciate it. I could use all the help I can get... Just be careful, okay? I don't know much about these Number cards yet, and I wouldn't feel good if anything happened to you all because of them."

"We promise." Applejack informed her. "Besides, we've already had more than our fair share of danger up t' now, so somethin' like this ain't new t' us." She then told everybody, "Anyhoo, we'll talk about stuff like that another time... Let's get back to our food before it gets cold." The others nodded in agreement and went back to eating their pizzas.

Meanwhile, back at Canterlot High School, there was still some activity going on inside. Though most of the students and staff had already left for the day, a few were still within the walls of the building, wrapping up whatever they were doing and preparing the rooms for the next day of classes. In one of the classrooms, the one used for the Photography Class, a man with dark-grey skin and white and silver hair had just finished filing away some important papers.

The man's name was Hoity Toity: He was the Photography Class teacher... and quite a snappy dresser, to boot. He wore a pair of fancy shades with purple lenses, along with a fancy black jacket with white cuffs on the sleeves, a white collar, and a fan-shaped insignia on the right side of the chest area. He wore a red frilled shirt underneath, a pair of navy-blue dress pants, and a pair of leather shoes that looked quite expensive.

Once he was done with his work, he then walked over to the door leading to the Dark Room and knocked on it a few times. "Ms. Photo Finish?" he said in a deep, slightly upper crust-sounding voice.

"Yes? What is it, Mr. Toity?" said a voice from the other side, which sounded akin to a German accent.

"My apologies if I have interrupted anything that you were doing," he told the person on the other side of the door, "but I simply wished to inform you that I have finished with my work for the day and I am taking my leave. I trust that you will have everything locked up before you depart as well?"

"Yes, Mr. Toity. I promise that I will." the voice responded. "I should not be much longer anyway."

"Very well. Then I shall see you tomorrow." Hoity told her. "Have a pleasant night, Ms. Finish." The man then took his belongings and headed out through the door.

Some time later, the door to the Dark Room opened, and out of it stepped a young teenage girl with sky-blue skin, short silver hair, and a pair of round shades. She wore a dress that was designed with several vertical black and white stripes on the top and a solid black design for the bottom, with white and pink stripes and some small light-pink diamonds above those stripes. Separating the top and bottom halves of the dress was a pink sash. The top had a pink collar, and the girl also wore a pair of black boots tied with pink ribbons.

The girl, named Photo Finish, was a student in Canterlot High, but she was also the personal student aid to Hoity Toity. She frequently assisted the teacher with his work, both during the time she attended his class, as well as times when she was not in his class, such as right now, after school was already over for the day. She was nearly ready to leave the room, just as Mr. Toity had done earlier. However, she decided to stroll over to a wall on the other side of the classroom. It was there that Photo Finish had all of her best photographs set up; many were taken within school grounds, and a few others were of the city and its surrounding suburbs.

The sky-blue teenager admired her work for a few moments before saying to herself, "Such beauty... such elegance... The very definition of... the magics!! And soon... so very soon, my work will be all over the magazines and galleries of this city, and my name shall be a household word!!" Photo then sighed to herself and added, in a slightly saddened tone, "I just wish it wouldn't take so long to be noticed by anyone important... I feel as though my talent may never be recognized; just the thought of it... Actually, I do not even WANT to think about it...!"

As she spoke to herself, a faint glimmer was caught by the corner of her eye. Photo Finish glanced over to her right and saw a blinking light coming from a far-off table, next to a pair of computers. "What is that...?" she asked herself. Curious, the sky-blue girl walked over to the table and saw that the blinking object was a Duel Monsters card, based on the back design.

"What is this doing in here?" she asked. "Was it left behind...?" Photo Finish then smiled a little and thought, (Perhaps I'll hold onto it until somebody comes to claim it... Besides, I do like the artwork on these cards, and it probably wouldn't hurt to take a small peek at it...) But when she picked up the card, Photo was astonished to find out that the card was totally blank on the front. "What is this...?!" she asked. "Why is there no picture on the front?? That cannot be right..."

At that moment, a purple haze began to surround the card. But before Photo could acknowledge that fact, the haze began surrounding her as well. "Ack!! What's happening?!? What's going on?!?!" she screamed.

"Yes, Photo Finish..." said a voice in her head. "Let the Number take hold..."

Photo Finish struggled, but the force that was entering her mind was too great for her to overcome. The purple cloud then consumed her, phasing into her body. The girl fell onto her hands and knees as an image began to appear upon the blank card. In addition, her shades began to glow bright blue, and underneath her right eye was a blue symbol resembling the number 25.

The girl then got up and muttered to herself, "Yes... yes... It is now clear to me..." She then stood up and pulled out her camera, which was hooked onto a spot on the left side of her hip. "If I am to be noticed the world over as a photographer... then I must show everyone... the TRUE MAGICS!!!" The blue 25 then glowed brighter under her eye...

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The very next morning at Canterlot High, the students were pouring into the hallways, ready for another day's worth of classes. Sunset Shimmer, as usual, traveled to the school with her best friends, chatting with them on the way over before eventually parting ways with most of them as they went to their classes. Sunset and Rainbow Dash headed off together to their first class and continued to talk with one another.

"So how's the soccer team doing so far in practice?" Sunset asked her athletic friend.

"Eh, not so great, but DEFINITELY better than last year. At least twenty percent better..." Rainbow answered. "Last year, they were moving so slow, I could run circles around them no faster than how I'm walking right now."

"Woah... really?" asked the otherworldly girl, a bit surprised.

"...Well, maybe not THAT bad, but you get the idea." the cyan girl informed her. "I think Coach Iron Will was a little too soft on 'em last year; it's the only thing I can think of."

("Soft" isn't exactly a word I'D use to describe him...) Sunset thought. (But then, I'm not Rainbow Dash...)

As they turned a corner down the hallway, the two teens noticed a peculiar sight: Right in front of the classroom that they were heading towards, there was a large group of students standing or sitting around, seemingly waiting for something or someone. The room nearby from where they all were was the Photography Lab, where, or course, the Photography Class took place. "Huh?" Sunset began to ask. "What's going on? Why is everypo-... er, I mean, why is everybody sitting out here?"

"Dunno... Let's go ask." Rainbow Dash suggested.

The two walked over to the crowd and approached a smaller girl amongst their classmates. She seemed to be a tad younger compared to either Sunset or Rainbow Dash, based on her size. She had orange skin, short, magenta hair, and purple eyes. She wore a dark-grey hoodie with a blue shirt underneath. She had on a pair of green shorts and a pair of dark-grey boots with blue socks.

Rainbow approached the younger girl and asked her, "Hey, Scootaloo... what's going on here? Why is everybody standin' around, doin' nothing?"

The magenta-haired student looked up at her and responded, saying, "Oh! Hey, Rainbow Dash!" She then rubbed the back of her head and answered the question, telling her, "Yeah... I don't know what's going on... All I know is that the teacher's not here yet."

"Mr. Toity isn't here?" asked Sunset. "That doesn't seem right..."

"Maybe he called in sick?" the cyan-skinned girl hypothesized. "And maybe his substitute forgot when to come to class?"

"No, Mr. Toity's here, alright." Scootaloo rebutted. "I saw his car pull up when I came here with Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. Where he went after that, I don't know."

Sunset then looked over at Rainbow Dash and asked her, "So what do we do now?"

Before the athletic teen could respond, everybody in the hall could hear footsteps approaching them. They saw that it was none other than their teacher, Hoity Toity. However, he seemed to have a worried expression on his face (and given the fact that his shades covered a good amount of his face, if his worried look was noticeable, it was definitely serious).

"Mr. Toity!" Scootaloo spoke up, running over to him. "What's wrong? What took you so long?"

Hoity sighed deeply and responded, saying, "My sincerest apologies, class... It's just that... well..." He seemed to not want to talk about what was worrying him, but decided to in the end, figuring that his students deserved an explanation as to why he was late. He then asked them all, "Have any of you seen Photo Finish anywhere?"

"Uh... no, we haven't." Sunset Shimmer answered him. The rest of the class gave similar answers to their teacher.

The dark-grey man sighed again and said, "I was afraid of this... Usually, Photo Finish informs me ahead of time if she is running late or absent altogether. The fact that I have not heard anything in regards to that worries me greatly..." He then looked up at Sunset, Rainbow Dash, and Scootaloo and added, "And besides, there's so much going on throughout the remaining days of the week, and I really need her assistance now more than ever..."

"Maybe I could fill in for her." the red and yellow girl suggested.

"I appreciate the gesture, Ms. Shimmer," Mr. Toity replied, "but only Photo Finish knows my entire classroom itinerary for the week; I cannot have just anyone take her place."

"Then maybe we could help you find her." Rainbow Dash proposed. "It's still a while before classes start, and there's a pretty good chance that she might be at school, so it's at least worth a look around."

"I suppose there isn't much else that we can do..." the fancily-dressed teacher stated. He then nodded and said to them, "Alright then, let us look around and see if we can find her."

"Sounds good to me." Sunset agreed.

Rainbow Dash then glanced towards Scootaloo and asked her, "You wanna come and help us, Squirt?"

"Sure!!" the orange youngster replied enthusiastically. "Beats standin' around here!" Interestingly enough, Scootaloo didn't mind that Rainbow Dash called her, "Squirt". To anyone else, it would have sounded like an insult, but when Rainbow said it to Scootaloo, she made it sound more like a proud title instead. The little orange girl ran up towards the group of four as they all headed out of the hallway.

After they left, another student, a smaller girl with pink skin, purple and white-striped hair, and a shiny tiara huffed and said in a snooty tone, "Well this is JUST great!! What do they expect us to do until they get back?!?"

"I got a new rubber band, Diamond Tiara!" said a yellow-skinned boy with teal-colored hair in a dopey voice. He then pulled out a pink rubber band from out of his pocket and started stretching it.

"Yeah, great: A rubber band... Whoop-de-doo, Snails..." the girl said in a less-than-interested voice. The yellow boy then stretched the rubber band as long as he could. He then pointed it right at the tiara-wearing girl...

SNAP!!

"YEEEOOWWCH!!!"

Far away from the Photography Lab, Hoity Toity, along with Sunset, Rainbow, and Scootaloo, wandered the halls of the school looking around for the missing Photo Finish, as well asking anyone they met about her whereabouts. But no one knew where she was; not even Principal Celestia or Vice Principal Luna had any idea.

About five or so minutes later, the four of them were still searching. Luckily, it was still early, so there was still plenty of time to look around before classes officially started. "This is starting to become rather futile..." sighed Mr. Toity. "We have been searching the school for quite a long time, and we have not yet found Ms. Finish."

Sunset, who was currently leading the group, turned back towards the teacher and told him, "Well, let's not give up just yet, Mr. Toity. I'm sure sooner or later, we'll find her or someone who's seen her, and then we'll-"

"Sunset! In front of you!!" Rainbow suddenly shouted.

But before the red and yellow girl could react, she bumped right into somebody else, causing both her and the other person to fall backwards. The person she literally bumped into was a another student: He was a boy with pale-orange skin, blue eyes, and short, spiky blue hair. He wore a black shirt with red and white stripes on it, overtop a white shirt with a picture of a shield and a lightning bolt printed upon it. He wore a pair of blue jeans and a pair of black and white sneakers.

The rest of the group went over to the otherwordly girl to check up on her. "Hey, Sunset? You alright?" asked Scootaloo.

"I'm fine..." she answered the younger girl. "Just a bit sore." She then got up and helped the boy that she bumped into back onto his feet. "Sorry about that, Flash Sentry..." she apologized to him. "I wasn't watching where I was going."

"That's alright." the boy told her. "I wasn't paying attention either." Flash then chuckled a little and added, "Heh... it's kinda funny, though... I literally bump into so many people around here, I probably should start wearing a shirt with a warning sign on it."

"Well, it doesn't appear as if any harm was done here, so I think you should be alright for now." said Hoity Toity.

Flash turned his head towards the teacher when he heard him speak. "Oh! Mr. Toity! Perfect timing!" he said to him. "I needed to talk to you about something. I was on my way over to your classroom, but I guess you saved me the trip over there."

"You wanted to talk to me?" asked the grey-skinned man. "About what?"

"Well, I walked into the locker room to get ready for Gym Class," the boy explained, "but when I went to open the door, I heard some guys yelling and screaming inside."

"Yelling and screaming?" asked Rainbow Dash. "Over what?"

"I don't know, but there's something else:" Flash continued to tell them. "I heard this other voice in the locker room... but it wasn't a guy's voice; it was a girl's voice. And it sounded like... Photo Finish."

The group gasped when they heard him say that. "WHAT?! Photo Finish?!" asked Sunset. "What's she doing in the Boy's Locker Room??"

"I do not know, but she had better have a VERY good explanation for it once we find her." stated Hoity Toity. "Let us go and confront her immediately!" The rest of the group nodded and followed the teacher towards the Gymnasium area, now joined by the boy, Flash Sentry.

The five of them reached the Gym and approached the door to the Boys' Locker Room. But before they could open it, they all heard a rushing of footsteps coming towards the door. "Quick!! Out of the way!!" warned Sunset Shimmer. The five backed off just before a flood of male students came running out. Some were in their normal clothes, some were in their gym clothes... Some, however, were only in their underwear as they ran screaming out of the locker room.

Needless to say, Sunset and the others were befuddled with what they saw. "...Okaaaaaaay... that's a mental image that's gonna haunt me for a while." stated Rainbow Dash, referring to the male students that were only in their underpants specifically.

"Let's just be glad that we didn't come here right when they were about to take a shower..." Sunset noted. She then walked back over to the door and opened it, knowing that there was no one else inside... except for one individual. Sure enough, the others saw that it was indeed a girl inside, and just like Flash had told them, it was Photo Finish, who was holding her camera and seemed slightly annoyed that all of the students that were in the room had ran off.

"No way... it IS her...!" said Scootaloo, shocked.

Hoity Toity then walked inside and asked, in a slightly angry tone, "Ms. Finish! What is the matter with you?! This behavior is QUITE inappropriate!"

"Do not attempt to stop me, Mr. Toity!" Photo said to him, slighty frustrated. "I am simply here to capture beauty on film, and I will not allow anyone, not even you, to prevent me from preserving the MAGICS!!"

"Really?" asked Rainbow Dash. "'Cause all I see you doing is making other people REALLY uncomfortable! So don't even try and justify it!"

"Yeah! What she said!" Scootaloo chimed in.

"Do you not realize that you are risking suspension or perhaps even expulsion by doing what you are doing in here??" Mr. Toity reminded her. "I do not want to have to report you to the Principals, but I will if I have to!"

"There is always risk involved in pursuing fame and fortune!" shouted Photo Finish. "I thought you, of all people, would understand that!!" As she spoke, the 25 symbol under her right eye began to glow brighter.

That glow was immediately noticed by Sunset Shimmer, who started to feel an eerie sense of déjà vu. (That symbol...) she thought to herself, (it looks similar to the one that Octavia had on her neck when she was attacking Vinyl!) She then gasped and added to her thoughts, (Now I see what's going on...)

The group then watched Sunset Shimmer step forward to confront Photo Finish directly. "Sunset? What are you doing?" asked Flash Sentry.

The otherworldy girl then glanced over at Hoity Toity and told him, "Mr. Toity... let me deal with Photo Finish for you."

"What? What are you talking about, Ms. Shimmer??" asked the teacher.

"Don't report her to the Principals just yet..." she asked of him. "I know what's going on and I know what to do about it. Just trust me, okay?"

Hoity was a bit confused as to what Sunset was going to do, but Rainbow Dash said to him, "I think Photo'll be in good hands, Mr. Toity. You can trust that Sunset will figure out what's wrong with her." The man was still a bit skeptical, but decided to let the situation play out some more before making any rash decisions.

Sunset Shimmer then stood directly in front of the photographer-gone-crazy and said to her, "Photo Finish... I know what's going on here; I know you're not doing this out of your own free will. But I know what's REALLY making you do all of this, and I promise that I'll stop it!"

"Oh you do, do you?" asked Photo Finish. "In that case, just TRY and stop me!"

"Very well, then." The red and yellow girl then pointed straight at her and declared, "Photo Finish, I challenge you to a Duel!!" The others gasped when they heard her declare her sudden challenge.

"Hmmm... I see. So you aren't just blowing smoke, are you?" inquired Photo. "You DO know what is at work here... Otherwise, you wouldn't have even thought of challenging me to a Duel."

"Exactly." stated Sunset. "So what do you say? Do you accept the challenge?"

"If that is what you wish, then so be it!" replied the sky-blue girl. "But if I win, I stay and continue my work within this room!"

"Fine by me." the red and yellow girl said back. "But if I win, you leave immediately. No excuses." Photo Finish nodded to say that she accepted the terms. Sunset then took out her backpack and pulled out a device from it: It was her Duel Pad, which she immediately strapped onto her left arm. "Activating Duel Pad!" she shouted as the device unfolded its card tray. She then took out her Duel Gazer and placed it over her left eye. "Duel Gazer, activate!" she then chanted.

Photo Finish pulled out her black-colored Duel Pad and placed it on her arm. She then appeared to turn a dial on the left side of her shades, which caused the left lens to turn from light blue, to a bright green; Photo Finish's Duel Gazer was built into her shades, and the dial she turned activated it. Once both of their Duel Gazers were activated, a computerized voice then said, "AR Vision Link established." A digital copy of the locker room was then projected as the two Duelists drew their opening hands.

"LET'S DUEL!!" they both shouted to each other (Sunset Shimmer: LP 4,000) (Photo Finish: LP 4,000).

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As Sunset and Photo began their Duel against one another, the remainder of the group had gotten out their Duel Gazers so that they could watch what was going on (in Hoity Toity's case, he had his Duel Gazer built into his shades, just like Photo Finish). "I don't understand..." the teacher began to say. "Why, pretell, is Ms. Shimmer dueling Ms. Finish?"

"I'm not totally sure," Rainbow Dash replied, "but there's something eerily familiar about this whole thing..."

"How so?" asked Flash Sentry.

"Well, not too long ago, Sunset was dueling Octavia, just like she is right now with Photo Finish." the cyan girl explained. "At the time, Octy wasn't acting like herself at all... She was going completely crazy, and nobody knew why. But then, after Sunset beat her, she was back to her normal, kinda boring self again."

"So, is that why she's dueling Photo Finish right now?" asked Scootaloo.

"Maybe..." Rainbow figured. "I suppose we'll see soon enough..." The rest of the group then glanced back towards Sunset and Photo Finish in order to watch their Duel.

"If you don't mind," started the red and yellow girl, "I'll make the first move!" She then took out a card from her hand and said, "I Summon Chronomaly Nebra Disk in Attack Mode!" After placing it onto the card tray, a large, green disk with white spots and some sort of smiley face materialized in front of her (Chronomaly Nebra Disk: Level 4 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1500).

"You know that you cannot attack on your first turn, so why did you play that in Attack Mode?" asked Photo Finish.

"Simple:" Sunset began to explain. "By Normal Summoning Nebra Disk, I can now take any Chronomaly card I want from my Deck! And I choose the Spell Card, Chronomaly Technology." After making that move, she then stated, "Next, I'll discard Chronomaly Crystal Skull from my hand to use its effect, allowing me to take any Chronomaly monster from my Deck or my Graveyard. And I choose Chronomaly Moai."

"She must be setting up something for later..." noted Flash.

"Probably a good idea." said Rainbow Dash. "I don't think Sunset's ever dueled Photo Finish before, so she probably has never seen what kinda Deck she uses."

Taking one last card out of her hand, Sunset Shimmer then said to her opponent, "I'll set one card facedown, ending my turn."

"Then it is my turn! I draw!" said Photo Finish, drawing a card from the top of her Deck. After placing it into her hand, she then said, "I'll set one card facedown as well. And then I will Summon my Illuminating Shutterbug in Attack Mode!"

The monster that Photo Finish brought out appeared to be a humanoid robot of some sort, with cameras for hands, as well as a camera built into its chest area (Illuminating Shutterbug: Level 4 / ATK 1900 / DEF 1100).

"And don't bother trying to use your facedown card to save you, Ms. Shimmer!" Photo informed her. "When my monster attacks, it prevents you from activating your Trap Cards until the battle is over!"

(Crud... that means my monster's wide open to attack...) the otherworldly girl thought to herself.

"Now, go! Illuminating Shutterbug!!" shouted the sky-blue teen. "Attack Nebra Disk!! Photogenic Laser!!" Photo Finish's robot monster then pointed its cameras straight towards Sunset's monster, letting out a bright flash from all three of them. The light was so intense, it caused Sunset and her audience to shield their eyes. Unfortunately for Nebra Disk, it had no hands to cover its... face with, so it received the full force of the attack and was destroyed.

Once the light died down, Sunset Shimmer and the others opened their eyes, and the red and yellow girl let out a tired sigh (Sunset Shimmer: LP 4,000 - 100 = 3,900). "Is that all you've got?" she asked her opponent.

"For now, but I promise that there shall be more magics to come." the photographer said as she ended her turn.

"Then it's my turn!" stated Sunset. "I draw!!" She then looked at the card she got, and was pleased by what she saw. "Time for something new, then." she said as she examined her hand and took out a card from it. "Now, since you have a monster on your side of the field and I don't," she said to Photo Finish, "I can Special Summon this monster from my hand! I play Oracle of the Sun in Defense Mode!"

Sunset's new monster appeared to be some sort of Incan priest. He wore several robes that were colored red, white, and grey, a gold hat with two wings attached to it, and he held a staff with several white feathers on it. On the front of his robe was a large sun emblem (Oracle of the Sun: Level 5 / ATK 1000 / DEF 2000).

"And since that was a Special Summoning, I can still Normal Summon a monster this turn." the red and yellow girl then said. "So now I'll Summon Supay in Attack Mode!" The teen's second monster was a wooden mask with two horns sticking out of it, and had all sorts of markings upon it, including a pair of blue and red eyes (Supay: Level 1 / ATK 300 / DEF 100).

"But those two monsters aren't strong enough to fight that camera guy." said Scootaloo.

"No, but Sunset might be trying to use those monsters to call out something from her Extra Deck instead." said Flash.

"But her monsters don't have the same Level." the magenta-haired girl argued. "She can't use them to bring out an Xyz Monster..."

"True, but that ain't what she's gonna do." Rainbow Dash informed her. "Just watch and you'll see what I mean, Scoots."

Photo Finish huffed a little and told Sunset Shimmer, "Sorry, Ms. Shimmer, but those two monsters do not scare me in the slightest."

"They're not supposed to." the otherworldly girl informed her opponent. "They're here to call up something that WILL scare you." She then shouted, "I tune my Level 1 Supay to my Level 5 Oracle of the Sun!" After making that announcement, Supay turned itself into a small, white light that shot up into the sky, coming back down in the form of a green ring that surrounded itself around Oracle of the Sun, turning him into five smaller lights (Level 1 + Level 5 = Level 6).

"Dragon deity of the Moon, calm the chaos!" Sunset chanted. "Give rest to the weary with your soothing night breeze! Synchro Summon!" At that moment, a large column of light engulfed the ring and the five lights completely. "Show yourself! Level 6! Moon Dragon Quilla!"

Out from the column of light, a glowing blue stone with a face engraved upon it emerged and took its place on the field. Then out from the stone came four blue dragon heads with long, purple necks, snarling and ready to battle (Moon Dragon Quilla: Level 6 / ATK 2500 / DEF 2000).

"A Synchro Summoning?!" asked a surprised Photo Finish.

"What did she just do?" asked Scootaloo.

"Sunset's Deck isn't just for Xyz Summons." Flash informed her. "She also has lots of cards that support Synchro Summoning as well..."

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Synchro Monsters:

Synchro Monsters, which have white-colored frames, are a type of Monster Card that can be used in a player's Extra Deck. In order to Special Summon a Synchro Monster from the Extra Deck (called a Synchro Summon), you must have (in most cases) one Tuner Monster, and one or more non-Tuner Monsters face-up on your field; these are called Synchro Materials. In addition, the combined Levels of all of the Synchro Materials must equal the Level of the Synchro Monster you are attempting to Summon. If these conditions are met, send all of the Synchro Materials to the Graveyard, then place the Synchro Monster you wish to Summon on the field, in face-up Attack or Defense Position.

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"Alright! Now Sunset's got a super-strong monster on the field to fight with!" said Rainbow Dash. "Go ahead and let 'er have it!" she cheered to her friend.

"It'd be my pleasure!" said the red and yellow girl. She then gave out her order to her Synchro Monster, telling it, "Go, Moon Dragon Quilla! Attack her monster with your Lunar Streams!!" The dragon heard the order and charged up energy inside of each of her four mouths. Then, each of them fired a large ray at Illuminating Shutterbug, vaporizing it and turning it into nothing more than a charred smudge on the tile floor.

The rest of the attack then hit Photo Finish, depleting some of her Life Points (Photo Finish: LP 4,000 - 600 = 3,400). Then, the sky-blue girl shouted, "I activate my Trap Card! Trade-In Special!" After her card flipped face up, she then told Sunset, "Since you just destroyed a Machine-Type monster on my side of the field, I can then banish it from the Graveyard and Summon two Level 4 or lower Machine-Type monsters to the field to replace it! So now I Summon two Tripodbots from my hand to the field in Defense Mode!"

After playing her cards, she then brought forth two smaller robots that walked on three, pointy, metal legs, and had tall, neck-like posts with a camera on the top (Tripodbot [x2]: Level 3 / ATK 1450 / DEF 400).

(Two Level 3 monsters, huh...?) Sunset thought to herself. (That means she must be planning to Xyz Summon a Rank 3 monster on her next turn...) Having no other moves left, the otherworldly girl ended her turn.

"It's my turn! I draw!!" declared Photo Finish. After drawing her card, she then gave off a sinister smirk. "Perfect... now I have exactly what I need to vanquish you!"

"Vanquish?? Uh oh..." said Scootaloo, getting a bit worried.

Rainbow Dash started getting a little worried as well, mostly because something about Photo Finish's attitude at the moment was both very creepy... and very familiar. Mr. Toity was also concerned about his best student, wondering what could have come over her.

"I activate this Spell Card from my hand: Quick Star: LV 3!" the photographer announced. "Since I have two monsters on my field with equal Levels, this card will raise both of their Levels by three!" (Tripodbot [x2]: Level 3 + 3 = Level 6)

"L-Level 6??" asked Sunset Shimmer, surprised. (Now she can bring out a Rank 6 Xyz Monster!) she then pondered to herself. (This isn't good...)

"I now overlay my two Level 6 Tripodbots!" stated Photo Finish as her two monsters transformed into a pair of bright yellow lights. After that, a summoning portal appeared in front of her; it looked just like the summoning portal that Octavia had used to Summon her Number card, which Sunset immediately noticed. "With these two monsters, I can build the Overlay Network! Now prepare to bear witness to... the ULTIMATE MAGICS!!" The portal then let out a large light explosion, leaving behind a symbol that looked like the one under her right eye. "I Xyz Summon Number 25: Force Focus!!"

After her declaration, a large box-shaped object, along with two yellow lights, descended down from above. As it turned out, the box resembled a giant camera. The camera then began to open up and all sorts of other lenses and cords extended out of it, and its number symbol then appeared just below its biggest lens.

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Number 25: Force Focus:
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Machine-Type/LIGHT/Rank 6/ATK 2800/DEF 2400)

2 Level 6 monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. Once per turn, during either player's turn: You can detach 1 Xyz Material from this card to target 1 face-up Level 5 or higher Effect Monster your opponent controls; negate the effects of that opponent's face-up monster, until the end of the turn.

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Sunset growled a bit upon seeing Photo Finish's monster. "I knew it..." she said to herself.

"What kinda card is that, Rainbow Dash?" asked Scootaloo. "I've never even heard of it!"

"Me neither..." added Flash, who was just as surprised as everyone else upon seeing the Xyz Monster's appearance.

Rainbow Dash stared at the huge camera-shaped monster, and then glanced over at Photo Finish, who was starting to act even creepier than before, cackling after she made her move. The cyan girl then saw that the 25 symbol under the photographer's eye began glowing even brighter than before. (This is just like before...) she thought. (When Octavia brought out one of those Number cards, she started acting even crazier than before the Duel started... Sunset was right: Those cards really ARE causing people to go nuts!)

"Now for my next move," began Photo Finish, "I'll play a Spell Card from my hand: 7 Completed! This Equip Spell will give 700 points to my monster's attack or defense points! And of course, I'll choose to raise its attack power!" After playing her card, a bright green energy flowed into her Number card and made it more powerful than before (Number 25: Force Focus: ATK 2800 + 700 = 3500).

(This isn't good... Those Numbers are super-tough to begin with, and she only made hers even tougher!) Sunset complained in her mind. (Luckily, if she DOES attack my Moon Dragon, I can use her effect to raise my Life Points by an amount that's equal to half of her attacking monster's attack points... I just hope that will be enough to help me get through this Duel...)

But the photographer chuckled and told her foe, "If you think I am not aware of your monster's abilities, you had better think again!" She then took out a card from underneath her Number card and declared, "I activate the effect of Force Focus! By using one of its Overlay Units, I can negate the effects of any Level 5 or above monster that you have on the field! And I choose your Moon Dragon Quilla!"

Sunset gasped when Photo's Xyz Monster absorbed one of its floating spheres (Number 25: Force Focus: OLU: 2 - 1 = 1) and let out a bright flash that was directed towards the red and yellow girl's Synchro Monster. The flash was so bright, everyone ducked their heads so as to avoid it. However, Sunset's dragon was hit with most of the flash, causing her to roar in pain and fall over forward to the ground.

"Now that that's taken care of," began the sky-blue girl, "I can attack without worry!" Pointing straight at Sunset's dragon, Photo shouted, "Go! Force Focus!! Attack Moon Dragon Quilla!!" The giant camera then charged up a powerful light beam and fired it right at the Synchro Monster, destroying her with one single blast and taking out a sizable chunk of Sunset's Life Points (Sunset Shimmer: LP 3,900 - 1,000 = 2,900).

"Woah... that's definitely not good..." said Scootaloo.

"Yeah, if she can't defend herself on the next turn, she'll lose the Duel!" added Flash.

"Don't count her out of this just yet, guys." Rainbow told them. "Sunset'll find a way outta this mess, beat Photo, and stop that Number card from making her go crazy!"

Mr. Toity glanced over at Photo Finish, then at Sunset. He then mentally urged the otherworldly girl, (Please, Ms. Shimmer... Please help her...) It seemed as though the teacher was also convinced that his star student wasn't in control of her own actions.

"It's my turn..." Sunset told her opponent. "I draw!" After she drew her card, she glanced at it and began to think of what to do next. (Okay... it's a bit of a long shot, but I think this is probably my only chance to defeat that Number card and wipe out the rest of her Life Points.) She then took the card that she had just drawn and placed it facedown onto the field, saying, "First, I'll set a facedown card, and then I'll also activate the Spell Card Chronomally Technology!" After the digital version of the card appeared in front of her, Sunset then informed Photo Finish, "After banishing Chronomaly Crystal Skull from my Graveyard, I can see the top two cards on my Deck; one goes to my hand, the other, to the Graveyard."

The others watched as the red and yellow girl did just that, taking one of the two cards into her hand and placing the other in the Graveyard slot. "Whad'ya think she's doing?" asked Scootaloo.

"Hopefully, she has some sort of plan for a counterattack going right now..." said Flash Sentry.

After resolving her Spell Card, Sunset then announced, "Next, I Special Summon Chronomaly Aztec Mask Golem from my hand, which I can do after I play a Chronomaly Spell Card on the same turn." She then played her card in Defense Position, bringing out a red, humanoid-like statue to the field in front of her (Chronomaly Aztec Mask Golem: Level 4 / ATK 1500 / DEF 1000).

"In addition," the otherworldly girl added, "since the only monsters I control at the moment are Chronomaly monsters, I can activate the effect of Nebra Disk in the Graveyard, allowing me to bring it back to the field in Defense Mode!" At that moment, Sunset's green, disk-shaped monster emerged from a dark-violet portal that appeared in front of her. Taking one more card from her hand, she then finished her move, stating, "Last, but not least, I'll set one monster facedown in Defense Mode." After placing the card facedown and horizontally on her Duel Pad, an image of a facedown monster appeared onto her field.

"So you're building up your defenses to try and hold out until you find a way to overcome my Number card?" asked Photo Finish, smirking evilly. "You're just wasting your time; nothing you have can stop Force Focus!" Photo then drew her next card and shouted, "I Summon Mechanicalchaser in Attack Mode!!".

She then played the card she just drew, bringing out a green, sphere-shaped robotic monster. It had a sword built directly on the bottom of it, it had six long, thin arms, each one holding some sort of weapon, and a pair of steel wings on its back (Mechanicalchaser: Level 4 / ATK 1850 / DEF 800).

"Now go, Force Focus!!" Photo Finish announced. "Attack her Nebra Disk!!" The giant camera monster then charged up its laser and fired it, aiming it right at Sunset's frisbee-shaped monster.

"That won't work a second time, Photo Finish!!" the otherworldly girl yelled back. Tapping her Duel Pad's touchscreen, she declared, "I activate Negate Attack!!" One of her facedown cards then revealed itself, and its power went into effect right away.

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Negate Attack:
(Counter Trap Card)

When an opponent's monster declares an attack: Target the attacking monster; negate the attack, then end the Battle Phase.

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After Sunset flipped her Trap Card face-up, a large vortex manifested itself in front of Nebra Disk, absorbing the laser that Force Focus fired and saving the red and yellow girl's monster from being destroyed. Photo Finish grumbled and said, "That just buys you one turn! That's all it does!!"

Sunset Shimmer then drew her next card, smiled and said, "You're absolutely right: I only get one more turn. But that's all I need to beat you!"

"You lie!" protested the photographer.

"Wanna bet?" Sunset then declared, "I release my facedown monster, Apocatequil, in order to Tribute Summon Chronomaly Winged Sphinx!" The girl's facedown monster then disappeared in a plume of smoke as a large, stone creature flew through the roof above. It resembled the Sphinx statue in Egypt, but it also had a pair of long wings constructed onto its sides, though how it was able to fly with them was a mystery (Chronomaly Winged Sphinx: Level 5 / ATK 1600 / DEF 1900). "Now," the red and yellow teen added, "after Chronomaly Winged Sphinx is Tribute Summoned, I can use its effect to bring back any Level 5 Chronomaly monster from my Graveyard."

"I'm afraid that I cannot let you do that!" Photo said to her foe. "I use Force Focus's effect once more and negate Winged Sphinx's effect!" The giant camera monster then absorbed its remaining Overlay Unit (Number 25: Force Focus: OLU: 1 - 1 = 0) and let out another flash, causing Sunset's newly Summoned monster to lose most of its power. "There!! Now you don't have any way to fight back! This Duel will be over and you will fall before my dueling magics!!"

But the photographer then noticed something strange: Sunset wasn't worried at all, in fact, she was actually chuckling a bit. The red and yellow teenager smirked and told her opponent, "You did just what I was hoping you'd do, Photo Finish..."

"What do you mean...?!"

"I said that Winged Sphinx had an ability to bring back one of my monsters." the otherworldly girl reminded Photo. "But I never said that I was activating it."

"Huh?!? What?!?" was all that the silver-haired girl could reply with.

"I knew you'd try and stop my monster's effect if I used it," Sunset explained, "so I tricked you into using up your monster's other Overlay Unit! That way, you wouldn't be able to stop me from making my next move!"

"Oh no...!" Photo Finish said after hearing that.

"I don't need to use Winged Sphinx's effect;" Sunset stated. "I have another way of bringing out another Level 5 monster!" Taking out another card from her hand, she then declared, "Now, since I control at least one Chronomaly monster, I can Special Summon Chronomaly Moai in Defense Mode!" After placing the card onto the tray, the girl's Easter Island head-like monster appeared in front of her (Chronomaly Moai: Level 5 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1600).

"Oh no!! She has two Level 5 monsters on the field!!" Photo then looked at her Number card and added, "And without any Overlay Units, I have no way of stopping her!"

"I overlay Winged Sphinx and Moai, both Level 5!!" shouted Sunset Shimmer as her two monsters transformed into a pair of orange lights and were sucked up into a galaxy-like summoning portal. "With these monsters," she continued, "I can build the Overlay Network!! I Xyz Summon Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech!!!" The portal then exploded, leaving behind a purple-colored 33 mark on the tile floor in front of her. Then, crashing through the roof above came Sunset's fortress-like Number card (Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech: Rank 5 / ATK 2400 / DEF 1500 / OLU 2).

"Sh-she has a Number card as well?!" Photo Finish asked herself in shock.

"Woah..." said Scootaloo. "That thing looks so cool!!"

Flash Sentry was also pretty surprised by the emergence of Sunset's Number card. "Where'd Sunset get a card that powerful? I've never even heard of it before..."

Rainbow smirked and said, "This shouldn't take much longer. Sunset's got that shutterbug on the ropes now!"

The otherworldly girl then said to her opponent, "I activate the effect of Chronomaly Machu Mech! By removing one Overlay Unit, I can damage your Life Points by an amount equal to the difference between Force Focus's original attack power and its current attack power!"

The sky-blue teenager gasped as one of Machu Mech's swirling orbs phased into a pillar (Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech: OLU: 2 -1 = 1). This then caused several cannons to come out of the fortress and aim themselves right at her, firing a blast that took out some of Photo Finish's Life Points. "Ack!!!!" she screamed upon taking the hit (Photo Finish: LP: 3,400 - 700 = 2,700).

"That's not all:" Sunset then told her. "After Machu Mech damages you with its effect, it then absorbs the Life Points you lost and turns them into attack points for itself!" (Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech: ATK 2400 + 700 = 3100)

"It's still not enough to defeat Force Focus, Ms. Shimmer!" reminded the silver-haired teen. "And even if you attack my Mechanicalchaser, you won't be able to deplete all of my Life Points!"

"Trust me, I'm aware of that." the red and yellow girl stated. "But I'm not quite finished with my move yet." She then shouted, "Now, I overlay Aztec Mask Golem and Nebra Disk, both Level 4, to build ANOTHER Overlay Network!!"

"What?! She is Xyz Summoning again?!" asked Photo, shocked.

Sunset Shimmer's Aztec Mask Golem and Nebra Disk transformed into an orange light and a yellow light, respectively before being drawn into another galaxy-like portal, which let out another light explosion. "I Xyz Summon... Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk!!" shouted the otherworldly girl as she played her second Number card. The explosion from the portal revealed a red 80 on the floor and brought out a large armored man wearing a purple cape (Number 80: Rhapsody in Berserk: Rank 4 / ATK 0 / DEF 1200 / OLU 2).

Photo Finish began shaking a little, as she did not expect this move on Sunset's part. "How... how is this possible?! She has TWO Number cards?!? This must be some sort of trick!!!"

Rainbow Dash gasped a little, saying, "No way... she just summoned the Number card that Octavia used against her!"

"Okay... that's it. I can't deny it anymore." said Scootaloo. "Sunset just got a WHOLE lot cooler."

"Now I activate the effect of Rhapsody in Berserk!" Sunset Shimmer announced. "With it, I can equip him to any other Xyz Monster I control, raising its attack power by 1,200 points!" The newly-summoned Number then performed a mighty leap onto the top of Machu Mech, pressed its giant hand upon the top of the fortress, and transferring its power to its ally (Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech: ATK 3100 + 1200 = 4300).

"This can't be!" protested Photo Finish, getting worried. "Now it's stronger than EITHER of my monsters! I don't have any choice but to defend on my next turn!"

"Sorry, but I won't even let you do that!" the red and yellow girl told her. She then tapped her touchscreen and shouted, "I play the Quick-Play Spell Card, Limiter Removal!!!"

"NO!!! Not that!!!" screamed the sky blue girl in shock and fear.

"Now, for the rest of the turn," Sunset explained, "this card doubles the attack power of all of my face-up Machine-Type monsters, giving me more than I need to defeat your Force Focus and win the Duel!!" The card's power then flowed into Machu Mech, surrounding it with a firey red aura (Number 33: Chronomaly Machu Mech: ATK 4300 x 2 = 8600).

"Alright!! This is it!!" cheered Rainbow Dash, knowing that her friend was about to making her finishing move.

"Go!! Chronomaly Mach Mech!!! Destroy Force Focus with your Meteor Meltdown!!" ordered the black jacket-clad teenager. The Xyz Monster then aimed its many, many cannons at Photo's Number card and fired, turning the camera-shaped monster into an unrecognizable pile of scrap metal.

The remainder of the blast hit Photo Finish directly, causing her to scream and fall on her back hard. And with that, the Duel was over (Photo Finish: LP 2,700 - 5,100 = 0) (WINNER: Sunset Shimmer).

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"Alright!! She did it!!" cheered Scootaloo, pumping a fist into the air. "Sunset beat her!!"

"Great job, Sunset!!" Flash added.

"Yeah, that was awesome!!" chimed in Rainbow. "Photo didn't even know what hit her!!"

Mr. Toity said nothing, but he was also happy. Both for Sunset's impressive victory, and the fact that she was able to stop whatever caused Photo Finish's sudden change in behavior.

Sunset then sighed out of relief, and then noticed something else was happening; her key was now glowing. "My necklace..." she said to herself. "It's glowing again... just like it did when I beat Octavia." The red and yellow girl then glanced up at Photo Finish and saw a ball of light rise up from her chest.

"Um... what's that??." Flash asked upon seeing the light.

"I don't know..." Rainbow responded, "but this same thing happened with Octavia after Sunset beat her in a Duel..." Scootaloo and Hoity Toity didn't know what they were talking about; for some reason, they couldn't see the light sphere that was clearly visible to the others.

The otherworldly girl stared at the light for some time, thinking about the last time that she had seen this phenomenon. She then decided to reach her hand out, just like the last time. Sunset then saw that the light flew over towards her hand, just as she thought that it would. The light then shaped itself into a card, revealing itself as Photo Finish's Number card, Force Focus. In addition, the bluish glow from the photographer's shades turned back to their normal fuschia color, and the 25 mark under her eye disappeared.

"This is just like last time..." Sunset said to herself. "After I beat Octavia, I got her Number card... And now I have Photo Finish's card." She then began thinking to herself and deduced, "So that's it... Every time I defeat a Duelist with a Number card, I then get that card from them..."

Her inner monologue was suddenly interrupted when she and the others heard groaning sounds coming from Photo Finish. She put her hand up to her forehead as she got up, asking herself, "...What... happened...? Where am I...?" She then looked around the area and, realizing where she was, shouted, "What?! What's going on?! Why am I in the Boy's Locker Room?!? I could have sworn that I was in the Photography Lab!!"

"Uh... what's up with her?" asked Scootaloo, confused.

"I don't know..." stated Hoity Toity. "It is if she has no memory of what she was doing a moment ago..."

"...Maybe that's because that's exactly what happened." Rainbow figured.

"You serious?" asked Flash Sentry.

"I'm still not really sure how it's possible," the cyan girl told him and the others, "but if that Number card really was what was causing Photo t' go crazy, losing that card to Sunset turned her back to normal, and because of that, she might not remember much of what happened, if anything..." She then glanced at the rest of the group and said to them, "Unless you guys can think of any other reason... After all, she could be faking it to save face."

Mr. Toity then looked over at his star student, seeing for himself that she really didn't seem to know where she was or what had happened. It was enough to convince him that Photo Finish wasn't in control of herself earlier on, and that she did not mean to cause any trouble at all. He then walked over to her and said, "Ms. Finish, I am glad to see that you are okay."

"Mr. Toity...?" she then asked him. "What happened to me? Why am I in this room...?" She then gasped and inquired, "I wasn't sleepwalking again, was I?"

"Um... You might have been." the teacher said to her, though he still wasn't exactly sure about the cause of her strange actions. "But do not worry, everything will be okay. Now come on... let us get back to the Photo Lab. Class will be starting very soon."

"...Yes... okay, Mr. Toity..." Photo replied, still a bit groggy from the Duel she was in that she didn't seem to remember. The two of them left the locker room soon after.

Rainbow Dash then said to the others, "Well, I guess we'd better get out of here, too." Sniffing the air and wincing a little, she then added, "I've had enough of the smell of this place for quite a while."

"Right now, I'm just glad the smell in here is the only thing I need to worry about..." Sunset Shimmer told her friend.

"I'd better go and figure out where the rest of my classmates are and tell them that everything's okay here." said Flash Sentry, heading for the door. "I'll see you guys later!"

After Flash left, the three girls then left the locker room, making their way back to the Photo Lab. Scootaloo then glanced up at Sunset Shimmer and asked her, "Hey, Sunset... After school's done today, you think you could come over with me, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle and give us some dueling advice?"

"Really?" asked the red and yellow girl in slight surprise. "You really want me there?"

"Sure!" said the young orange girl. "We've just started a club for learning how to play Duel Monsters, and we could really use some help from an expert! Personally, I'd really like to learn more about that Synchro-thing that you did earlier; I thought it looked so cool!"

Sunset smiled warmly, happy to hear that someone actually wanted her to lend them a hand. She then nodded and said, "Sure. I'll be there."

"Great!" cheered Scootaloo. "I'll tell Bloom and Sweetie at Art Class! See ya there!" She then ran on ahead, heading to the Photo Lab.

The otherworldly girl smiled as Rainbow said to her, "Looks like somebody's got a new fan, huh?"

"Yeah, it sure seems like it." stated the red and yellow girl.

"And you didn't even have to scare her into liking you, either." the cyan girl added. Sunset then glanced over at her with narrowed eyes, causing Dash to say to her, "Uh, sorry about that..."

The otherworldly girl sighed and told her, "Eh, it's okay, Rainbow... Nowadays, I can kinda look back on those days and laugh a little about it."

"Uh, good t' know." Rainbow Dash then picked up the pace a little more and told her friend, "Anyway, I'll see ya in class."

"Okay... see you later." After the athletic teen left, Sunset Shimmer began thinking about what she had experienced so far. Looking at the three Number cards she now possessed, she then thought to herself, (Where did these things come from...? And why? All I know is that these things have proven themselves to be really dangerous... And it seems like I'm the only one that can stop them...) She then added to her monologue, saying to herself, "So every time I defeat a Number user, I get their Number card... But... what would happen if I lost to one of them? Would that mean that... I'd lose MY Numbers to them...?" The thought made the girl very uncomfortable; she decided not to think about it anymore and walked a bit faster to get to her class on time.

-- To Be Continued...

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NUMBERS OBTAINED:

Sunset Shimmer (3 Numbers total):

- Number 25: Force Focus

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