• Published 30th Apr 2016
  • 9,302 Views, 976 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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RANK 35: Wrong Way Railway:

Author's Note:

(This episode was written BEFORE the recent banlist.)

Another episode featuring The Doctor. This was an episode I really wanted to get to, since there are quite a few twists, many of which you might not have been expecting. In any case, I hope you enjoy it.

RANK 35: Wrong Way Railway:
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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...

During the week of Spring Break, Sunset and each of her friends have gone off to enjoy their vacations and relax in their own ways. However, they have all gotten into less-than-relaxing situations: Twilight battled her dark side (literally), Rarity and Pinkie Pie confronted a Duelist from Skyes Academy (whom Sweetie Belle managed to defeat), Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo encountered a bully, Sunset resolved a spat between a father and daughter, Applejack and her cousin Babs made a trip to Cherry Jubilee's farm to obtain a rare card, and Fluttershy dealt with a greedy land developer who attempted to destroy a nature park in order to build a resort on top of it.

They are not the only ones to have their own thrilling Spring Break experience: Derpy Hooves and Dr. Hooves (to whom she is an assistant to) have been spending their time off in a seaside town known for its popular beaches. So far, it seems that nothing out of the ordinary has happened during their trip, but for those collecting the Number cards, trouble can strike at any time, at anywhere...

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Far away from the city of Canterlot, the sun was shining brightly over a popular beach just on the edge of the vast ocean beyond. This beach had a lot of daily business, both from the locals and tourists, and was a prime location to just kick back, relax, and forget about one's worries. Though many people visited the beach every day, there was always enough space for everyone most of the time.

Among the people spending their day at the beach were two young boys - about 16 or 17 years old, one with blue skin and one with green, tossing a Frisbee at each other. The blue-skinned boy threw the disc over to his friend, who managed to catch it in the air. "Alright, nice catch!" the blue boy complimented.

"Thanks, Jay." the green boy responded. Getting ready to throw it, he then asked his companion, "You ready? I'm gonna go long with this one!"

"Bring it on, Marc! I can get it!" the blue boy - named Jay, said confidently.

Nodding, the green boy - named Marc, then called to him, "Alright, then... Here it comes!!" He pulled his arm back and threw the Frisbee with all his might, sending it high up into the air at an incredible speed.

Jay gulped a little, not expecting his friend to throw it that hard. "Uh...I-I got it! I got it!!" he said, chasing after the Frisbee as fast as his legs could carry him. His friend then followed, hoping that he hadn't thrown it too hard (even though he was pretty sure that he did).

The pair ran after the disc, chasing it for about five or so seconds before it began to lose momentum and drop. "I think it's coming down now...!" Marc told his friend.

"Yeah, but it's so far away..." the blue-skinned boy told him. He then looked ahead and saw someone in front of him. Realizing that the Frisbee was dropping down towards the person in question, Jay called out to them, "Hey!! Watch out!!"

"Hm?" The other person, a girl with grey skin and long blonde hair wearing a bright-yellow two-piece swimsuit and sunglasses, heard the boy's warning and glanced up to see the disc flying towards her. Gasping, she held up her hands to protect herself...and ended up catching the disc moments before it would have hit her in the face. Feeling it in her hands, she looked at the object and sighed out of relief, happy that she didn't get hurt.

The two boys chasing the Frisbee finally managed to get to the young girl to check on her. "Hey, uh...you alright?" asked Jay.

"Um, I think so." the girl answered. "Luckily, I caught it before it could hit me."

"Yeah, sorry 'bout that." Marc apologized. "I didn't mean to throw it that hard."

"It's okay." the grey girl said with a smile. "There's no harm done; that's what matters." Handing them their disc back, she said, "Here...I think this belongs to you."

The blue-skinned boy took the Frisbee and thanked her, saying, "Hey, thanks." He then introduced himself, telling her, "My name's Jay, and this is my friend Marc. What's your name?"

"Derpy." she answered. "Derpy Hooves."

"Um...Derpy?" asked Marc. He and his friend were a bit surprised to hear the girl call herself that.

"I know what you're thinking, but don't worry:" Derpy told them. "I know the name sounds bad, but it doesn't bother me to be called that. At least not anymore."

"Oh, well...in that case, thanks a lot, Derpy." Jay responded, still feeling a bit weird about calling someone that. He then asked, "Um, I haven't seen you around here before... You a tourist or something like that?"

"Yeah. I came here for my Spring Break vacation." she answered him. "I'm actually from Canterlot."

"Canterlot? I've heard of that place." Marc spoke up. "It's pretty far from here." He then asked her, "How long are you staying?"

"Until tomorrow morning." Derpy told him. "After that, The Doctor and I have to catch the next train back home."

"Well, in that case," the green-skinned boy continued, "perhaps you'd like to come with me to this great restaurant here on the boardwalk later tonight? It's the least I can do to make up for almost konking you on the head with my Frisbee." Derpy blushed a little hearing that.

"H-hey! What if I wanted to ask her something like that, Marc?" Jay told him, a little annoyed.

"Then you should've asked first." the green boy told him a bit smugly.

"Aw, c'mon! That's not fair!" Jay complained.

Not wanting the argument to continue, Derpy stepped in and said, "Hey, let's all calm down... Why don't I go with both of you? Would that be alright?"

Looking at each other, and then her, the pair realized that she had a good point. After all, they didn't want to look like jerks in front of her and risk the possibility of neither one of them getting to spend time with her. "Uh...I guess that's cool with me." Marc responded.

"Uh, yeah...me too." Jay added.

Derpy giggled happily and said, "Great! Then we'll meet up here later tonight! Six o'clock okay?"

"Yeah, sure." Jay agreed. "We'll see you then."

"Yeah, see you then." Marc told her. After that, the two of them left to go back to their spot on the beach.

Derpy blushed again, thinking about what just happened. (Heehee...I never thought that someday guys would be fighting over me...) she thought, giggling about it as she walked off.

The young girl was walking further away from the beach to a large, bright-white building in the middle of the town. It was a hotel, and a very nice-looking hotel at that. It offered high-quality rooms and service, and its expansive food court was good enough to be comparable to any five-star restaurant. Derpy walked into the lobby where several people, including hotel guests and staff, were gathered together. As this hotel was of the highest quality, the majority of the guests were of the wealthy sort.

Derpy walked up to the front desk and spoke to the person behind it. "Um, excuse me sir?" she said to the them. Once she got his attention, she told him, "I'm Derpy Hooves... I'd like to return to my room, please." She then showed him a small object: A card key with the room number on it.

Inspecting the card to make sure it was legitimate, the man at the desk said to her, "Very well, Ms. Hooves." He then motioned to a nearby bellhop to take Derpy's rolling suitcase and escort her to the elevator. The bellhop then operated the lift, taking them both to one of the higher floors.

The two of them rode the elevator for a while until it reached the designated floor. Once the doors opened, Derpy followed the bellhop to the front door of her room, where he handed her back her suitcase. Derpy got her purse out and tipped the employee for a job well done. Afterwards, she used the card key to open the door. "Doctor?" she called out. "Hey, Doctor! I'm back!"

"Is that you, Ms. Derpy?" called out a voice from the bathroom. A figure then walked out, wearing a navy-blue bathrobe. It was Dr. Hooves, and based on the fact that there was water dripping off of his face and hair, one can presume that he had just taken a shower.

As Derpy looked over, she gasped a little, blushed and said, "O-oh my! I-I-I'm sorry... I didn't know you were showering, Doctor. Is this a bad time?"

"Oh, do not worry about that; I just finished not too long ago." he assured her. "I'll just go and change into my other outfit before I come out."

"Oh, okay..." the grey teenager replied. The Doctor went back into the bathroom in order to make himself more decent while Derpy waited. As she did, she noticed the small round table in the room and saw that The Doctor had his Duel Monsters cards scattered on top of it. She walked over to the table and looked at them. One card then immediately caught her eye: A blank card with a black frame and colored brown in the artwork area.

Emerging from the bathroom, The Doctor rubbed his head with a towel to wipe away any water that remained. Now he was fully dressed in a white button-down shirt, a pair of brown pants, and dark brown socks. "There...much better." he said, dropping the towel into a wash basket. "I apologize if I've kept you waiting long." he said to his assistant.

Upon hearing his voice, Derpy looked away from the cards on the table and turned to face The Doctor. "Oh! N-not at all!" she replied to him. "You don't have to apologize for anything, Doctor! To be honest, I should apologize for not calling ahead of time, like I usually do... It's just that I had some other things going on in my mind right now, that's all."

"What kinds of other things, if I may ask?" Dr. Hooves asked her.

"Weeeeeeell..." she started, blushing a teensy bit. At first, Derpy felt too embarrassed to say what she had on her mind, but she toughed it out and told him, "Thing is...I kinda...sorta have a, uh...a date tonight."

"Hm? A date, you say?" asked The Doctor. "That's wonderful! With whom?"

"Um, well...to tell the truth, I don't think I can really call it a 'date', since there's two guys." the grey girl told him, rubbing the back of her head and blushing more fiercely. "Thing is, they asked me to come with them to a restaurant on the boardwalk, and I said it was okay."

"Hmmm, I see..." The Doctor replied. Smiling he told her, "Well, I wish you the best of luck; I hope you have a good time tonight."

"Thanks, Doctor." said Derpy, nodding. She then looked over at the table again and told her friend, "I see you've been busy, as usual. Not to sound rude, but the point of a vacation is to relax and not think about work or anything like that. But ever since we've come here, most of your day is spent looking over your Number cards..."

Sighing, Dr. Hooves told the girl, "I know... I apologize if you feel that I've been working too hard these past few days." He then walked over to the table and picked up the blank card sitting there. "I just felt that, since the chances of being attacked here by a Number holder was low, I decided I would try to crack the mystery of this card while I had the chance."

"You mean that card?" asked Derpy, pointing to the card that he was holding. "That's the one Mrs. K gave us, right?"

"It is." he confirmed. Staring at the card, he then added, "According to Mrs. K, this card was meant for me because I seem to have a role with some sort of ancient prophecy... However, the card remains blank, and - as much as I hate to admit it, I am no closer to figuring out how to unlock its power than I was when I obtained it."

"I'm sure you'll figure it out sooner or later, Doctor." Derpy said, trying to remain positive and supportive. "You're the smartest person I know! After all, you've figured out way trickier problems than this before! I'm sure you'll be able to do it!"

Smiling, The Doctor said to her, "Thank you, Ms. Derpy. To be honest, I doubt I would have gotten this far without your aid." Looking at the card again, he then added, "Right now, my only concern is making sure I can solve this mystery before I would need this card's power, whatever it may be." Placing the blank card back on the table for the moment, he told his assistant, "Anyway, do not concern yourself over my problems right now; after all, you do have a date later tonight, and it wouldn't do you any good to appear worried in front of your hosts."

"...Yeah, you're probably right." Derpy replied, seeing his logic. "Right now I just need to worry about what I should wear when I meet them!" Giving her friend a hug, she told him, "Thanks, Doctor. I'll tell you how it went when I get back."

"Have a good time, Derpy." Dr. Hooves told her. "As for me, I think I'll take a moment to rest and refresh my mind. Hopefully, it will help me figure out the puzzle of that Number card."

"Sounds like a plan to me." the grey girl agreed. "Just don't go pulling an all-nighter like you did last Wednesday, or you'll be asleep all day."

Chuckling, The Doctor told her, "I promise." Derpy then went into her suitcase to pick out an outfit for later as Dr. Hooves returned his cards to his deck box for safekeeping. As Derpy finished picking out an outfit, she decided to take a quick shower herself, walking into the bathroom and shutting the door behind her.

The Doctor then let out a deep yawn as he walked over to the nearby bed. Getting onto it and laying down on his back, he thought to himself, (This room may not be anywhere near as spacious as the Tardis, but Derpy was right: It does provide a calming, soothing atmosphere... And besides that, Derpy said that if I brought the Tardis here, I might have been tempted into holing myself up in there and working when I should be relaxing...) His eyes then began to get a bit heavy as yawned and said, "Yes...relaxing..." His eyes then shut completely as he fell asleep. But even as The Doctor's body rested, his mind was still working hard...

And as he slept, a faint glow could be seen radiating from his deck box...

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Far, far away, it what appeared to be a vast valley surrounded by many tall mountains miles away from civilization, there was a large structure hidden from view. It was a temple of some sort, nestled so deep in the valley, that many did not know of its existence. But even though few knew of its location, the temple was far from empty. It was populated by a few people, each one clad in white robes. The people there looked very peaceful, treating each other with love and respect.

Deep in the temple's main building, a man was with brown skin and short, dark-brown hair was standing before an altar. He, too was dressed mostly in white, like the other residents of the temple. However, his outfit was more intricate, suggesting that he was of a higher power compared to the others. It consisted of a short tunic with dark-blue streaks running across it, a pair of pants worn underneath, a pair of stylish boots that strapped across the tops, and a flowing cape that bore a symbol on the front that resembled Sunset's necklace. On each of his wrists was a large, golden bracelet, and on the ring finger of his right hand, he wore a gold ring that also had the same symbol on his cape.

As he stood there, he felt the presence of two people coming towards him. Recognizing them, he turned to face them, looking ahead with his bright, blue eyes. "Ah, you have returned, I see." he said to them. "I trust your mission went well?"

"Yes, Master Daviten." said one of them, their voice sounding feminine. "We can confidently say that our work at the temple you sent us to has yielded a great amount of success."

The man - named Daviten, smiled and said to his guests, "Good. I expected no less from my two most trusted Priestesses. Splendid work to both of you...Priestess Sun'Et and Priestess Spakah."

As it turned out, the two people that had entered the temple were same two priestesses that - according to Kisara, assisted Pharaoh Seto in unlocking a major mystery surrounding the Astral World. "Thank you very much, Master." said Sun'Et, who had spoken to him earlier. "We are happy you are satisfied with our results."

"As you requested," Spakah spoke next, "Priestess Sun'Et and I traveled to Egypt in order to meet with the Pharaoh. He was a great help to us for finding out more about the Astral World beyond."

"And what have you found out?" asked Daviten.

"We discovered that a test was waiting for inside the temple." Sun'Et explained. "As soon as I, Priestess Spakah, the Pharaoh, and a member of his court entered, we were attacked by a horde of monsters. We all pooled our strength and managed to repel the attack."

"Soon after," Spakah added, "we encountered another monster, this time coming from the Astral World itself. It proved to be even more powerful. But with the Pharaoh's assistance, we were victorious. It was then we found out that, only through our combined efforts and teamwork, were we able to succeed."

"Hmmmm...so that's it..." the man hummed. "Based on what you have told me, the Astral World will only reveal itself to those who recognize and respect the bonds between each other."

"Yes." confirmed Sun'Et, nodding. The yellow-skinned girl then told him. "We have come to the conclusion that only when people can create peace with one another and put aside their differences - possibly even becoming friends, can they behold and appreciate the true power of the Astral World." Smiling, she then added, "Regardless, the entire experience has created a positive effect on myself, as well as with my friend."

Spakah blushed and smiled a little, knowing that she was talking about her. "Thank you, Sun'Et." the purple-skinned girl said to her. Sun'Et nodded back to her with a warm smile.

Happy to hear that, Daviten said to them both, "As High Priest to the Order of Astral, I'm very pleased with your progress, Priestess Sun'Et and Priestess Spakah, both on your mission as well as your friendship with each other. And I agree with you both that the Astral World should be for those who can find true friendship with their fellow man." Turning back towards the altar he was standing in front of, he then told them, "And so, I have a new task for the two of you to perform."

"A new task, Master?" asked Sun'Et. "What is it?"

"The Order of Astral is open to all those who wish to seek the Astral World and its benevolence." Daviten told them. "As you know, it has been this way every since I formed the order. I saw great potential in the two of you, and made you both High Priestesses because I knew that you would be a great asset to us all." Closing his eyes and pausing for a moment, he then added, "And now that we have this new knowledge, it is only logical to put that theory to the test."

"And what do you wish us to do, Master Daviten?" Spakah asked him.

"...I would like you to go out into the world once more." he instructed them. "And I wish for you to bring before me any others who - like yourselves, have great potential in them. Those whose spirits are strong enough to help fulfill my wish to bring this world one step closer to the Astral World. I am sure there are many others out there that have that strength, and I want the two of you to seek them out and convince them to join the order."

"Is there anyone you want in particular?" asked Sun'Et.

"They can be literally anyone, Priestess Sun'Et." Daviten answered. "Anyone from the richest noble to the poorest slave... All that I ask is that they have a strong soul within them. One with the strength and willpower to help make this world a better one for us all. I know I am asking a lot out of you, but I only request this of you because I have the utmost confidence in your abilities. During your time in the Order of Astral, I have seen fit to train you in mind, body, and especially spirit. And you have succeeded in every possible way I can imagine, possibly even more." Turning to face them once more, he asked of them, "So I ask you again: Can I count on you both to take on such an arduous task for the good of us all?"

"You need not say another word, Master." Spakah told him. "Sun'Et and I would consider it an honor to take on your request."

"Indeed." Sun'Et chimed in, nodding her head. "I promise we will find others that will meet not just your needs, but the needs of all those in the Order of Astral. You need not worry about us, Master; we shall make you and all those here proud."

"...You have already made me proud just by honoring my request." Daviten said to them, happy to have such strong-minded people on his side. "Very well then. You begin your task one week from now. Until then, continue to train and prepare yourselves for the journey ahead."

"Yes, Master Daviten." said both High Priestesses in unison before leaving.

The High Priest then turned back to the altar and thought, (I know not if I will live to see the day that our world becomes like the Astral World... I know not if such a destiny is within our earthly grasp...) Putting on a look of determination, he then said loudly to himself, "But even if the odds are against me, I shall not waver from my self-appointed mission! I will do whatever I can to help the world see peace, in this life or the next!"

"See...peace... Peace..." muttered The Doctor as he was still asleep in bed. Apparently, he had been dreaming a little during his nap. No one was around to hear him talk in his sleep; Derpy had left long ago for her date with the boys she met on the beach earlier in the day. The sun was already beginning to set outside, but Derpy promised that she would be back before it got too dark outside, according to a note she left behind when she saw that The Doctor was still asleep. The man tossed around in his bed a little, still apparently having that dream as his deck box continued to glow a faint light...

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The next day, a whistle sounded as a train began making its way out of the town's train station. It was bound for Canterlot City, its passengers either going there to visit or coming back home. Dr. Hooves and Derpy were on board, catching the earliest train possible so as to get back to Canterlot quickly. Both of them were wearing different outfits from yesterday: Derpy was wearing a small white top with an orange spot pattern and orange shoulder straps, a pair of green shorts, and orange sandals. The Doctor's attire was also relatively simple, consisting of a tan, short-sleeved shirt, long black pants, and dark brown loafers. As Derpy watched out the window, she saw the two boys, Jay and Marc, waving goodbye to her. Naturally, she waved back to them with a smile.

Once the train had gotten up to full speed, Derpy sat back down on her chair and sighed, saying, "Wow, that sure was a fun week... I hope I'll be able to go back there sometime. I'd like to see what goes on during the summer, wouldn't you, Doctor?" But when she turned to look at him, he seemed unresponsive. He was awake, but he appeared to be in deep thought and didn't hear her question. Getting a little worried, she spoke to him again, asking, "Um, Doctor? Is everything alright?"

"Hm?" Dr. Hooves finally heard his young assistant talking to him and responded, saying, "Oh! Um...yes. Forgive me, Ms. Derpy... I was just...thinking about some things."

"Things? What kinds of things?"

"Um, well..." The Doctor's thoughts were on the dream that he had the previous night. He didn't know what to make of it, or of the strangely-familiar people he saw in it. Shaking his head a little, he then said to Derpy, "It's nothing you need to concern yourself with. There's nothing for you to worry about." The young girl nodded to say she understood, though she actually became more concerned whenever he told her not to be.

"Attention passengers..." said a woman's voice over the intercom. "We are currently en route to Canterlot City. Estimated time of arrival: Around 4 hours."

"Well, it seems we'll be here for a while..." noted The Doctor.

"Seems like it." Derpy responded. "If we just used the Tardis, couldn't we have just zipped back home in a second?"

"Perhaps we could have." Dr. Hooves replied. "But every now and again, taking the scenic route does one a lot of good. Besides, four hours isn't terribly long, and it isn't as though we have anything urgent waiting for us back home, right?" Derpy nodded, agreeing with him on those points. Remembering something, he then asked her, "Oh! How did everything go on your date last night?"

"My date?" asked the grey teen. "Oh yeah! That! I forgot, I was gonna tell you all about it, but you were still asleep when I got back to the room." Tapping her chin, she told him, "It was really great! We went to this really nice restaurant, and then we all walked onto the beach to see a fireworks show! I'll admit, I was a little worried at first about what they would think of my weird eye and all, but they were fine with it. In fact, Jay even said that it makes me look adorable!"

"He did?" asked Dr. Hooves. Smiling, he then added, "Well, I suppose it does give off a unique charm, doesn't it? Of course, I mean that in the best possible way, Ms. Derpy."

"I know you do." she replied.

"So...do you think you would like to meet those boys again in the future?" asked The Doctor.

"Probably..." Derpy answered. "Maybe... I'm not totally sure just yet."

"Well, you have all the time in the world to think about it." The Doctor told her. "No sense in rushing to a decision now."

"Yeah. You're probably right." the grey girl responded.

Looking at the back of the train car, The Doctor then asked her, "Can you keep an eye on our belongings for a short while? I need to go and use the lavatory for a moment."

"Sure, Doctor." Derpy said with a nod. As Dr. Hooves left, the grey teenager glanced over at his backpack, which contained only a few items, including his Deck and D-Pad. Derpy's eyes then became half open as she let out a yawn, both out of tiredness and out of boredom; she had gotten back from her date a little later than she had thought, and didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night. "So sleepy..." she said to herself as she waited for The Doctor to return. She tried her best to stay awake, but her weariness won out in the end. "Oh well..." she said lazily to herself, "It's not like there's...*yawn* anyone else in the car to worry about..." She ended up falling asleep in her seat, her head leaning against the closed window beside her. As she snoozed away, she failed to notice someone walking up to her, staring at her with glowing red eyes...

Several minutes later, The Doctor returned from his bathroom break. It took a little longer than usual because the bathroom in the car they were in just happened to be out of order. "Well, that was a smidge inconvenient... But at least I managed to find a working lavatory." he said to himself. Looking ahead, he then added, "I just hope that Derpy hasn't been waiting too lo-" But he stopped his sentence short when he saw that there was no one sitting in the seat he and Derpy were in. "Derpy...?" he said as he sprinted over to the seat. All of their belongings were there, but Derpy was nowhere to be seen.

"Derpy?" Dr. Hooves said again, getting worried. "Where is she...??" He looked around but he couldn't find her. Then, all of a sudden, he noticed a piece of paper sticking out of Derpy's backpack. "What is this...?" The Doctor took the paper from out of the bag and looked at it. It was a note that read: "I have your companion. If you ever want to see her again, you will come to the front of the train immediately. No funny business."

"Oh no...!" The Doctor said to himself, realizing that someone had kidnapped Derpy and was using her to get to him. He knew that someone was trying to lead him into a trap of some sort, but with his assistant's safety at risk, he had no other alternative. Getting his and Derpy's belongings, he raced towards the front of the train and hopefully find his friend and the one responsible for her abduction.

At the front of the train, in the last passenger car just before the engine car, there were two people (and no one else). On e of them was Derpy, who was hunched down on the floor, sitting upright on her knees. Her arms were tied up behind her with some rope, and she was understandably nervous. Stuttering a bit, she asked the other person there with her, "Wh-what's going on...? Wh-wh-what are you g-going to do to m-m-me...?"

At first, there was no response. Then, the man in the car with her turned his head back, showing his glowing red eyes. He then told her, "Nothing...that is, as long as your hunter friend complies with my demands."

"H-hunter...?" asked the grey girl. (Is he talking about The Doctor...?) She thought as she became more worried, this time for her friend.

At that moment, another figure burst through the doors on the other side of the car. It was Dr. Hooves; ready and willing to do what he needed to do to rescue his companion. "Derpy!!" he called out, seeing her at the other end of the passenger car.

"Doctor!!" You came!!" she cried out, happy to see him.

The Doctor was happy to see that she was okay, but then turned to a more serious expression and told the man in the car, "Let my assistant go now... I've complied with your request and came as you asked. Now release her! She has done nothing to you!"

Derpy's kidnapper was a man with light cream skin and short, brown hair. On top of his head was a blue-and-white striped conductor's cap, and around his neck was a red neckerchief. He wore a pair of blue denim overalls and brown work shoes, and underneath the overalls was a shirt in the same color and striped design as his hat. The man said to The Doctor, "Fine. You showed up like I wanted you to, so your little friend's no longer useful to me." He then slowly walked over to Derpy - who trembled a bit as he approached her, pulled her arm up in order to get her on her feet, then said to her, "Get going."

Derpy didn't need to be told twice; she ran over to The Doctor as quickly as she could. Once she was back with him , she whimpered a little and said, "Doctor...! I'm so sorry...! If I hadn't fallen asleep earlier, you wouldn't have-"

"Don't worry, Derpy." Dr. Hooves told her in a forgiving tone as he untied the ropes on her wrists. "I'm just pleased to see that you're okay." Once she was freed, the two of them looked over at the other man in the room. "Besides," The Doctor continued, "even if you weren't involved in all this, I'm sure this person would have found some other way to force us to come to him on his terms... That is, if I'm correct as to what this whole thing is about."

"Hmm...I heard you were pretty smart, but I'm still impressed that you managed to figure it out." the other man said. "But before we get to that, let me introduce myself: I'm Steamer, the conductor of this train... And if think you'll be able to take me down on my home turf, think again!"

"Home turf?" asked Derpy. "What's he talking about?"

"It's as I've figured:" Dr. Hooves told her. "I believe he's really after me... Or to be more precise, my Numbers."

"Your Numbers?!" exclaimed the grey teen. "Then...that must mean..."

"That's right!" said Steamer, revealing a black Duel Monsters card in his hand. At the same time, a red, glowing mark (which matched his red glowing eyes) appeared on his arm. The mark was shaped like the number 81. "I've got a Number of my own! And before this train stops, I'll have all of yours as well!"

"So your kidnapping Derpy was just to draw me out so that you could take my Numbers, is it?" asked The Doctor, knowing what the answer to his question was. "Well, at the very least, you've succeeded in getting me to confront you... But in order for you to take my Numbers, you'll have to defeat me in a Duel first. Something that I shall not allow!"

"Heh...we'll just see about that, Number Hunter." said the conductor as he readied his D-Pad and Gazer. "No one can beat my Railway Deck!"

The Doctor activated his device and said back at him, "Then in order to protect this world from the Numbers' power, I shall be the first one to beat your Deck." As he said that, a red mark then appeared over his left eye.

Derpy activated her Duel Gazer just as the AR Field was deployed around them. "You can do it, Doctor...!" she said, urging him to come out the victor in this high-stakes Duel.

"Let's DUEL!!!" shouted both Duelists as their battle began (Dr. Hooves: LP 4,000) (Steamer: LP 4,000).

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As the train they were on raced along the tracks. Dr. Hooves was ready to do battle against the conductor, Steamer, who had been possessed by a Number card. Derpy sat down in one of the many empty seats in the car they were in. At the moment, no one but the three of them were in the passenger car. The Doctor and Steamer each drew their opening hands and were ready to do battle.

"I shall begin this Duel!" said The Doctor. "And I'll start with the Spell Card Photon Sanctuary! This card Special Summons two monsters called Photon Tokens to my field in Defense Mode!" After the card was played, two swirling balls of light then appeared on his field (Photon Token [x2]: Level 4 / ATK 2000 / DEF 0). "However, I can now only Summon LIGHT-Attribute monsters for the duration of the turn. But that will not be a problem!" Taking another card from his hand, he shouted, "Now I Special Summon Photon Vanisher from my hand!"

His next monster was an armored man made up of a blue-colored light. In his hands was a powerful laser rifle that looked like it came out of an outer space movie (Photon Vanisher: Level 4 / ATK 2000 / DEF 0).

"Since I control a Photon monster on my field," The Doctor continued, "I can Special Summon Photon Vanisher from my hand!" Tapping his D-Pad, he then added, "Next, I activate Vanisher's effect! After he is Special Summoned, I am allowed to add a specific monster from my Deck to my hand!" After his Deck auto-shuffled, he took the chosen card that was sticking out of his Deck and revealed it to everyone.

"Alright!" cheered Derpy. "It's Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!" Steamer only grumbled a bit in response.

"And now that it's in my hand, I can Summon it!" Thrusting his hand forward, Dr. Hooves shouted, "I release the two Photon Tokens, each with an attack power of 2000!" the two light balls then merged together, creating a large star made up of light energy. Grasping the star, The Doctor chanted, "The galaxy that lurks in the darkness. Become the light of hope and my very servant!" he then threw the star up into the air as he continued, "The embodiment of light, now descend! Appear now, Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!" After absorbing all of the light around it, the star transformed into The Doctor's powerful dragon. It belted out the loudest roar it could as took its place beside his master (Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon: Level 8 / ATK 3000 / DEF 2500).

"Rrrgh...so you got your ace monster onto the field, did you?" asked Steamer. "So you're not foolin' around are ya?"

"Not when the safety of my assistant or this world is in question." Dr. Hooves told his opponent. "I'll end my turn with a face-down card."

"Then it's my turn. I draw!" Steamer said as he drew a card from his Deck. After looking at it and placing it in his hand, he took out a different card and said, "I said that this train is my home turf, but in reality, I plan to give us a different setting for this Duel! I play the Field Spell Card, Revolving Switchyard!" Immediately, the setting changed from a train, to an enormous switchyard, a place where several train cars were stored, intending for different destinations, and railroad tracks were scattered around like spaghetti noodles.

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Revolving Switchyard:
(Field Spell Card)

If a Level 10 EARTH Machine monster(s) is Normal or Special Summoned to your field (except during the Damage Step): You can activate this effect; your opponent takes no battle damage for the rest of this turn (even if this card leaves the field), also you Special Summon 1 Level 4 EARTH Machine monster with 1800 or more ATK from your Deck, and if you do, it becomes Level 10. You can send 1 card from your hand to the GY; add 1 Level 10 EARTH Machine monster from your Deck to your hand. You can only use 1 "Revolving Switchyard" effect per turn, and only once that turn.

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"Now that the stage is set," Steamer began, "I'll use the effect of my Field Spell and send my Lionhearted Locomotive from my hand to the Graveyard. Now I can add any EARTH Machine monster with a Level of 10 to my hand from the Deck! And I'll choose my Heavy Freight Train Derricrane!"

"He just added a high-Level monster to his hand with hardly any trouble!" said Derpy. "But at least he can't Summon it yet; he has to release two monsters first."

"...I wouldn't be too sure about that, Derpy." Dr. Hooves told her, already feeling that his opponent was up to something.

After taking his chosen card from his Deck, he then played a different card, shouting, "Now I Normal Summon Night Express Knight to my field in Attack Mode!!" His first monster for the Duel was what appeared to be a large, white-and-gold train with the top half of a knight's body sticking out of the engine car, holding a lance and a shield (Night Express Knight: Level 10 / ATK 3000 / DEF 3000).

"Huh?!? How'd he do that?!" Derpy protested. "That monster's Level is too high for him to Normal Summon it just like that!"

"I'll tell you:" Steamer prepared to explain. "Night Express Knight can bypass the release cost when I Normal Summon him. But in exchange, I have to zero out his attack." (Night Express Knight: ATK 3000 > 0).

(He Summoned a high-Level monster to the field without releasing any monsters...but at the cost of leaving it without any attack points...) thought The Doctor. (I can see what his plan is... That monster is merely the set-up for his TRUE strategy...)

"And now that I've Summoned my Night Express Knight," Steamer continued, "I can now activate the effect of the Heavy Freight Train Derricrane I added to my hand earlier! Now I can Special Summon it from my hand with its attack and defense halved!" As soon as he played his second monster, a large yellow train came rushing onto his side of the field. It billowed out thick, black smoke and swung around a long crane from the back of it (Heavy Freight Train Derricrane: Level 10 / ATK 2800 ÷ 2 = 1400 / DEF 2000 ÷ 2 = 1000).

"So now he has a monster with zero attack," Derpy pointed out, "and a monster with only half its attack and defense... Why'd he bother Summoning them if he knew that would happen?"

"Because that move just allowed him to Summon two Level 10 monsters." The Doctor told her.

"T-TWO Level Tens?!" the grey girl explained. "But that means-!"

"It means now I can build an Overlay Network!" shouted the crazed conductor. "I overlay Night Express Knight and Heavy Freight Train Derricrane - both Level 10!" The two monsters then transformed into a pair of orange lights before being drawn into a red vortex in the center of the field. "From beyond the railway, arriving here and now, alongside the tremors of the earth! Make way for the monster train that gonna derail your chances of winning!" Steamer chanted. "Xyz Summon! Appear, Rank 10! Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max!"

After the chant was complete, the red portal flipped vertically and a pair of long train tracks extended out of it and onto the field. Then chugging along those twin tracks was a massive locomotive with a pair of swirling orange orbs. Its colors consisted of mostly slate blue, with some red on the front and a greyish green on the box-like apparatus on top. This train was many times bigger - and likely many times more powerful, than the train they were all on right now (Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max: Rank 10 / ATK 3000 / DEF 3000 / OLU 2).

"L-l-look at the size of that thing, Doctor!" said a trembling Derpy. "It's bigger than...well, bigger than anything I've ever seen!"

"Indeed..." Dr. Hooves remarked. "But despite that, I do not intend to back down! Not as long as Galaxy-Eyes is by my side!"

"In that case, I'll take care of that problem right away." Steamer boldly declared.

"Surely you don't intend to attack me, do you?" asked The Doctor. "Our monsters have equal attack points; and not only that, Galaxy-Eyes can banish itself and your monster to escape destruction. Your attack would only put me ahead of you."

"Yeah, because your monster would then get stronger using my Gustav Max's overlay units." Steamer told him. "I already know that." That statement seemed to surprise The Doctor a little. "Too bad for you," the conductor continued, "I have no intention of attacking your monster!" Taking out a card from underneath his Xyz Monster, he shouted, "I activate Gustav Max's ability! By removing an overlay unit, I can blast away two thousand of your Life Points in one shot!"

"Two THOUSAND?!" shrieked Derpy. "But that'll only leave him with half his Life Points!"

"Exactly!" Steamer confirmed (Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max: OLU 2 - 1 = 1). Pointing ahead, he then ordered his monster, "Now, Gustav Max! Fire your cannon!!" The giant locomotive then opened the green box-like structure on top of itself, revealing a ridiculously long cannon that was aimed right at The Doctor. One of the two orange orbs flew right into the giant gun and powered it up. Moments later, it fired off a mighty shot, blasting away its target.

"NO!!! DOCTOR!!!" screamed Derpy, concerned for her friend's safety.

Luckily, Dr. Hooves managed to stand up. He was fine physically, but his Life Points weren't nearly as lucky (Dr. Hooves: LP 4,000 - 2,000 = 2,000). "This isn't good..." he said to himself. "If he hits me like that again, this Duel will be over..."

"Heheheh...actually, this Duel'll be over even sooner than that!" said the conductor. "Since I detached my Heavy Freight Train Derricrane to use Gustav Max's effect, I can now destroy any card you have on the field! And I choose to destroy your Galaxy-Eyes!"

"What?!" exclaimed The Doctor, who could only watch as his mighty dragon was immediately destroyed, leaving him with just one monster on the field to protect him.

"Now that your dragon's gone, I'll finish you off...!" said Steamer. Playing a card from his hand, his declared, "I play the Spell Xyz Unit! By equipping it to my Xyz Monster, I now raise its attack by 200 times its Rank! And since Gustav Max has a Rank of ten, that's two thousand extra attack points!" (Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Gustav Max: ATK 3000 + 2000 = 5000)

"Five thousand?! Oh no!" said Derpy, getting more and more worried, "If that monster attacks now, The Doctor will lose the Duel!!"

"Exactly!!" Steamer shouted. "Go, Gustav Max!! Attack Photon Vanisher!! Gustav Hammer!!!" The monster then retracted its cannon and then extended the box-like structure it came out of. It then slammed the massive metal box on top of The Doctor's only monster, destroying it. "Hahahaha!! This Duel is over!!" said Steamer, confident that he had already won the game.

"Think again, Steamer!" shouted Dr. Hooves. "You won't vanquish me that easily! I activate my Trap Card, Nutrient Z!!"

"Urk! No!!" said the conductor, not expecting that move.

"Alright! He's still in this!" cheered a smiling Derpy.

"Correct. Nutrient Z grants me four thousand Life Points whenever an attack would cause me to lose at least two thousand of them." explained the Doctor. "And the Life Point recovery happens BEFORE the damage is dealt (Dr. Hooves: LP 2,000 + 4,000 = 6,000)! Which means this Duel is not yet over, Steamer!" (Dr. Hooves: LP 6,000 - 3,000 = 3,000)

"Grrrrn... Well that's kinda irritating, isn't it?" grumbled Steamer. "You may have gotten one extra turn with that stunt, but you'll never take down my Gustav Max!"

"We shall see about that." Dr. Hooves replied. "It's now my turn!"

As The Doctor drew his card for the turn, a voice began to speak in the mind of Number-possessed Steamer. "Well done..." it said. "Now he'll have no other choice...but to use THAT card..."

Dr. Hooves then looked at the card he drew. (Galaxy Trance...) he pondered. (If I were to use this, I might be able to eliminate Gustav Max and have another chance at winning this Duel...) He then just stared at the card, having some slight hesitations as he recalled a earlier event several months ago, when he first began collecting the Numbers...

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Dr. Hooves and Derpy stared at a blank card in front of them. "Wh...what are you going to do, Doctor?" the grey-skinned girl asked him.

"Well, you heard what our guest told us..." he told her, "a great amount of energy from another world has come into this one, and is slowly corrupting those that come into contact with it." Looking at the card again, he added, "I'm...not sure that I can completely trust this person, but if there's a chance that our world and/or any other is in peril...then I have no other choice." Knowing what he needed to do, The Doctor reached out and took the card. As soon as he did, a powerful light surrounded him and the card. Derpy flinched, covering her eyes as the light became stronger. After a while, the light disappeared, leaving that red mark over his eye.

"Doctor!! Are you okay?!" asked Derpy out of concern.

"Urrgh... Yes, Derpy...I believe so..." replied The Doctor. But when they looked at the card once more, they gasped as a picture of a powerful dragon appeared upon it. "Oh dear...there's now a picture on this card!" he exclaimed.

"Oh wow...that monster looks so powerful..." said the grey teen.

"Hmmmmm...I knew that I made a good choice in enlisting your help." said a voice from the Tardis's computer. "It seems that your spirit is even stronger than I first perceived it to be. But that only means that I have no doubt that you will succeed in fulfilling my wishes... With the power that I have given to you, you will excel greatly in hunting down the Numbers and those who are possessed by them..." And after that remark was made, the voice could no longer be heard.

Derpy and The Doctor just stood there, wondering about what had just taken place. They both looked at the black card again, still a bit bewildered. "Well..." the Doctor began to say, "I'd like to say that I am surprised by this, but considering what I've seen in the past, things such as this just don't seem that out of the ordinary." Staring at the mysterious card, he then added, "I can sense a strong energy from this card...but..."

"But what?" asked Derpy. "Is something wrong with it? Is the card evil or something?"

"I cannot say for sure..." Dr. Hooves said to her. "Call it a hunch if you will, but something's telling me that something is amiss about all of this..."

"So what are you going to do?" the grey girl asked him. "Are you not going to find these Number card things after all?"

"No, I shall still do as I promised our guest..." he told her. "But I shall do so with caution; I still don't know if I can trust them, whoever they may be, but hopefully I can figure things out as I go along..." He then stared at the black card he was holding and sighed a bit. For some reason, he felt a little uneasy about the card, though he couldn't say for sure why...

---------------------------------------------------------------------

(...I've managed to collect six of the other Numbers so far.) The Doctor continued to think to himself. (And not once did I use the card that was given to me by the stranger that visited Derpy and myself that day... I cannot explain why, but...I feel that it would be dangerous to use it.) He then sighed to himself and said, "But now it appears that I have no other choice now... I just hope that, for once, my hypothesis is incorrect..."

Derpy noticed that her friend seemed to have some trouble, but didn't know what. "Doctor..." she uttered, hoping that he would be okay.

Trying to remain brave, Dr. Hooves then shouted, "I activate my Spell Card, Galaxy Trance! By paying two thousand of my Life Points (Dr. Hooves: LP 3,000 - 2,000 = 1,000), I can revive any Photon monster from the Graveyard in Defense Position! So rise again, Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!!" And in an instant, his mighty Dragon monster was back on the field. "And as an added bonus," The Doctor continued, "I can also Special Summon a Galaxy monster from my Deck whose Level is equal to that of Galaxy-Eyes! So from the Deck, I call forth Galaxy Knight!"

Immediately, a second monster - human in appearance, jumped onto the field beside Galaxy-Eyes. He was wearing light, but strong body armor colored white and black, with a pair of glowing blue orbs in the chest, as well as a very shiny helmet that completely covered his face. He then brandished a long, silver sword with a golden handle while putting on a powerful battle pose (Galaxy Knight: Level 8 / ATK 2800 / DEF 2600).

"So what? Those two can't defeat my Gustav Max!" Steamer told his foe.

"Indeed, they cannot." confirmed Dr. Hooves. "Galaxy Trance Summoned them both in Defense Position, made their attack only two thousand (Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon: ATK 3000 > 2000) (Galaxy Knight: ATK 2800 > 2000), and canceled their effects." He then stared straight towards his opponent and added, "But fortunately, they will not have to do battle with your monster!"

Derpy gasped a little and thought to herself, (Is he...going to Summon THAT monster...?)

"I overlay Galaxy-Eyes and Galaxy Knight - both Level 8, and create an Overlay Network!!" shouted The Doctor as his two monsters transformed into a pair of yellow lights and were sucked into a galaxy-like portal in front of him. The portal then exploded, revealing a reddish-pink Number symbol: 62.

"Appear! Galactic Ultimate Dragon, Number 62!" The Doctor chanted. "Darkness and light wandering in the universe... Sorrowful dragon who sleeps in the interstice! Its power of creation opens the door of truth! Xyz Summon! Rank 8! Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon!" At that moment, the Number symbol then rose into the air and began to shine even more brilliantly. Then, a gigantic blue sword - engraved with several Astral glyphs, appeared in The Doctor's right hand. He then raised it into the air as a bolt of light energy shot down, striking the sword before Dr. Hooves slammed the blade into the ground.

When that happened, the sword and the glyphs written upon began to glow intensely. Then a burst of blue energy shot from the top of it, drawing all the light around it. Once it took in as much as it could, the energy began to form into the shape of a dragon. It looked a lot like Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon, but was much bigger and even more impressive. It radiated a powerful blue light all around itself, gained bulkier armor plating on its body, and boasted an even more impressive pair of wings. On one of its newly-gained shoulder pads, there was a red 62 imprinted upon it. The dragon belted out a massive roar that nearly shook the train.

*******************************

Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Dragon/LIGHT/Rank 8/ATK 4000/DEF 3000)

2 Level 8 monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. If this card battles, during damage calculation (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card once per battle; this card gains ATK equal to the combined Ranks of all Xyz Monsters currently on the field x 200, during that damage calculation only. If this card in its owner's control is destroyed by an opponent's card effect while it has "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" as material: You can Special Summon this card during your 2nd Standby Phase after activation and double its ATK. Any battle damage this card inflicts to your opponent is halved unless it has "Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon" as material.

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Derpy and Steamer stared in awe at the gigantic, shimmering dragon that Dr. Hooves had just Summoned. It was clear to them both that The Doctor was through messing around. "Wooooow... He did it...!" said the grey-skinned girl. "He Summoned the card that he got when this whole Number thing started!" But as Derpy glanced over to her friend, she noticed that - despite the powerful creature on his side of the board, he seemed...worried about something.

Steamer just stood there, gazing upon the mighty Dragon monster before him. As his brain tried to figure a way out of his current predicament, he heard another voice in his head as well. "Do not worry, Steamer..." it said to him in a deep, sinister-sounding voice. "All is as planned..."

"...All is as planned..." he uttered to himself. Shaking his head, the conductor Duelist then said to his foe, "You may have Summoned a Number, but it's not strong enough to defeat Gustav Max! My monster has a thousand more attack points than yours does! So if you attack me, you'll just lose!"

"...Are you sure about that?" The Doctor asked him.

"Wh-what? What do you mean...?"

"I'll be more than happy to show you." Dr. Hooves then pointed forward and shouted to his new monster, "Galaxy-Eyes! Attack Gustav Max now!" As the dragon readied its attack, his controller added, "And at this moment, I use his effect! By removing an Overlay Unit, I can increase the attack of Galaxy-Eyes by 200 times the combined Ranks of all Xyz Monsters currently on the field!" As he said that, his monster then absorbed one of the two yellow orbs of light that circled around it (Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon: OLU 2 - 1 = 1).

"The COMBINED Ranks?!?" Steamer exclaimed. Looking at his monster, he then nervously pointed out, "M-my Gustav Max...its Rank is ten!!"

"And my Galaxy-Eyes is a Rank 8 Xyz Monster." The Doctor added. "Totaled up, that's eighteen! So 200 times that amount - or 3,600, is added to Galaxy-Eyes' attack power!" (Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon: ATK 4000 + 3600 = 7600).

"S-s-seventy-six hundred?!?" gasped Steamer, knowing he was about to take a massive blow to his Life Points.

"Now, Galaxy-Eyes!! Attack!!" Dr. Hooves shouted. "Eternity Photon Stream!!" The powerful dragon - made even more powerful with his special ability, flew up into the air and charged up a large sphere of bluish-green energy in front of it. Once it was fully charged, Galaxy-Eyes then shot a gigantic ray of light, sending it straight towards Steamer's Xyz Monster. The beam of light pierced right through the monstrous locomotive, causing it to explode into a million, flaming pieces. "Gustav Max is eliminated!" The Doctor said triumphantly.

"Urrrgh...!" grunted Steamer. The force of the attack had caused him to fall over onto his back, and now he was struggling to get back on his feet. Eventually, he stood back up, not willing to admit defeat yet. "Th-this...isn't...over..." he told his enemy in between short gasps (Steamer: LP 4,000 - 2,600 = 1,400). "I...won't let you...beat me...!"

"I think it would be best for you to surrender now, for your own good." The Doctor told him. "But I can see that you don't plan to listen to reason - in which case, I have no other alternative." Taking a card from his hand, he stated, "I'll activate the Spell Card known as Photon Trade. I send the Photon Sabre Tiger in my hand to the Graveyard and draw two more cards." After doing so, he looked at one of the two cards for a brief moment. He then looked at his Xyz Monster, and then back at the card. He then nodded to himself and placed it into his D-Pad's Spell & Trap slot, saying, "I'll set this card face-down to finish my turn." With his turn done, Galaxy-Eyes' effect ended as well, and its attack power reverted back to normal (Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon: ATK 7600 - 3600 = 4000).

"Alright!" said Derpy, happy that her friend was back in control of the game. "If he keeps this up, he'll win next turn!"

(Galaxy-Eyes managed to eliminate his monster and a large portion of his Life Points...) Dr. Hooves thought to himself. (One more attack like that, and this Duel will end in my victory...) Sighing, he then said to himself, "But...this seems a little too easy... For some reason, I have this foreboding feeling..." He then looked at his monster, pondering some more about the situation. (A feeling that's come over me the moment I played Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon...) he said in mind, finishing his thoughts.

"M-my turn..." Steamer said, still a little worn out from the earlier attack. "I draw...!" Looking at the card, he then played it right away and said, "I...activate a Spell Card! Pot of Desires! I banish the top ten cards of my Deck face-down and draw two more...!" He then did just that and looked at the new cards he managed to pull before making his next move. "Now I'll activate the effect of my Field Spell, Revolving Switchyard! I send Express Train Trolley Olley to the Graveyard and add another copy of Night Express Knight to my hand from my Deck!"

(Night Express Knight...) thought The Doctor. (If he is taking that card, then it's obvious what he's planning next...) He now braced himself, hoping that whatever was coming next would be something that he could overcome.

"Now I activate Emergency Provisions!" Steamer then declared. "By sending my Field Spell Card to the Graveyard, I restore a thousand of my Life Points!" And with that, the scene around them reverted back to the train car that they were on (Steamer: LP 1,400 + 1,000 = 2,400).

"But why did he get rid of his Field Spell just to get back some of his Life Points?" Derpy asked. "That doesn't make sense to me..."

"Because now that I have no cards on the field," Steamer explained, "I can now play this card!" Slapping a card on his D-Pad, he shouted, "I now deploy my Rocket Arrow Express!!" After he did that, a large, blue train with yellow on the front of it pulled in beside the conductor. On top of the locomotive was what appeared to be a white jet plane (Rocket Arrow Express: Level 10 / ATK 5000 / DEF 0).

"HUH?!?" Derpy exclaimed. "Did he just play a five thousand-attack monster just like that?!"

"He certainly did, Ms. Derpy." The Doctor answered her. "But it comes at a price: Steamer cannot attack the turn he Summons Rocket Arrow Express. More so, he cannot activate the effects of any of his cards, nor can he Set them while that monster is on the field. In addition, he must send his entire hand to the Graveyard during each of his turns afterwards if he wishes to keep Rocket Arrow Express out."

"R-really...?" asked the grey teen, surprised by the monster's massive drawbacks. "That seems like a horrible move to me..." But the Doctor knew that this was just the beginning of something even bigger.

"I may not be able to play any of my card effects or battle this turn, but that doesn't mean I can't still play more monsters!" the conductor pointed out. "Now I'll Normal Summon another Night Express Knight! And just like last time, I'll zero out his attack so I can play it without releasing any monsters!" And with that, a second copy of Night Express Knight appeared on his field (Night Express Knight: ATK 3000 > 0).

"Oh no...two more Level 10 monsters..." said Derpy, getting worried.

(Here it comes...) thought The Doctor, getting ready for whatever was coming next.

"Now...! Summon it...!" rang the voice in Steamer's head. "Summon the Number...!"

"Summon...the Number..." the conductor said, sounding like he was in a bit of a trance. Regaining his composure, he then shouted, "I overlay my two Level 10 monsters and build the Overlay Network!!" The two monsters then transformed into a pair of orange lights that flew into a galaxy-like vortex in the center of the field. "Deploy now, Number 81!" he then began to chant. "Travel down the railtracks of time and space itself, and appear here in our world! Let nothing stop your rampage as you run down everything in your path! Xyz Summon!! Appear, Rank 10! Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Super Dora!!"

Once his chant was complete, the portal in the middle of the field exploded, revealing a red-colored 81 symbol on the ground. Then, another portal appeared from behind Steamer, with four sets of train tracks coming out of it. Then, barreling down those tracks was quite possibly the largest locomotive that Derpy and Dr. Hooves had ever seen before. It was so huge, that it burst through the train they were on (not for real, of course), causing smoke to blow around them. When it cleared up, the setting had changed to a desolate desert with a wrecked train in the background. And towering above them all was a humongous machine covered in blue and silver-colored metal armor, a trio of long, intimidating-looking cannons, and streaks of orange glowing on the front of it. The behemoth machine sat on top of four separate trains riding on four separate tracks. The red 81 could be seen on the machine's right armor plate, as well as on the arm of its owner.

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Number 81: Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Super Dora
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Machine/EARTH/Rank 10/ATK 3200/DEF 4000)

2 Level 10 monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. Once per turn (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card, then target 1 face-up monster on the field; that target is unaffected by card effects, except its own, until the end of this turn.

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Derpy's jaw hung open at the sight of the massive mechanical monster before The Doctor and herself. "Th-that's his Number card?!" she exclaimed. "That thing's even bigger than the last monster he had out!"

(Perhaps...but his monster is still not strong enough to defeat Galaxy-Eyes...) Dr. Hooves noted to himself. (Even without using its ability, my monster still has eight hundred more attack points than his monster... So why did he put it in Attack Position?) The Doctor figured that something was up, but wasn't sure what yet.

"My monster isn't strong enough to defeat your Number in battle..." Steamer pointed out. "And not only that, I can't go into my Battle Phase this turn anyway. So I'll just set one card face-down and end my turn."

"It's my turn, then! I draw!" Dr. Hooves said, quickly drawing his next card. Still feeling a slight amount of worry, he then said to himself, (I have to end this Duel quickly...! For some reason, I feel that letting this Duel drag on would be a most perilous decision...) After drawing his card, he then said to his opponent, "I now use the effect of the Galaxy Cleric in my hand! This effect allows me to attach it to Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon as an Overlay Unit!" After doing so, a second yellow orb began to orbit his Xyz Monster (Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon: OLU 1 + 1 = 2). Steamer just growled a little in response.

(Okay...now all he has to do is attack, activate Galaxy-Eyes' effect, and he'll win the Duel!) thought Derpy, hoping that everything would go well.

Pointing forward, Dr. Hooves shouted, "Now prepare to lose this Duel and your Number card! This Duel is over!"

"Hmhmhmhmmm... Alright, I suppose that's enough playing around..." said the dark voice in Steamer's mind. "Now it's time for The Doctor to see his LAST Number card...!"

"Time to end this!" Dr. Hooves shouted. "I attack with-!" But his command was cut short when he heard a loud, painful-sounding cry come from his dragon. When he looked up at it, he gasped and asked, "Wh-what is this??"

Everyone watched as a dark aura began to surround Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon. From what they could see, it seemed like the dark energy was hurting it. It roared even louder as the energy began to consume it. "Wh-what's going on??" asked Derpy. "What's wrong with Galaxy-Eyes?!" Steamer said nothing, as he seemed to be just as shocked by this as well.

Once the dark energy completely surrounded it, Galaxy-Eyes was then dragged down into the ground beneath it. Then, the red 62 mark appeared where it used stand. But it didn't stay that way for long: Each of the two digits began to rotate individually and turn upside down, while at the same time changing color from red to blue. Once the process was done, the number symbol had transformed itself into the number 95.

"What is this...?" asked The Doctor, bewildered by the scene before him.

"The beginning of your demise, Doctor..." said the sinister voice. Only now, it could be heard by everyone and not just Steamer. "Your Number-hunting mission shall end today...!"

"No..." Dr. Hooves was astounded by what was happening. Then, that sense of dread that had been weighing down on him during the Duel began to grow again.

"Arise...Number 95!" chanted the evil voice. "The power filling the galaxy... When the ruler has exhausted his body and spirit, his soul curses the world! Xyz Summon!" As the chant progressed, a blob of purplish-black goo began to ooze from where the blue 95 was imprinted on the ground. The goo began to grow bigger and bigger in the center of the field before it began to change its shape. The goo formed itself into a hideous-looking dragon with black scales and tattered-looking wings. Its eyes glowed an eerie yellow glow as three purple orbs floated around it. The skies above even grew darker as it appeared.

"Come forth!! Rank 9!!" said the evil voice. "Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon!!!"

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Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Dragon/DARK/Rank 9/ATK 4000/DEF 0)

3 Level 9 monsters
You can also Xyz Summon this card by using a "Galaxy-Eyes" Xyz Monster you control as material. (Transfer its materials to this card.) Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. Cannot be used as material for an Xyz Summon. When this card is Xyz Summoned: You can send 3 Dragon monsters with different names from your Deck to the GY; your opponent banishes 3 monsters from their Deck. You can detach 1 material from this card; this card can make up to 2 attacks on monsters during each Battle Phase this turn.

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"D...Dark Matter Dragon...?" said Dr. Hooves, trembling a little at the sight of the frightening beast that had just appeared before them all.

"D-Doctor...?" Derpy began to ask in a fearful tone. "Why did you Summon something so...so scary-looking??"

"...That's just the problem, Ms. Derpy..." he told her. "I DIDN'T Summon it. Somehow, that...that vile monster brought itself to the field! But there's no way that could have been possible...unless..." He then gasped, realizing what was going on. (Unless my Number card was...was corrupted somehow!) He then understood just why he felt so worried about Summoning Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon: Somehow, for reasons even he couldn't explain, he felt that something was wrong with the card that he received so long ago.

Steamer stared at the black dragon in front of him, also trembling a little. "Wh-what is that...?" he asked himself.

"Calm yourself..." said the voice in his head. "It is all going as planned..."

"It is all going as planned..." Steamer repeated, once again seemingly going into some sort of trance.

"Now...let us begin the end for you, Doctor..." the wicked voice said out-loud again. "I activate...Dark Matter Dragon's effect!"

Just then a beeping sound came from Dr. Hooves' D-Pad. When he looked at the screen, he saw a message that told him to send three of his cards from his Deck to the Graveyard. "What is this??" the brown-skinned man asked. "Why is my Duel Pad telling me to discard Galaxy Dragon, Galaxy-Eyes Cloudragon, and Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon from my Deck??"

"On the turn in which it is Summoned..." the evil voice rang out, "Dark Matter Dragon sends three differently-named Dragons from your Deck to the Graveyard... In exchange, the opponent must then banish three of their monsters from their Deck. Now...dispose of your Dragons!"

The Doctor scowled, knowing that the effect was actually hurting him more than it was helping him, especially since Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon was on the top of his Deck already. (If I had been able to draw Galaxy-Eyes,) he thought, (I could have attempted to Summon another monster with two thousand attack points, then release both it and Dark Matter Dragon in order to remove it from the field... But now I can't!) After he and his opponent removed their monsters from their respective Decks, the man continued to ponder, (Whatever that voice is...it seems as though it doesn't want me to get rid of that Number monster myself... But why?)

"Now for Dark Matter Dragon's SECOND effect!" said the evil voice once more. "By removing an Overlay Unit, this monster can attack two monsters this turn!"

"But that doesn't make sense!" Derpy pointed out. "Steamer has only one monster out! What's the point of using that ability now?"

The Doctor got that answer when he saw that he was being forced into removing Prime Photon Dragon from under the new Number card. (That's why...) he said to himself. (Normally, Prime Photon Dragon can revive itself from the Graveyard with its own effect, but only if it was destroyed while on the field... Since it is being detached to activate an effect, it won't be able to bring itself back...and I have no other cards in my hand that could revive it, either...) Growling a little under his breath, he then came to a conclusion. "Whatever this voice is, it's the one that is controlling Dark Matter Dragon... And it seems determined to sabotage this Duel!" (Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon: OLU 3 - 1 = 2)

"Now for the Battle Phase!!" shouted the dark voice. "Dark Matter Dragon, attack! Dark Photon Stream of Annihilation!!" The beast then unleashed its attack on Steamer's Number.

(If this attack hits, his Number will be destroyed...) thought The Doctor. (But if that voice controlling that dragon is trying to make me lose, then I'm certain that this attack will not work...!)

"I activate my Trap Card...!" shouted Steamer. "I play Shadow Spell!! This Trap stops your monster's attack and drops its power by seven hundred points!" And just like that, several heavy chains wrapped around Dark Matter Dragon, restricting its movements (Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon: ATK 4000 - 700 = 3300).

"Oh no...!" gasped Derpy, now getting more and more worried for her friend. "What's he going to do now...?? That creepy dragon really does seem to be acting on its own, just like The Doctor said... If that's true, then...does that mean he's going to lose...?" Shaking her head, she said to herself, "No! He can't lose!! Not because of something like this!! He'll figure out a plan to get out of this, just he always does! I know he'll win this!! I know it!!"

Derpy's pep talk was heard by The Doctor, which helped him snap out of his worried state. (She is absolutely right.) he thought. (I shall not allow this voice - whomever they are, from stopping my mission to protect this world! I made a vow that I would prevent the Number cards from being misused! There is absolutely no way that I shall allow myself to be defeated in this manner! I know there must be a way out of this situation... There HAS to be!) He then glanced at the face-down card on his field and began to think of an idea. (Maybe...) he pondered. (If my hunch is correct...there may be a chance after all...) He then looked ahead to his opponent and told him, "Alright, my turn is over!"

"Hmhmhmmm... By the time this Duel ends, more than that will be over, I assure you..." said the evil voice from within Steamer's mind. It then spoke to the conductor, saying, "Everything is going according to plan, Steamer... Now finish him off and claim his Numbers!"

"Finish...him...off..." the conductor repeated. "I draw..." He then slowly pulled his next card from the top of his Deck and looked at it. He then played the card right away, saying in a monotone voice, "I activate...the Equip Spell Train Connection...! I banish two Level 10 Machine monsters from my Graveyard - Heavy Freight Train Derricrane and Night Express Knight, to double Super Dora's attack power...!" The orange streaks on his Number card began to glow bright red as its power increased even higher (Number 81: Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Super Dora: ATK 3200 x 2 = 6400).

"Now it's attack power is at sixty-four hundred!" Derpy noted.

"Yes, it is..." The Doctor responded. "If Dark Matter Dragon had not appeared, Prime Photon Dragon would have been able to use its ability to overcome that attack strength... But as it is now, if Super Dora launches an attack and destroys Dark Matter Dragon, this Duel will end..."

"Indeed..." said Steamer. "And once you're defeated, your Numbers will be in my possession..." The conductor was still talking in a monotone voice, as if someone else was controlling his actions.

"D...Doctor..." Derpy said, worried for her friend. She still clung onto the hope that he would prevail, even against the impossible.

"Now it's time to meet your end, Doctor!!" shouted Steamer. "Super Dora, attack Dark Matter Dragon and end this Duel!!" The monster then charged its cannons, ready land the finishing blow upon Dr. Hooves.

"Doctor...! Do something!! Hurry!!" Derpy urged him.

(She's right: It's now or never...!) the brown man thought. (I just hope that my hunch is right...) Tapping his Duel Pad's screen, he shouted, "I activate a Quick-Play Spell!! Clashing Souls!!"

"Wh-what's that??" asked Steamer, slightly surprised.

"This Spell Card can be activated when two monsters in Attack Position battle each other, and your monster has higher attack!" The Doctor explained. "Now I can pay five hundred of my Life Points to increase Dark Matter's attack power by five hundred!" Just as he said, he transferred some of his power into Dark Matter Dragon (Dr. Hooves: LP 1,000 - 500 = 500) (Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon: ATK 3300 + 500 = 3800). However, it seemed that its attack power wasn't the only thing that changed about it, as a faint aura of yellow light surrounded it for a brief moment.

"Hmph...how useless." said the voice in Steamer's mind, not caring about the card that The Doctor played.

"You go right ahead and do that!" said Steamer. "My monster will still destroy yours, along with your Life Points! Super Dora, launch your assault now!!" The Machine monster then fired its fully-charged cannons at Dark Matter Dragon. "This Duel is over!!" he then shouted.

But Dr. Hooves smiled and said, "I'm afraid that you're wrong, Steamer. Your attack is powerful enough to defeat Dark Matter Dragon, but due to the other effect of Clashing Souls...neither player takes any damage from the battle! Which means I won't lose the Duel this turn!"

"What?!? No!!!" shouted the evil voice. "That's impossib-" But his words were cut short when Super Dora's attack destroyed Dark Matter Dragon and removed it from the field. But just as The Doctor said, thanks to his Spell Card's effect, he was still in the game.

"Yay! He did it!! He survived!!" Derpy cheered. "And he even managed to get rid of that nasty dragon, too!"

Steamer just stood there, motionless as he tried to process what had just happened. "H...huh? Wh-what just happened?" he said, his voice sounding a bit more normal. Not only that, the 81 on his arm faded slightly.

Taking a deep breath to calm himself, Dr. Hooves said to himself, "Thank goodness that my plan worked... I deduced that, even though I may not have been able to control Dark Matter Dragon, it couldn't stop me from playing my own cards on it. And luckily, that deduction proved to be true, and I managed to not only survive the attack, but also destroy that dragon." He then noticed something else was different: That sense of worry he had seemed to have passed as well. "I wonder...did I accomplish more by destroying Dark Matter Dragon...?" he asked himself.

Elsewhere, at an unknown location, a figure cloaked in the darkest of shadows seemed to be frustrated at something as he looked at a computer screen filled with nothing but static. Slamming a fist on the screen and cracking it slightly, he angrily said, "No...!! How could this have happened...?!" His voice sounded exactly like the one that Steamer heard in his mind. "I planned on having The Doctor's Life Points run out at the exact same time that Dark Matter Dragon was destroyed...! But it didn't work! And with Dark Matter Dragon destroyed, my link to The Doctor is forever broken....! I can't even spy on him anymore!" Scowling, he then said to himself, "No matter... He has only five hundred Life Points left and no cards in play after his move... There should be no way that he can win the Duel..." The strange figure seemed sure that, despite this setback, there was no hope for Dr. Hooves...

Back at the Duel, Dr. Hooves began thinking some more about the events that had transpired. Taking out the Dark Matter Dragon card from his Graveyard, he stared at it and thought, (When this creature first appeared, it carried with it a powerful and evil energy... But now I can't feel anything of the sort coming out of it. I can't say for certain...but my earlier move may have cut off contact between this monster and whomever was controlling it...) Looking ahead, he then added, (I hope this is true, for even though I managed to escape that situation, I'm still not in a favorable position...I only have five hundred Life Points left, and no cards on the field... Meanwhile, the conductor still has his Number card... No matter what happens next, my next turn will most likely be my last...)

"You can do it, Doctor!!" shouted Derpy. "I know you can win this Duel! You're the smartest person I know!" The Doctor turned over to his assistant and friend, listening to her every word. "I've seen you in tougher messes than this before, and you always come out of them okay! You've come too far just to let someone beat you now! You stopped Dark Matter Dragon without a problem, so I know you'll get through this! I just know it!!"

(...She's right!) Hooves said, clenching his fist. (If I give up now, I would be disrespecting myself, as well as Ms. Derpy's faith in me! And like she said: I've never met a problem that I couldn't solve...a question that I couldn't answer...nor a puzzle I couldn't decipher! My intelligence and intuition has never failed me in the past, nor will it fail me in the future!) Smiling, he then turned to Derpy, and told her, "Do not worry... I promise that I will crack the code of this Duel and come out victorious for the both of us!" As he said that, a faint, blue glow could be seen from his Deck, though no one seemed to notice it right away.

Happy to hear him say that, Derpy cheered, saying, "You can do it, Doctor! Get out there and win this!"

Placing his fingers on the top of his Deck, The Doctor said to his opponent, "Prepare yourself, Steamer! I shall not give in! I promised to help protect this world, and I do NOT break my promises! Now prepare to witness my full strength!!" He then drew the top card of his Deck, put it into his hand, and played another. "I activate another Photon Trade! I discard the Photon Thrasher I just drew and draw two more cards!"

"Heh...after all that, you're trusting luck of the draw this late in the Duel?" said Steamer in a bit of a mocking tone. Even though the voice in his head had vanished, the Number was still controlling most of his words and actions.

"...You may call it 'luck of the draw'," Dr. Hooves responded, "but I do not rely on luck. Throughout my life, I have gained all sorts of knowledge that has aided me to this very day. I trust my hunches and they have always guided me in the right direction. And right now, my hunch is telling me I'll have everything I need to defeat you and claim your Number! For I fight not for my sake alone, but for the sake and well-being of all those in the world!"

As the man spoke, the glow from his Deck became stronger. Derpy then finally noticed it and asked herself, "Wh-what's going on with The Doctor's Deck?" The glow was mysterious to her...and also familiar. (Wait...that glow...it's almost like the same light that came from that blank card Mrs. K gave him...!) she recalled.

Placing his fingers on his Deck again, he said to it, "We have seen many tough battles so far, and this one could quite possibly be our most perilous one yet... This must have been how Ms. Sunset felt when I battled her in the city... Even against overwhelming odds, she refused to give up." Putting on a fierce look, he then added, "She believed in herself up until the very end, and that is something I must do now!" Then, as he drew his two cards, the glow from his Deck let out a brilliant flash of blue light.

"Rrrrgh...! Wh-what's that?!" Steamer asked. "What'd he do?!"

"Doctor...?" Derpy meekly asked, also wondering what had happened.

When Dr. Hooves looked at the two cards he drew, he saw that one of them was Galaxy Zero. But the other card was covered in that same blue light. At first, he didn't know what to make of it...

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Far away, on a road leading out of the town of Bloodstone, Sunset Shimmer was driving her Duel Runner, heading back home. In her backpack, along with her cards and dueling gear, there was a shiny, gold plaque: It was a first-place award for winning the local Duel Monsters tournament in Bloodstone. The red-and-yellow girl couldn't wait to show it to her friends back in Canterlot. But as she drove down the street, she then noticed that her necklace was glowing brightly. "H-huh? My necklace... What's going on?" she asked, pulling over to the side of the road to take a closer look at it. The charm on the end of it was radiating a bright blue light, but Sunset had no idea what it meant.

"What is this thing doing now...?" she asked herself. "This feeling I'm getting from it... It's powerful, but oddly familiar too..." She then looked down the road ahead of her, trying to make sense out of what was happening. In the end, she figured that she wasn't going to get an answer right away as she revved up her bike and continued on her way. That being said, this was something she would have to ask Twilight when she came back...

Even further away, Twilight Sparkle - who was spending her Spring Break back in her home universe, was busy drawing up some things on a large sheet of paper set out on the table in front of her. The highly-detailed sketch showed a picture of a beautiful-looking building nestled beside a mountain with many streams and waterfalls around it. "Hmmmm..." she thought to herself. "Not bad so far...but I think I could make a few tiny improvements... What do you think, Spike?"

"Uh, maybe." the little dragon told her. "But I gotta ask: What is it you're drawing there, anyway? It kinda looks like a school building or something..."

"Oh...uh, nothing in particular. Just...sketching out a few ideas I had in my head; nothing special." She then used her magic to store the drawing away neatly in a box labeled "Working Ideas: Top Secret". As she returned to her table, she then noticed that her deck box - which has been sitting off to the side of her papers, was glowing blue. "Huh? That's weird..."

"What is it?" Spike asked his Princess friend.

"Has my Deck been glowing like that this whole time we've been here?" the Alicorn asked.

"Glowing?" The young dragon glanced over at the Deck a moment after the box stopped radiating light. "Uh...I don't see any glow..."

"But...I could've sworn that I saw some sort of light coming off of it..."

"It probably was just some light reflecting off of the walls, Twilight." Spike figured. "In case you forgot, this whole castle is made out of crystals; they're always glowing with sunlight during the day." Getting up out of his chair, he then told her, "Anyway, we gotta meet up with the others; If we don't get there soon, we'll all miss the boat going to Horseolulu." The young Princess nodded in agreement. She then levitated her Deck and put it with her other belongings, still unsure about the glow that she saw...

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Back at the Duel, Dr. Hooves stared at the glowing card that he had drawn earlier, wondering what could have caused this phenomenon. Then, as suddenly as the glow appeared, it faded, revealing that the card was a Spell Card...but it was not one that the Doctor was familiar with. (What is this card...?) he asked himself. (I don't recall putting this in my Deck... And those markings...) He then looked at the card's name and the effect text and gasped when he realized what they were. (Th-those are Astral Glyphs! Just like on the Number cards! Does that mean that this card is related to the Astral World?) He didn't know where the card came from, but he knew that it came to him for a reason. After reading the card closely, he had quickly formulated a plan to defeat his opponent.

Taking the first card that he drew, The Doctor shouted, "I activate the Spell Galaxy Zero! This card allows me to revive any Photon or Galaxy Monster from my Graveyard! However, the monster it Summons is not allowed to attack or use its effects."

"So what're you planning to use it on, then?" asked Steamer, not sure what to expect.

Taking a deep sigh to collect his thoughts, Dr. Hooves surprised everyone by saying, "I use Galaxy Zero to revive Dark Matter Dragon!"

"WHAT?!?" exclaimed Derpy and Steamer in shock.

But it was true: The Doctor had brought back the terrifying dragon that had attempted to sabotage his Duel. But after it came back, everyone could tell that something was different about it compared to earlier. Dr. Hooves especially noticed a change in the monster as well. (...Good, it is as I presumed:) he thought to himself. (Whoever was controlling Dark Matter Dragon earlier lost its connection to it when it was destroyed last turn; now the monster is obeying only me...)

"So you got your big, scary dragon back on the field..." said Steamer. "But because of your Spell Card, it can't attack me! And even if it could, its attack power is too low anyway! So what was the point?"

Showing his opponent the back of the other card that he had drawn earlier, The Doctor told him, "Galaxy Zero was only the first step in solving the puzzle of this Duel. And by the time this is over, you will see what each step in my plan will add up to!" Revealing the card, he shouted, "I now activate...Photon Purification!"

"Photon...Purification??" asked Derpy. "What's that...?" She wondered just how her friend had gotten a card that even she had never heard of.

"Now pay attention, Steamer, because I will only explain this once." Hooves told him. "The cost for activating this Spell Card is that I must release a DARK-Attribute Xyz Monster on my field: Dark Matter Dragon fits that description perfectly."

"Y-you're releasing it??" asked the conductor. "But why?"

"By doing so, I am then allowed to Special Summon a LIGHT Xyz Monster from my Extra Deck that is exactly one Rank lower than the released monster, counting it as a valid Xyz Summon." he continued. "Since Dark Matter Dragon is Rank 9, I can now Summon a Rank 8 monster!"

"A Rank 8?" asked Derpy. "But the only other monster he has that's Rank 8 is Neo Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon... And even it's not strong enough to defeat that guy's Number..."

"...It's not the only one, Ms. Derpy." The Doctor told her. Reaching into his deck box, he pulled out a card that he had stored away in his Extra Deck. "I believe this card will do just nicely."

"Wh-what do you think you're trying to pull?!" asked Steamer. "That card's completely blank!! You can't play a blank card!!"

"Normally, no." said Dr. Hooves. "But I can assure you that this card shall not remain blank for much longer!" As he said that, the card began radiating light, just like the Spell Card that he had played. "With my belief in bringing this world to peace, I shall awaken its full potential! Now come forth, Number of Harmony!!" And with that shout, the card began glowing even more fiercely than before, bathed in a copper-brown light.

"What's going on now?!" asked Steamer, becoming more worried by the second.

Derpy - recognizing the blank card as the one that Kisara had given to them, gasped in excitement and said, "That's incredible! You figured out how to use that card!"

"...WE figured it out, Ms. Derpy." he corrected her. "It was only through your faith in me that this Number can awaken. For it, too, believes in creating a greater world for us all! And I use the power it has given me to fulfill that dream!" The Doctor then declared, "I now release Dark Matter Dragon to activate Photon Purification, to Summon our newest ally!" At that moment, a yellow light began to surround Dark Matter Dragon, engulfing it just as its darkness had done to Prime Photon Dragon earlier. Once that was done, the light transformed into a sphere that flew into the center of the field.

Everyone watched as a summoning portal appeared where the ball of light had impacted. It had a galaxy-like appearance, just like with the other Numbers. But when it fully formed, the portal changed its color to bright yellow before exploding. All that was left behind was a red symbol that resembled the number 90. At the same time, the blank card that the Doctor was holding now displayed a picture and text (written in the Astral World language).

"Come before me! Number 90!" The Doctor chanted. "All-powerful warrior from beyond our star system, bring forth the light that can dispel the shadows of evil! Become the harmony that shines in the darkness! Xyz Summon!!" At that moment, what appeared to be a large, blue cocoon slowly descended onto the battlefield. Once it reached the ground, it unsealed itself, revealing its true form as a powerful armored warrior. He was decked out in blue and silver armor that looked very much like Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon, and wielded a bright, blue sword that seemed to be made out of energy and not steel. All around his armor, there were glowing yellow orbs, and on the left portion of his armor was the red 90 that had appeared earlier. "Embodiment of knowledge and wisdom! Rank 8! Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord!!" he shouted, finishing his chant.

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Number 90: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Warrior/LIGHT/Rank 8/ATK 2500/DEF 3000)

2 Level 8 monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. If this card has a "Photon" card as material, it cannot be destroyed by card effects. You can only use each of the following effects of "Number 90: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord" once per turn.
* When an opponent's monster activates its effect (Quick Effect): You can detach 1 material from this card; negate that monster's effect, and if the detached material was a "Galaxy" card, destroy that card.
* During your opponent’s turn (Quick Effect): You can take 1 "Photon" or "Galaxy" card from your Deck, and either add it to your hand or attach it to this card as material.

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"Galaxy-Eyes...Photon Lord..." said Derpy, staring in amazement at The Doctor's new Number card. "It's...it's incredible...!"

Steamer was taken completely by surprise by the appearance of this new Number. "Th-that can't be...!" he said trembling. "How'd he do that...?!"

Dr. Hooves took a deep breath, having exerted a lot of power in Summoning his Number card. He then felt something unfamiliar on his right hand; looking at it, he was surprised to see that he was now wearing a gold ring on the ring finger of that hand. On the ring was same key-shaped charm that was on Sunset's necklace. He had no idea where it came from, as he wasn't wearing a ring there before. For now, though, he decided to think about that another time. He then faced his opponent and told him, "Steamer, I'm afraid this is where the Duel ends. Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord will defeat your Number and free you from its influence!"

"Urrgh...and how do you plan on doing that?" asked the conductor. "My Number is still more powerful than yours is!"

"Just observe for yourself, and you will see what I mean." Taking a card from his Graveyard, The Doctor then told him, "First, I use the effect of the Galaxy-Eyes Cloudragon that was sent to my Graveyard as a result of Dark Matter Dragon. Since I control a Galaxy-Eyes Xyz Monster, I can attach this card to said monster as an Overlay Unit. So I grant the effect to my Photon Lord!" A violet portal then appeared on the field, and out of it came a small, glowing dragon. It then transformed into a yellow orb that zipped over towards The Doctor's Number card (Number 90: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord: OLU 0 + 1 = 1).

"That doesn't scare me even one bit!" Steamer told his foe.

"Then perhaps this will." Dr. Hooves replied. "I activate the second effect of Photon Purification in my Graveyard! By banishing it, I can destroy any opposing Number card!"

"What?! But that means...!"

"It means you can say goodbye to your Super Dora, for it is the monster I am targeting!" shouted The Doctor. As he said that, a sphere of blue light then emerged above him. It then shot out a bolt of blue lightning that headed straight for Steamer's Number card.

"If you think I'll let you destroy my Number that easily, then think again!" the conductor shouted. "I activate Super Dora's effect! By removing one Overlay Unit, I can make Super Dora unaffected by all other card effects this turn! So your stupid Spell Card won't destroy it!" One of the two orange orbs phased itself into the massive machine (Number 81: Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Super Dora: OLU 2 - 1 = 1), allowing it to use its ability. "Hah! So much for your plan!" Steamer said to his foe. "I stopped it cold!"

"...Which is what I thought you might do." said The Doctor.

"What?! You knew I'd do that?!" asked the conductor, taken aback.

"I considered it as a possibility." Hooves answered him. "And now that you've used your monster's effect, I shall now use my monster's effect as well." Taking the card he had just attached to it and sending it to the Graveyard, he declared, "I chain Photon Lord's effect! By removing one Overlay Unit, I can negate your monster's effect when it tries to activate!"

"Oh no!!" Steamer said, watching as his opponent's monster absorbed its floating orb (Number 90: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord: OLU 1 - 1 = 0). Photon Lord then charged up power in its left hand and fired that energy at Super Dora. This caused the red energy lines on it to become dull and inactive. "That can't be!" the conductor said in worry. "My monster's lost its power!"

"Yes, but that isn't all:" The Doctor informed him. Showing him the card that he had removed from his Xyz Monster, he explained, "Since the card detached from Photon Lord was a Galaxy monster, I also destroy the monster whose effect was negated!" And as he said that, a glowing yellow version of Galaxy-Eyes Cloudragon then appeared on the field and flew straight towards the massive train monster, bursting right through it. Sparks began flying out of Super Dora before it was engulfed in a fiery explosion.

"N-n-no...!! My Number is...is destroyed...!" said a trembling Steamer. "And I don't even any cards left in my hand or on the field to protect me...! I'll...I'll lose!"

Putting on a serious expression, Dr. Hooves then told his opponent, "This is for your own good, Mr. Steamer. You won't have to suffer anymore under the Number's control." Pointing forward, "Go, Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord! Attack him directly with Photon Sword of Destruction!!" The mighty warrior then leapt into the air and hovered there for a while as he charged up a powerful light into his sword. "Tear apart the darkness and help bring this world closer to salvation!" he shouted as his monster slashed his sword, creating a blue shockwave that headed straight for Steamer.

There was nothing the conductor could do as the shockwave hit him, wiping out the rest of his Life Points. "AAAAAARRRRGH!!!" he screamed as the force of the attack knocked him off his feet (Steamer: LP 2,400 - 2,500 = 0) (WINNER: Dr. Whooves).

"He did it!!" cheered Derpy. "The Doctor won!! I knew he'd do it! I knew it!!"

Taking a sigh of relief, the Doctor smiled as he used his D-Pad to take Steamer's Number card from him. He then looked at the card, along with his new Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord.

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Minutes later, Dr. Hooves and Derpy were back in their seats as the train continued on its way to Canterlot City. The Doctor was worn-out from his earlier Duel, but thankful that he had won. "I must admit, Derpy..." he told his assistant, "that was quite possibly one of the toughest Duels I've fought so far... I'm still quite exhausted; both mentally and physically."

"Yeah, that Duel took a lot out of you..." Derpy told him. But she smiled and said, "But you won it, and that's what matters! Not only that, but you even managed to use that card Mrs. K gave you! That was the most amazing thing ever!"

Taking out the card in question, Hooves smiled and said to her, "I most certainly agree, Ms. Derpy. It was thanks to all of us, including Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord, that we emerged victorious today. Hopefully this card will aid us in our mission to collect the Numbers and save this world and the Astral World..."

"Speaking of Numbers..." the grey teen began to ask, "what happened with that Dark Matter Dragon monster? Where did it come from? And why did it seem intent on trying to make you lose the Duel?"

"I'm not sure why it was attempting to sabotage the Duel," The Doctor told her, "but as for where it came from, I think I may know..." He then took Dark Matter Dragon out of his deck box and placed it on the table between them. He then took out a second card and placed it down as well, right next to Dark Matter Dragon.

"That's the other Number you Summoned during the Duel, right?" Derpy asked him. "Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon? What does it have to do with all this?"

"If my theory is sound, then it has everything to do with it." Dr. Hooves answered. "If you recall, Dark Matter Dragon Summoned itself by using Prime Photon Dragon's power. It consumed Prime and siphoned its energy to bring itself out. And I believe that it was slowly drawing that energy from the moment I Summoned Prime."

"So you're saying that Dark Matter Dragon was...connected to Prime somehow?" inquired Derpy.

"I believe so." said The Doctor. "And once it emerged, an outside force began dictating its actions, doing whatever possible to prevent me from getting rid of it and winning the Duel. However, when I allowed it to be destroyed, it seemed to have also cut off its link to said outside force. Clearly this individual - whomever they are, was trying to wipe me out for some reason."

"That's pretty scary..." the grey girl stated. She then gasped after realizing another important fact. "Hold on! That's right! Wasn't Prime Photon Dragon given to us by that guy that contacted the Tardis a while ago?"

"Very observant, Ms. Derpy." Dr. Hooves complimented her. "You are right: It was the card we got that day, when we took on his request so long ago."

"...But...then that means... That means he could have had something to do with Dark Matter Dragon, right?" Derpy then asked her friend.

"It's highly possible that he may not have been aware of it." The Doctor told her. "But it is equally possible that he was planning to double-cross us this whole time. Until I can gather more facts, I cannot say for sure what his role in this is. What I do know is that, until we know for certain what this is all about, we have to be more cautious than ever."

"Why's that?"

The Doctor paused for a moment and stared at the three Number cards on the table. He then told his assistant, "It won't be long before this saboteur finds out that his plan to make me lose failed. When he does, he'll surely strike again, and we need to be ready for it, when the time comes. I'll admit...this could be too dangerous for you."

"...I'm pretty sure it will." Derpy told him. But she smiled and said to him, "But I won't let that scare me! I promised to help you save the world and I'm gonna keep it! Whoever this guy is that's out to get us, we'll stop him together!"

Dr. Hooves smiled, impressed by his friend's bravery. "I should have guessed that you would say such a thing. I am truly honored to have such a remarkable person such as you aiding me." he said to her. Putting on a look of determination, he added, "In that case, I shall not let this new enemy stand in our way! We'll defeat them and save this world together!"

"You bet we will, Doctor!" the grey-skinned teen spoke, happy to give her friend all the help she could give him. There was no doubt that, despite the emergence of another evil force, Dr. Hooves and Derpy would make sure that their world would be safe, both for themselves and everyone that lived in it. And with the help of their newest ally - Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord, they had nothing to fear as they continued on their mission.

-- To Be Continued...

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NUMBERS OBTAINED / REVEALED:

Dr. Hooves (10 Numbers total):

- Number 62: Galaxy-Eyes Prime Photon Dragon (previously obtained)
- Number 81: Superdreadnought Rail Cannon Super Dora
- Number 90: Galaxy-Eyes Photon Lord
- Number 95: Galaxy-Eyes Dark Matter Dragon

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