• Published 30th Apr 2016
  • 9,323 Views, 977 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 8: What's Up, Dueling Doc?:

Author's Note:

This episode is my biggest one so far. A new character makes their first appearance here, using a very familiar Deck.

One of the concerns of writing a fanfic is that something new might happen in the canon that would conflict with things that you had written prior to finding out. However, I don't plan to change what I've written so far if and when things like that occur. Like how the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and manga are often different from each other, it's best to treat this and other stories on here the same way, and just enjoy them for what they are.

RANK 8: What's Up, Dueling Doc?:
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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...

Sunset Shimmer has, so far, done well in stopping the powerful and corrupting effects of the mysterious Number cards. She has been able to defeat every Duelist that had Numbers in their Deck, which included the two owned by Martin, a student at Griffonstone High School. His hatred towards the bullies that tormented him every day at school turned him into a sadistic individual that desired to take revenge on everyone. But with the combined efforts of both Sunset and Gilda, he was defeated, and his Number cards were taken away.

Now Sunset currently possesses eight Number cards. So far, her goal of preventing their power from being misused is coming along nicely.

But is she the only one that is after the mysterious cards...?

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Cheese Sandwich Family Fun Center / Time: 1522 hours (a.k.a. 3:22 p.m.)
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Down the road leading out of Canterlot City, there was a rather large building: It was known as the Cheese Sandwich Family Fun Center, which was a place for people of all ages to go and enjoy themselves. There were all sorts of fun activities, such as an enormous arcade, a laser tag arena, miniature golf, and batting cages. But today, someone was making the fun center a lot less fun for everybody.

Inside the building, a young teenage girl was running up several flights of stairs as fast as she could. The girl had light peach skin, along with short, blue hair and light purple eyes. She wore a cobalt-blue sleeveless top with a small picture of a pair of white sneakers printed upon the chest area. She had on a pair of navy-blue athletic shorts, tied with a drawstring, and a pair of white running shoes. On her wrists were a pair of white wristbands. She eventually got to the top of the staircase, opening the door wide and entering the room beyond it.

"Mr. Sandwich!! Mr. Sandwich!!" shouted the girl. "We've got an emergency!!"

"Please, Adrenaline Rush, call me Cheese." said a man inside of the office room. "MISTER Sandwich is my father's name." The man turned around to face the girl named Adrenaline Rush (or Addie for short). The man had bright orange skin and long, curly brown hair with a tuft of hair sticking up above his forehead, along with bold, green eyes. He wore a bright yellow shirt and long, blue pants, the latter of which was held up with a belt that had a picture of a grilled cheese sandwich painted upon the buckle. The simple ensemble was completed with a pair of red sneakers with white soles and rainbow-colored shoestrings.

"Um... sure. Whatever you wish, Cheese." Addie said to him, responding to his earlier comment. She then told him, "Anyway, we've got an emergency!"

"Lemme guess:" Cheese Sandwich responded. "A little kid crawled into the Skill Crane game?"

"No."

"Someone's doing a swan dive into the Bumper Boat pool?"

"No."

Gasping and putting on a horrified expression, Cheese then asked, "Don't tell me that someone figured out the patterns in Ms. Pac-Man and beat my high score?!?"

"Um... I don't think you'll need to worry about that." Addie then informed him, "Earlier, I was checking on the Batting Cages and making sure that everything was alright... Then all of a sudden, I heard some sort of commotion nearby! I think it was coming from the Go-Kart Track, but I didn't see what it was yet."

"I guess we'd better check it out, then." Cheese suggested. He then smirked and told her, "I'm sure it's nothing, Addie... So don't worry your head off; you only ever get one."

Unbeknownst to either Cheese or Addie, however, the commotion at the Go-Kart Track was far from being "nothing". Several people were shrieking as they managed to swerve out of the way of a speeding kart. The driver of the kart was a teenage girl with aqua green-colored skin and medium-length orange hair with lighter-colored streaks running all over it. She had violet eyes and wore earrings shaped like small lightning bolts, along with a pair of goggles on her head.

The outfit that she wore appeared to be a school uniform; more specifically, it was the school uniform for Crystal Prep Academy, another rival high school to Canterlot High. The uniform was mostly red-violet in color; the short-sleeved top had a bluish-violet ribbon tied on top of it, along with light-blue buttons running down to secure the garment. The skirt had a plaid design, consisting of thin lines, colored yellow, blue, and purple, against the red-violet background, with violet along the waist area. She wore a pair of navy-blue shoes that had a lighter blue streak design on either side of it, and a small ribbon tied on the top of it that was of the same color. Her socks were also violet-colored, and they sagged a little above the tops of her shoes.

The girl snickered and laughed as she continued to drive like a total maniac. "Ha ha ha ha!!! That's right! Get outta my way!!" she shouted as she cackled. "Slowpokes like you aren't worthy of racing on the same track as me!!!" The crazed teen then looked ahead and saw two more karts ahead of her, one pink and one silver, driving alongside of each other. The girl smirked as she slammed the gas pedal, propelling herself forward.

The drivers ahead of her just so happened to be none other than Diamond Tiara and her friend Silver Spoon. When the pair heard the insane driver coming towards them, they moved out of the way at the last second, allowing the aqua-green girl to speed right between them. "Hey!!" shouted an unhappy Diamond Tiara. "Watch where you're going, you lunatic!!"

The insane driver then slowed down, but only to turn the kart around to face them. "Sorry 'bout that..." she told the two of them in a sinister tone. Punching the gas, she then added, "This time, I won't miss!!"

Diamond and Silver gasped when they realized that the teen was trying to run them down on purpose. In an instant, the two of them quickly spun their karts around and drove as fast as they could in the other direction to try and get away. However, the crazed girl was slowly gaining on them. "D-Diamond...!" Silver Spoon said worryingly. "She's still behind us! If she catches up, it'll be all over for us!"

Diamond, for once, was just as worried as her friend was. Sweat and tears running down her face, she then said, "If we get out of this somehow, Silver... I'm turning over a whole new leaf! I'll stop picking on Apple Bloom and her friends! I'll get involved with a charity! I'll clean my plate! Anything!!"

The crazy aqua-green teenager was getting closer and closer towards the two young girls. It seemed inevitable that Diamond and Silver would be severely injured... or worse. The berserk kart driver got closer... and closer... and closer... until...

...nothing.

All of a sudden, the girl's go-kart had stopped completely, even though her foot was right on the gas pedal. "Huh?!" she asked herself. Looking down at the machine, she repeatedly stomped the gas, pounding it as hard as she could. "What the-? C'mon, you stupid piece of junk! MOVE!!!" But no matter how hard she tried, the small vehicle wouldn't move.

The girl grumbled and looked around her. She gasped when she saw that her go-kart wasn't the only thing that wasn't moving. Everything and everyone around her seemed to be completely frozen. Diamond and Silver still had their horrified facial expressions, even though they appeared to be completely motionless; they weren't even blinking. And not just them: All of the other patrons weren't moving at all either, and the aqua-green girl had no idea why.

"Wha... what's goin' on??" she asked herself. "Why's everything stopped all of a sudden?? Why am I the only one that can move?!"

Just then, the girl heard a bizarre sound coming from behind her. It appeared to be a slow, soft song, played on a harmonica. She turned around in the direction of the music and saw a tall man walking towards her. The man had a walnut-brown face and short, spiky dark brown hair, along with blue eyes. He wore a long, flowing brown overcoat over top of a white shirt, green necktie, and blue pants. He wore a pair of black-and-white shoes on his feet, and on the right side of his coat was a picture of an hourglass. On his left arm was a Duel Pad, which seemed to have a steampunk-like appearance to it. Last but not least, in his hands, was the bronze-colored harmonica that he was playing.

"Who the heck are you?" shouted the aqua-green colored girl.

The man then stopped playing his small instrument and looked over towards the teenager ahead of him. "Hmmmm..." he hummed as a small, red mark appeared over his left eye for about a second. He then looked at the back of the girl's closed fist, spotting a mark that appeared to look like a 91. The man then sighed and asked, "You must be Lightning Dust, am I correct?" His voice appeared to have a British accent to it.

"Huh?! How'd you know my name??" she asked in surprise.

"I know a great deal about you." the man told her. "You are currently sixteen years of age, but you will be seventeen in about... ohhhhh... three months and... one week, if I recall correctly. You are also a student at Crystal Prep Academy, and a member of their Lacrosse team; although I've heard that recently, you were suspended for two games due to, 'unsportsmanlike conduct'. Apparently you got a little TOO aggressive against the other team, even by CPA's standards..."

"Okay, buddy... you're startin' to creep me out here..." said Lightning Dust. "How do you know so much about me? And why?!"

"...How I know are details you would never understand in your lifetime." the man calmly told her. "As for why, the answer is quite simple, really... You have something that I want, and if I plan on obtaining it from you, I'll need as much information on you as possible, in order to plan for every possible contingency."

"What're ya talkin' about?!" asked Lightning, getting more irate. "You're makin' no sense at all! What is it you want from me?!"

"...Your Number card." he answered.

"My what?"

"Number cards only possess other Duelists." the man told her. "And I know for certain that you have one."

Lightning Dust then gasped a little and pulled out a card from a pocket in her skirt. "Hold on... are you talkin' about this card?" she asked, holding it up to him...

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Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon:
(Xyz-Effect Monster/Dragon-Type/LIGHT/Rank 4/ATK 2400/DEF 2000)

3 Level 4 monsters
Cannot be destroyed by battle except with "Number" monsters. Once per turn, you can activate 1 of these effects.
* Detach 3 Xyz Materials from this card; destroy all other face-up monsters on the field.
* Detach 5 Xyz Materials from this card; destroy all cards your opponent controls.

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The aqua-green girl snickered wickedly and told the man, "I don't know where this card came from, or why... But ever since I got it, I've been livin' life in the fast lane! With this thing in my hand, I'll prove that NO ONE is faster than me! And I'll knock away anybody that tries to get in my way!!"

The tall man sighed and said to her, "Just like the others... you've fallen prey to the card's darkness as well. But that will soon change once I confiscate your Number card!"

"You think you can?" asked Lightning Dust mockingly. "Just who do you think you are sayin' junk like that without any way t' back it up?! Who are you?!?"

The man kept his calm demeanor and told her, "In the time it would take for you to pronounce my name, a million galaxies would be destroyed and reborn."

"...Huh?"

"You may simply refer to me as... The Doctor." he then added. "Of course, right now, I also go by another identity, known only by my adversaries: The Number Hunter."

"Number... Hunter?" asked Lightning. She then grumbled and yelled, "Oh who cares?! I'm gettin' real sick n' tired of that annoying attitude of yours!!" Getting out her Duel Pad and Duel Gazer, she then angrily added, "You want my Number card so bad?! Well, get ready, 'cause you're gonna get it!!"

"Yes, 'getting your Number card' is what I intend to do." The Doctor then activated his Duel Pad; a large panel slid out from the top of the touch screen, followed by two more panels that slid out from either side of the first one. Instead of putting on a Duel Gazer, the large red mark that had appeared over his left eye earlier showed up on his face again, this time staying there for good. "It's time to Duel!!"

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25 minutes later...
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What followed after the Doctor's declaration was an epic Duel between him and Lightning Dust. Although everything and everyone around them were still frozen in place, the contest between them was full of action as their monsters fiercely battled each other. But now, by this point, the Duel was about to end...

Lightning Dust shivered in fear as she stared down what appeared to be a humongous dragon. "What... what's that thing...?" she asked, whimpering a little. "I've never seen a monster that powerful before...!"

Drawing a card from his Deck, the Doctor then shouted, "Now, my great beast! Attack!!!" And with that order, the giant dragon behind him let out a powerful blast of light that sped towards his foe, striking her hard.

"AAAAAAAACKKKK!!!!!!" Lightning screamed as she took the heavy hit (Lightning Dust: LP 2,000 - 3,000 = 0) (WINNER: Dr. Whooves). She then toppled over, falling flat on her back, completely knocked out.

The Doctor then watched as a small ball of light phased out of Lightning's chest area. He then pressed a button on his Duel Pad, causing a small electrode to protrude from the front of the device. It then began to charge up with energy, which then caused the ball of light to drift towards it, as if it were a magnet. The electrode then completely absorbed the light ball, and a second later, a card came out of the Duel Pad's Graveyard slot: It was, of course, Lightning Dust's Number card, Thunder Spark Dragon.

"There we go..." the man said to himself as he stared at the card, his red eye mark disappearing as he did so, "Number 91 has been secured." After pocketing the card away in his deck box, he then looked at the chaotic scene in front of him. The now driver-less go-kart was still right on the tails of both Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon. "There's just one matter left to attend to..." The Doctor then walked over and picked up Diamond from out of the go-kart. He then placed her outside of the track, on the other side of the wire fence. He then did the same with Silver Spoon.

Once he was content, The Doctor then reached into a pocket in his overcoat, pulling out a small communicator, which he placed over his right ear. He then pressed a small button on it, and after a while, began speaking into it. "Assistant? Are you there?" he said into the device. "...Good. I've located Ms. Lightning Dust and obtained her Number card... Yes... Yes, bring the Tardis over immediately. Once I enter, deactivate the device as we take our leave, as usual... Alright, then."

The man then stuffed the communicator back into his pocket. Not long after he did, a large object began to appear in front of him. It appeared to be a large, blue phone booth (in actuality, it was a police call box, commonly found in England). Once it fully materialized, its door opened, and the man walked inside of it. After the doors shut closed, the booth began to vanish into thin air.

Almost immediately as the strange object vanished, the patrons were able to move again. Diamond and Silver kept right on screaming in terror... until they realized that they weren't in their karts anymore. Before they could say anything, they saw the kart driven by Lightning crash into theirs, all of which of course, were now unoccupied. The three small vehicles were heavily damaged, but no one was hurt.

"Uh... Diamond? What just happened?" asked Silver Spoon, confused.

"Don't look at me, Silver..." the pink-skinned girl replied. "I have no idea what just happened... Not that I'm complaining, of course."

"Hey! Is everybody alright??" shouted a girl's voice from far away. Everyone turned around to see both Cheese Sandwich and Adrenaline Rush running towards them.

"Uh, yeah... we're just fine." Silver told them both. "...Somehow."

Cheese glanced over at the wrecked remains of the three go-karts and sighed, saying, "Aw man... those karts are completely totaled! Good thing I've still got plenty of cash from my album sales..."

"Let's just be glad that nobody got hurt from what happened here." Addie told her boss. "The last thing we need is a lawsuit against the place all because somebody went totally nuts." She then asked Diamond and Silver, "Speaking of which, could the two of you tell me who's responsible for all of this?"

"Hmph! It would be my pleasure!" the pink, tiara-wearing girl replied. "It was some crazy girl with bluish-green skin and yellow hair that did all of that!"

"...You mean her?" asked Addie, pointing to Lightning Dust, who was still lying down on the ground after she was defeated in a Duel earlier on (which nobody in the area even knew took place).

"Huh??" Diamond and Silver glanced over at the aqua-green teenager, now more confused than ever. "What's she doing over there??" Silver then asked. "Last time we saw her, she was behind us in her go-kart!"

"I don't know, but I'll get her to talk! Just watch!" Diamond then put on an angry face as she grabbed Lightning Dust by her shirt collar and brought her to face level with her. "Alright, you jerk!" the pink girl snapped at her. "Why'd you try to run us over?! What do you have to say for yourself?!?"

Lightning Dust groaned as she opened her eyes, which were now bright yellow, as opposed to earlier, when they were purple. In a groggy tone, she began to speak. But all she said was, "N... Number... Hunter... Num... ber... Hunterrrr..." After uttering those words, she then fainted and fell back onto the ground.

"Uh... what's she talking about, Diamond?" asked Silver Spoon.

"Heck if I know..." the pink girl replied. By this point, everyone in the area had gathered together, curious to know what had happened.

Among those in the crowd was Apple Bloom, Applejack's younger sister. After she heard what Lightning Dust had said, she began to ponder about it some more. (Number Hunter...?) she asked herself in her mind.

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"A what hunter?"

"Number Hunter, Sunset." Applejack answered her friend, Sunset Shimmer, while they were having lunch at the cafeteria. With them was Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy. "Yesterday, when Ah came to the Fun Center t' pick up mah sister and her friends, she told me that Lightnin' Dust was tryin' to run over Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon on the Go-Kart Tracks."

"Wait, did you say Lightning Dust?" asked Rainbow Dash. "From Crystal Prep?"

"Uh huh." the farm girl confirmed, nodding her head yes. "Then, all of a sudden, just when it looked like she'd hurt the two of them, Diamond and Silver were off of the track and out of danger, just before the karts crashed into each other. As for Lightnin', Apple Bloom told me that she was lyin' down on the ground, totally knocked out..."

"Woah..." was all that Sunset could say in regards to Applejack's story.

Fluttershy then decided to speak, telling them, "I've heard that, because of what happened, Lightning Dust was admitted to the hospital for a check-up. It wasn't anything serious, but there's a rumor that, as a result, she actually decided to drop out of the Friendship Games this year. l... I heard that someone named Indigo is going to take her place instead, though it hasn't been confirmed..."

"Hmph... Forgive me for saying this, but I don't feel too sorry for her." Rainbow Dash chimed in. "She's super-annoying, especially in a competition: She's overconfident, boastful, and doesn't think ahead... Not like me." Rainbow's friends just gave her an unconvinced look in response to that comment.

"What about that other thing you mentioned?" Sunset then asked Applejack. "You know... about this 'Number Hunter'?"

"Ah don't know much, Ah'm afraid..." the orange-skinned teen told her friend. "All that mah li'l sis told me was that 'Number Hunter' was the last thing Lightnin' Dust said before she fainted completely."

Sunset Shimmer pondered about that for a while, wondering what those words meant. Just then, Fluttershy gasped and asked, "Oh dear... You don't think that... there's someone else out there collecting those Number cards, do you...?"

The other three girls stopped what they were doing when they heard their friend say that. "No way... You really think that could be true??" asked Rainbow Dash.

"Well, it is a possibility." Sunset responded. "As we already know, the Number cards are extremely powerful, even by the usual standards of an Xyz Monster... So it wouldn't surprise me if there were more people out there trying to get them all."

"But if that's true," Applejack began to say, "then... there's a mighty good chance that this 'Number Hunter', whoever they are... might come after you, Sunset..."

"Oh... my..." squeaked Fluttershy, trembling at the thought of that. Sunset didn't show it on her face, but she did feel worried after Applejack had made that statement.

"Aw, whad'ya got to worry about?" asked Rainbow Dash rhetorically. "Sunset's the toughest Duelist here at school! There's no way she'd lose to some guy just like that!"

"That still doesn't mean that I shouldn't be cautious about it if it IS true." the otherworldly girl informed her. "Whoever this guy is, he must have some extremely powerful skills, especially if he's actively fighting against other Number users... Don't forget; Numbers can only destroy each other in battle, so his Deck must have some sort of strategy to fight them, regardless of that effect that they all have..."

"Well, don't get too worried 'bout it all, Sunset." Applejack told her in a calm tone of voice. "Ah'm sure you'll be able to deal with that guy, if'n when he shows up. You're a smart cookie, and we know you'll come up with somethin'."

"And don't forget, we're all right here by your side t' support ya." Rainbow then said. "Even if it's just in spirit." Fluttershy nodded to say that she felt the same way.

Sunset Shimmer breathed out a happy sigh. "Thanks, girls..." she responded. "That makes me feel a little better... But only just a little."

The other three girls could tell that their good friend was still a little nervous. Suddenly, Applejack spoke up and asked, "Ah got an idea: Ah'm not doin' much after school today... perhaps Ah could come over to your place for a sleepover tonight?"

"A sleepover?" asked the red and yellow girl.

The country girl nodded and added, "Ah was just thinkin' that you'd feel a little better if one of us stayed by your side, just in case."

The otherworldy girl thought about it for a while, thinking of what to do. She then smiled and said to Applejack, "You know... that actually would help me feel a lot better if you did that." Nodding her head yes, she then added, "Alright then, I'd love to have you stop by. I'll just have to let Mr. Roar know that you'll be showing up." The orange girl smiled after hearing that.

Rainbow Dash then took her left hand and placed it upon Sunset's right hand, which was resting on the cafeteria table, saying to her, "You've got nothin' to worry about, Sunset. I know for a fact that you'll be okay... There's no way some guy from out of nowhere will be able to beat you just like that. We know first-hand how tough you are, and you'll be able to beat him at his own game!"

Sunset blushed a little after hearing that. Chuckling a little, she then told her cyan friend, "What I wouldn't give to have even a shred of the confidence and courage you have every day, Rainbow." The athletic teen smirked a little in response as they all shared a small chuckle amongst each other.

Meanwhile, far away from Canterlot High, in what appeared to be a humongous laboratory of some sort, an adult man was strolling past the many strange machines that dotted the facility. The man was none other than the mysterious Duelist that, earlier on, had defeated Lightning Dust in a Duel and took her Number card: The man known simply as, "The Doctor".

Heading towards a large computer system, he stopped a short distance away from a black leather swivel chair. "Good afternoon, my assistant." he spoke, directing his voice towards the chair. "How goes everything?"

The chair spun around to face The Doctor, revealing that there was a young teenage girl sitting in it. The girl had light-grey skin, long blond hair, and golden yellow eyes. However, one of the eyes appeared to be misaligned, giving her an odd-looking appearance. She wore a light blue shirt with a darker blue collar and sleeve cuffs, a yellow necktie, a green skirt with a bubble design printed on it, and small, green shoes with long, white socks.

"Oh! Hi, Doctor!" the girl responded with a cheerful voice. "Everything's going great! I haven't found anyone else with a Number card yet, but that's good news too, right?"

"I suppose it is, Ms. Derpy." The Doctor replied with a smile, patting her on the head a little. "If the computer cannot trace a Number card, then that only means that their power is not controlling anyone." He then asked, "Speaking of which, did you record the most recent Number that I've collected?"

The girl, Derpy Hooves (who was also called "Muffin" on occasions), gasped and said, "Oops! I almost forgot to do that! Just hang on a second..." The grey girl then began to rapidly type up information into the large computer in front of her. After she was done, she then told the man, "All done! With your newest one, you now have a total of four Number cards!"

"Excellent. Things are moving quite smoothly so far!" Putting on a more serious face, he then told his assistant, "Even though it is good to know that no one has become possessed by a Number at the moment, I do hope that one is found soon... The fate of this world depends heavily on it."

"Don't worry, Doctor! I know you'll be able to get them all!" Derpy assured him. "You're such a strong Duelist, especially considering the fact that you've only recently started playing the game! No one will ever be able to get the better of you, because there's no one that's stronger or smarter than you are!"

The man smiled, happy to hear her say that to him. Sighing contently, he told her, "That's what I like about you the most, Ms. Derpy: You're just so optimistic and cheerful, that even the most dire of situations do not feel impossible with you keeping my spirits up... That's just one of the many reasons that I took you on as my assistant." He then said to her, "I just hope that you don't mind having to miss out on school or anything else this year while you're traveling around with me..."

"I told you before," the grey girl told him with a smile, "I'm perfectly okay with it. Sure, I'll miss everyone I know at school, and all of the other stuff back home... But the time that I've spent here with you has been so amazing, that I do not regret this experience for one second!"

The Doctor was also happy to hear that statement as well. "I'm glad you feel that way, Ms. Derpy." he replied. "And it has been a great pleasure to have you here as my assistant." The grey teen smiled back in response.

Just then, the two of them heard a beeping sound coming from the computer. "The scanners!" Derpy exclaimed. "They've found another Number card!"

"Hmmm... that certainly was fast." The Doctor then instructed his assistant, "Trace the signal and find that Number card's current owner, as well as their whereabouts."

"On it." the grey girl stated, typing commands into the computer. The computer screen then displayed a large map of Canterlot City and its surrounding area. Eventually, the systems were able to lock in on the target that it detected, displaying all sorts of information to the two of them. Derpy let out a horrified gasp and said, "Oh no... Of all people to have a Number... why'd it have to be THAT person...?"

"Do you... know this individual...?" asked the man, curious.

"Mhmm..." the grey-skinned teenager meekly answered, nodding yes.

"...And I can only assume that your relationship with this person wasn't exactly a good one?" the Doctor then asked.

Derpy shook her head no and told him, "It wasn't... This person's mean; and I mean REALLY mean. That person's caused SO much trouble in school... They didn't care who they hurt, as long as they got what they wanted!"

"And did they... do anything particularly upsetting to you in the past?" asked the man. Derpy then nodded yes to answer his question. The Doctor then put on a serious expression and said to his assistant, "In that case, this mission will be more than just simply obtaining another Number card... It will also be about getting you justice for whatever happened between you and this person..."

"So what's your plan, Doctor?" Derpy asked him.

"...Set a course for Canterlot City." he instructed her. "And once we arrive... I promise you that I will seek out and vanquish the one known as..."

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Sunset Shimmer spent the hours following the end of the school day at her apartment in the building on Jump Street. After informing the landlord, Manny Roar, that a friend of hers would be coming by to visit, the gruff, but kindly man made sure to allow her inside when she arrived. As the afternoon ended and dusk began, the otherworldly girl heard a knock on her door while she was watching TV. "I'm coming!" she called out as she got up off of her sofa and ran to the door.

Opening the door, she then saw that her friend Applejack had finally shown up, carrying some things in a suitcase. "Howdy, Sunset!" she greeted. "Sorry Ah'm later than Ah said Ah'd be; just had t' tie up some loose ends at the farm, some of them actually involvin' tying somethin' up."

"It's okay, Applejack." Sunset told her. "Better late than never, as they say. Come on in."

Applejack walked into the super-sized apartment and set her bag down next to the sofa that Sunset had previously been sitting in. Letting out a short whistle, she then told her red and yellow friend, "Ah'll still never get over how amazin' this place of yours is..."

"That makes two of us." Sunset chimed in. She then asked her friend, "So... what do you want to do first?"

After discussing it for a while, the two of them made a decision: The first thing that they did was pop up some popcorn, change into their pajamas, and watch some DVDs that the farm girl had brought with her from home. It was from a show that the red and yellow girl had never seen before, so of course, she had asked a few questions about it.

"Sooooo... lemme get this straight:" Sunset began to inquire, "This show's about some guy who's stuck up in outer space with these robots... and they're all forced to watch really bad movies?"

AJ gulped down some popcorn kernels and answered her, saying, "That's right. So to keep themselves from goin' crazy n' stuff, they make fun of the movie the entire time they're watchin' it."

"Sounds like an odd premise for a TV show." the otherworldly girl noted. "But I guess since it went on for so long, it must be pretty popular."

"Pretty popular?" repeated Applejack. "Y'all don't know the half of it." Munching on some more of the popcorn, she then added, "Actually, Big Mac's the one who got me into it; we've been collectin' the DVDs ever since."

"I can see why; it does get pretty funny after a while." Sunset coughed a little and told her friend, "Yeesh... all of that popcorn is making me thirsty; I'm gonna go and get some drinks from the soda fountain. Do you want anything?"

"Sure. Get me a Palomino Punch, if y'all don't mind." the country girl replied. The otherworldly girl nodded and headed towards the bar stand in the corner, to the left of the room's entrance.

Outside, on the apartment building's roof, a large object had slowly materialized itself into existance. It was the police call box that was owned by The Doctor. Once it came into view, its door opened, allowing the overcoat-wearing man to exit. Glancing around, he seemed unaffected by the cold nighttime winds that were blowing past him and causing the bottom of his overcoat to flutter around.

"Here we are..." he said to himself. "It's time to get to work..." He then strapped on his Duel Pad and pressed a button on it, activating some sort of device...

Back inside of Sunset's apartment, the red and yellow girl made her way to the soda fountain that she had behind the bar counter. She then took one of the glasses next to the machine, placed it under one of the taps and pressed the switch to dispense the liquid inside. However, nothing came out of it.

"Huh?" Sunset asked herself when she saw that the fountain wasn't doing anything. She pressed the tap again, but still nothing happened. "Aw man... is this thing broken?" she asked herself. "Great..." Walking back over to her friend, she began to tell her, "Uh, sorry AJ... the fountain's broken; I'm gonna go and tell Mr. Roar that-" But she cut her sentence short when she saw a rather odd scene in front of her:

Applejack was sitting completely motionless on the couch, seemingly unaware that Sunset was standing right nearby her. The show that they had been watching seemed to be stuck on one scene and was making no sound whatsoever. Finally, there were several pieces of popcorn floating in mid-air near Applejack's mouth; it seemed that the farm girl had begun tossing the kernels into her mouth before the bizarre event occurred.

"A-Applejack?? Applejack!" Sunset shouted, waving her hand in front of her face. But the orange teen made no response at all. Getting worried, the otherworldly girl thought, (What's going on here...? Why does she look like she's frozen??)

Running out of the room, Sunset looked around for any clues pertaining to Applejack's current state. But all she saw was more of the same: All around her, she saw tenants and staff frozen in action, completely unaware of the red and yellow girl's presence. The large grandfather clock in the hallway was also stopped, its long pendulum not moving back and forth like it usually did.

"What... what could have done this...??" asked Sunset, trembling a little.

Just then, the pajama-clad teen heard a loud voice around her, seemingly coming from a speaker of some sort. "May I have your attention please?" said the voice, with a hint of a British accent to it. "Would Ms. Sunset Shimmer please report to the roof of the building with your dueling Deck immediately? I repeat: Would Ms. Sunset Shimmer please report to the roof of the building with your dueling Deck immediately? Thank you."

"The... roof?" Sunset asked herself, not sure what was going on. Eventually, she decided that she should follow the voice's directions and head to the roof, assuming that she would find an answer there...

On the roof of the building, in front of the large, blue call box, The Doctor stood waiting for something... or someone. As he waited patiently, he took out the communicator in his coat pocket and placed it on his right ear before speaking into it. "Ms. Derpy? Are the video and audio feeds working properly?" he asked.

"Yes, Doctor!" the grey-skinned girl spoke from the other end. "I can see and hear you perfectly well!"

"Good." the man replied. "Now remember: I want you to remain in the Tardis at all times. As long as you are in there, my device will not affect you. But the very moment you leave the Tardis, you will be frozen in time like everything else."

"Don't worry, I remember." Derpy told him. She then asked the man, "Doctor... are you sure you want to fight Sunset? I told you earlier; she's not exactly a nice person... and that was BEFORE she got a Number card."

"I'll have to face her sooner or later, Ms. Derpy..." The Doctor told his assistant. "Better I fight her now, than after she obtains any more Numbers..."

"I suppose you make a good point." the grey-skinned girl told him. "Still, be careful, okay...?"

"I promise." the man told her. Just as he switched off his communicator, he heard footsteps coming towards him. The door ahead of him opened and out from behind it came Sunset Shimmer, wearing her pajamas and pink, fluffy Unicorn slippers, as well as her Duel Pad and Duel Gazer. "I see that you've decided to arrive, Ms. Shimmer." he told her.

"Who are you?" asked the red and yellow girl. "Did you have something to do with freezing everypo-er, everybody in the building?!" Her face and tone of voice told everyone that she wanted some answers right now.

"...You can call me The Doctor." the man told her, answering her first question. "As for your second question, the answer is yes... as well as no."

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

"You are correct that I had a hand in operating a device that has affected every tenant and staff member in this block of flats." The Doctor informed her. "However," he then said, "they are not actually frozen." Turning around and pointing to the call box behind him, he added, "As we speak, a device that I have built into the Tardis - that is the booth that lies behind me - is projecting a powerful energy field. This field has the ability to slow down time to one-ten thousandth of its normal speed, which merely gives the illusion that time has stopped dead in its tracks."

"Well, I guess that explains WHAT is going on around here..." Sunset noted. "Now I just want to know WHY... What are you getting out of slowing down time whenever you want?"

"It's very simple, actually..." the man then said. "Notice how everything here is moving slow except for the two of us? That is because only type of person can move freely within this field..." Narrowing his eyes, he then told her, "Only those who possess Number cards are unaffected."

Sunset let out a gasp when she heard him say that. At that moment, an ill feeling came over her when she realized something about the man after he made that statement. "Wait a minute..." she muttered. "That must mean... that you're that Number Hunter guy that I've heard about!"

Derpy, who was watching from inside of the Tardis, gasped a little when Sunset said that. "She already knew about him??" the grey-skinned girl asked herself. "How is that possible?"

The Doctor also seemed slightly surprised that Sunset knew about him already. "Hmmm... impressive. You have heard of me... I didn't know that my reputation would spread this quickly. But I suppose anything is quite possible." Looking straight at Sunset, he then asked her, "So... since you already know of my other identity, you must also know what I am here for."

"Believe me, I know exactly what you want from me, sir." the red and yellow girl answered. "But you're not going to get it! I won't allow you to take my Number cards!"

The Doctor hummed a little to himself and responded, saying to her, "I am afraid that it is for your own good that I take them, Ms. Shimmer. That sort of power does not belong in your hands. Better I take them now before you unleash their wicked energy on someone."

"Well, if you think that they're so wicked," Sunset then began to inquire, "then why are YOU collecting them? Why would you willingly put yourself at risk of falling prey to their power by obtaining them? And what's more, how do I know that you're not going to use them for some malicious reason?"

The man said nothing at first to answer the questions that she gave to him, as if he wasn't expecting her to ask something like that. Coming up with an answer, he then told her, "My reasons for doing what I am doing are not any of your concern... But I can assure you that my actions are just."

"Oh really?" asked the otherworldly girl, still not totally convinced.

"...Believe me or don't. It matters not." The Doctor said. "What does matter is that I have my mission, and I suppose that you have strong convictions of your own as well... The only way that we will be able to settle this dispute between us is through a Duel, don't you agree?"

Thinking for a while, Sunset then asked the man, "Not that I think it would matter, but... what if I were to refuse?"

"You do not have that option, I'm afraid." The Doctor informed her. "My device will not stop projecting the energy field until we duel; once the Duel's result has been decided - win, lose, or draw - the energy field will slowly vanish, along with its effects. Now do you understand the gravity of the situation, Ms. Shimmer?"

"I get it now." the red and yellow girl replied. "That device doesn't merely allow you to find Number holders, it also ensures that they don't have a choice but to duel you. You'll keep the field going until they accept your challenge."

"Precisely." The Doctor confirmed.

Sunset sighed and said to him, "Well, I guess that means that you'll get what you want... at least as far as a Duel." Activating her Duel Pad and Gazer, she then told him with pure confidence in her voice, "But don't expect an easy win! I won't let you defeat me!"

"Hmmmm... if I had a pound for every time I've heard that from an opponent," the man told her, "...well, I suppose that I would have three pounds so far." The Doctor activated his Duel Pad, just like Sunset had done before him. After doing so, the red mark on his eye reappeared. "I do not expect you to make it easy, but I made a promise that I would stop you! Now prepare to face the power of the Number Hunter!" (Sunset Shimmer: LP 4,000) (Dr. Whooves: LP 4,000)

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Derpy, from inside of the Tardis, watched as both Sunset and The Doctor drew their first five cards from their respective Decks. She then looked over at the red and yellow girl on the computer screen with a slightly angry glare.

"This is it..." the grey girl said to herself. "The Doctor's finally going to fight her..." Growling a bit, she then added, "Finally, Sunset... you're going to pay for what you did to everyone at school... What you did to me... I still remember the last time you bullied me like it was yesterday..."

---------------------------------------------------------------------
One year ago...
---------------------------------------------------------------------

In a relatively empty hallway in Canterlot High School, the young teenager Derpy trembled as she backed up against a wall of lockers. "P-p-please..." she meekly said as she shook. "Please don't be mad... I'm... I'm sure that there's a way that we could work things out... I-I'm sure there was some sort of mistake..."

Standing in front of the scared girl was none other than an angry Sunset Shimmer. Back when this event took place, Twilight Sparkle had not yet visited the school, and Sunset was still a cold, cruel individual. Behind her were two younger boys: One was Snails, who had dirty orange skin and bluish green hair, and the other was a blue-skinned boy with messy orange hair named Snips.

"I didn't ask you to start making excuses, Weird-Eyes." Sunset told her in a forceful tone of voice. "What I asked you to do is to explain to me WHY that article about me in the school newspaper didn't get printed!"

"B-b-but I-I'm not in charge of that, Ms. Sunset...!" Derpy whimpered. "I'm not the one who decides what gets printed in the Foal Free Press and what doesn't..."

Grumbling, Sunset then told her, "Look: I made one simple request; one teeny-tiny little request... I wrote up an article to inform the whole school as to why I should be elected as this year's Fall Formal Princess... And I thought I made it QUITE clear to you that I wanted it printed IMMEDIATELY! So what happened?!?"

"Um... um..." Derpy knew the reason, but she was too scared to say it: The self-praising article that Sunset had written was pushed aside to allow room for more important articles instead.

Groaning out of frustration, the red and yellow girl then told her, "Luckily for you, I have OTHER matters to attend to before the Fall Formal begins in three days, so I'll deal with you later..." She then turned to the two boys behind her and told them, "Snips! Snails! Let's go." The three of them then left the hallway, leaving a frightened and trembling Derpy behind...

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"You hurt a lot of people, Sunset Shimmer..." Derpy said to herself with a scowl, "but now the shoe's on the other foot... And once The Doctor gets through with you, you'll be the scared, miserable wreck instead!"

Back outside, Sunset and The Doctor were ready to begin their Duel. But both sides seemed a bit unsure about the other. (What's this guy's deal...?) the otherworldly girl thought to herself. (What does he want the Number cards for?) Sunset noticed something else about the strange man that only raised more questions...

(What's more...) she continued to ponder, (he isn't acting like the any of the other Number users that I've dueled against... He still appears to be sane; and besides that, that glare he's been giving me is making me think that there's more to this than just taking my Number cards... like he's got some personal grudge against me. But I know that I've never met him before... so what's he got against me?)

The Doctor was not sure about his opponent either. (This girl... she seems different from the other three people that I've dueled against so far...) he thought. (So far, the Number holders that I've encountered were acting completely out of their character, becoming violent, reckless, and dangerous... But none of them questioned why I wanted their Number cards, or asked me what I planned on doing with them. This girl, however... seems to be the exceptional case... Something tells me that this won't be like the other encounters.) Shaking his head, he then told himself, (No matter... I promised Ms. Derpy that I would defeat this person for her... And I always make good on my promises!)

"I'll begin this Duel, if you don't mind." Sunset informed her opponent. Taking out a card from her hand, she declared, "I Summon Chronomaly Nebra Disk in Attack Mode!" After playing her card, her green disk-shaped monster appeared in front of her (Chronomaly Nebra Disk: Level 4 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1500). "Next, I activate Nebra Disk's effect and take Chronomaly Pyramid Eye Tablet out of my Deck." She then told the man. "Lastly, I'll set one card face-down to end my turn."

"Very well, then. I draw!" The Doctor pulled his first card from the top of his Deck and looked at it. (This will be needed much later.) he thought as he placed the card in his hand before taking out a different card. "From my hand," he then declared, "I activate Photon Veil!"

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Photon Veil:
(Normal Spell Card)

Shuffle 3 LIGHT monsters from your hand into the Deck, then add 1 to 3 Level 4 or lower LIGHT monsters from your Deck to the hand. If you add 2 or more monsters, they must have the same name.

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The Doctor then selected three monsters in his hand and shuffled them into his Deck. "Now," he said, "I shall take three new monsters from my Deck to place into my hand!" After he took his cards from the Deck, he then shouted, "Next, I shall play Photon Lead, which permits me to Special Summon a Level 4 or lower LIGHT-Attribute monster from my hand in Attack Mode!" Taking out one of his other cards, he then placed it onto his card tray. "Come forth, Daybreaker!"

The Doctor's first monster was a tall knight in bright white armor. He wore a long, flowing cape that was colored red, wore a helmet that covered all but his eyes, and carried a large sword with a spiked handle (Daybreaker: Level 4 / ATK 1700 / DEF 0).

Just then, Sunset gasped after seeing her opponent's first move. "I see what you're doing...!" she told him.

"Hm?" hummed the man.

"Don't think that I'm not onto your plan, Doctor." the otherworldly girl said. "You used that first Spell Card of yours to pull three of those Daybreakers out of your Deck. You did that because you had a way of Special Summoning one of them and triggering its ability. An ability that will let you Special Summon the other two cards, am I right?"

"Hmmmm... impressive. You actually figured out my strategy." the man replied, legitimately impressed by Sunset's sharp mind.

"Well, it's been done before." the red and yellow girl informed him. "It's not news to me."

"Well, you are correct:" The Doctor confirmed. "By Special Summoning Daybreaker, I can now Special Summon another Daybreaker from my hand." He then took a second copy of the card and placed it onto the Duel Pad's tray in Attack Mode. "And the second Daybreaker's effect then allows me to Summon the third one!" And he did just that, playing his third monster onto the field.

"Which means that you have enough monsters to bring out an Xyz Monster..." noted Sunset Shimmer.

"Indeed, you are correct." the man told her. "But now let's see if you can overcome my strategy as easily as you predicted it!" Raising his hand into the air, The Doctor shouted, "I overlay my three Level 4 Daybreakers to create an Overlay Network!!" In an instant, his three monsters transformed into three balls of yellow light that were sucked into a galaxy-like portal in front of him. The portal then exploded, revealing a mark on the ground that looked like a 91. "I Xyz Summon... Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon!!"

Sunset braced herself as a giant ball of electricity descended from the clouds above, bringing with it large lightning bolts that struck the roof around them. The white ball of light then began to form into a different shape, becoming longer and more serpentine in appearance. The creature that appeared was a large, snake-like dragon with a blue, scaled body, sharp teeth, and long, yellow whiskers coming from the sides of its head. Just beside its left eye was a purple 91 symbol (Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon: Rank 4 / ATK 2400 / DEF 2000 / OLU 3).

"Woah... he just played a Number on his first turn..." Sunset said to herself in awe.

The Doctor stood proudly beside the giant creature that he had summoned as he told his opponent, "This is my newest Number card, courtesy of Ms. Lightning Dust... And with its power, I shall defeat you and obtain your Numbers as well!"

"Just try it!" the otherworldly girl told him without fear.

"As you wish." The Doctor then pulled out the three cards underneath his Xyz Monster and declared, "I remove all three of Thunder Spark Dragon's Overlay Units! By doing so, I can now destroy all other face-up monsters on the field!!" (Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon: OLU 3 - 3 = 0)

Sunset gasped as a bolt of lightning shot from the clouds above and shattered her only monster on the field. Derpy, watching from the safety of the Tardis, cheered for her friend. "Yay! Way to go, Doctor!" she said happily.

The mysterious man then told his opponent, "Now that you have no more monsters on the field, I can strike your Life Points directly! Go, Thunder Spark Dragon!! Attack with Lightning Blitz!!" The giant serpent then let out a powerful shriek as it summoned a giant thundercloud above its head. From out of that cloud came many lightning bolts that shot towards Sunset Shimmer. The girl shielded herself from the attack as best as she could, but the bolts still managed to knock her down, causing her to fall on her rear end (Sunset Shimmer: LP 4,000 - 2,400 = 1,600).

The Doctor then said to Sunset, "It appears that my move has caused quite a bit of damage to you... Seems as though you can't predict everything."

Sunset slowly got up onto her feet and told him, "That's what you think..." Tapping her Duel Pad, she then shouted, "I activate my Trap Card, Hope for Escape!"

"Hope for Escape??" asked the man. "But that card can only be activated if I have at least 1,000 more Life Points than you..."

"Exactly." the otherworldly girl confirmed. "Given your reputation, I figured you'd pull off a strong move right away, so I prepared for it. Thanks to this card, I can pay 1,000 of my Life Points to draw one more card for every 2,000 points of difference between our scores!" She then drew her next card and added it to her hand (Sunset Shimmer: LP 1,600 - 1,000 = 600).

"Maybe so... but that move brought you down to just 600 Life Points." The Doctor reminded her. "Which means that if I land one more successful attack, you'll have lost without causing even one point of damage to me! But don't feel too bad: No one else has been able to damage me in a Duel so far."

"Well, don't get too cocky... there's a first time for everything." stated the red and yellow girl.

The man wasn't even slightly intimidated by Sunset's words as he took out the last card in his hand and placed it into the Spell & Trap Zone slot on his Duel Pad. "I'll set a face-down card and end my turn for now." He then thought to himself, (Now... let's see what you can do, Ms. Shimmer...)

Sunset prepared to draw her next card, still breathing heavily after the blow she received earlier. (This guy's tough...) she thought to herself, (one of the toughest Duelists I've faced so far... Now I can see how he's been able to deal with the Number cards...) Putting on a look of determination, she then said in her mind, (But I'm not gonna back down! I don't know what he's planning to do with those Numbers once he gets them all... and I don't want to risk the safety of myself and the rest of my friends just to find out... So I have no choice but to take him down!)

"It's my turn! I draw!!" the girl shouted as she drew her next card. After looking at it, Sunset then took out a different card (specifically, the one she drew with the effect of her earlier Trap Card) and declared her next move. "First, from my hand, I play the Spell Card, Shard of Greed!"

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Shard of Greed:
(Continuous Spell Card)

Each time you draw a card(s) for your normal draw in your Draw Phase, place 1 Greed Counter on this card. You can send this card with 2 or more Greed Counters to the Graveyard; draw 2 cards.

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(She's planning to reinforce her hand later in this Duel...) The Doctor hypothesized. (But I'll defeat her before she can make good use of those extra cards!)

"Next, I'll Summon Chronomaly Gordian Knot in Attack Mode!" Sunset Shimmer declared, placing the Monster Card on her Duel Pad's card tray. In an instant, the confusing knot-shaped monster appeared in front of her (Chronomaly Gordian Knot: Level 3 / ATK 300 / DEF 900). "And when Gordian Knot is Normal Summoned, its effect lets me Special Summon another Chronomaly from my hand to join it! And I choose to play Chronomaly Crystal Skull!" She then played the card that she had just drawn this turn, calling up her shiny, skull-shaped monster (Chronomaly Crystal Skull: Level 3 / ATK 900 / DEF 600).

"Sunset just Summoned two monsters with the same Level..." noted Derpy, still watching the Duel on the giant computer screen. "Does this mean that...?"

(...She's about to bring out her Number card.) thought The Doctor. (I knew it was only a matter of time.)

"I overlay my Level 3 Gordian Knot and Crystal Skull, and create an Overlay Network!" shouted Sunset Shimmer as her two monsters transformed into a pair of lights, one orange and one yellow, that flew into a red portal that opened in front of her. "And now... I Xyz Summon... Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut!!"

Out of the red spiral portal, a human-shaped figure clad in purple armor leaped out and took its place in front of Sunset. Its shiny armor shone in the bright moonlight as it folded its arms in front of itself (Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut: Rank 3 / ATK 2100 / DEF 1000 / OLU 2).

The man put on a perplexed look after Sunset brought out her Xyz Monster. (Wait a moment... That isn't a Number card...) he thought, slightly confused.

"Huh? What's going on??" asked Derpy, also unsure of what was going on. "She DIDN'T summon a Number? That doesn't usually happen..."

The Doctor didn't understand why Sunset didn't bring out one of her Numbers, but decided to push that question aside for a moment to focus his attention back to the Duel. "Your monster may be... interesting, to say the least," he told her, "but it has less attack points in comparison to mine... You would have been better off using a Number of your own to fight mine."

"Actually, that probably wouldn't have helped me in this situation." Sunset told him. "You are right: my monster is weaker than yours... right now, at least." She then showed her opponent a card in her hand: Chronomaly Pyramid Eye Tablet. "Did you already forget about the card that Nebra Disk put in my hand last turn?" she asked him with a slight smirk.

The Doctor gasped; he DID forget about that card. "Oh no...!" he spoke.

"I play the Continuous Spell, Chronomaly Pyramid Eye Tablet!" shouted the otherworldly girl. "This card increases the attack power of all of my Chronomaly monsters by 800 points!" After playing the card, a powerful-looking red aura surrounded her Xyz Monster, strengthening it considerably (Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut: ATK 2100 + 800 = 2900).

"Uh oh..." Derpy said, trembling a little. "Now Sunset's monster is more powerful!"

Growling a bit, The Doctor then reminded his opponent, "You do know that my Thunder Spark Dragon cannot be defeated by anything except another Number?"

"That doesn't matter! You'll still take damage equal to the difference between their attack power!" shouted the red and yellow girl. "Chrononaut!! Attack his dragon!!"

Sunset's monster then took a mighty leap into the air, positioning itself in front of Thunder Spark Dragon's face. It then pulled its arm back and delivered an ultra-powerful punch to the side of the Number card's face, knocking it down to the ground hard. Though the dragon wasn't destroyed by the attack, the force of the blow caused some slight damage to The Doctor's Life Points (Dr. Whooves: LP 4,000 - 500 = 3,500).

"Urrrgh!!" grunted the man upon taking the hit. Though the damage to his Life Points was small, the force of the attack felt very powerful to him.

"Oh no! Doctor!!!" screamed Derpy. "Are you alright?!"

"...Urrgh... I'm fine." he said to his assistant through the communicator. "I just didn't expect to take that hit, that's all..." Looking back towards Sunset Shimmer, he then pondered to himself, (Something's off about all of this... She didn't Summon a Number to fight me with... and yet... the force of that attack of hers was very powerful, considering the fact that the damage was only 500 points... There's clearly more to this girl than meets the eye, and it seems that not even using one of my Numbers on her will be enough to faze her.) Smirking a bit, he then thought, (But I think I might have ONE monster in my Deck that will do the job nicely...)

"Alright, that's the end of my turn, then..." Sunset told the man. "So make your move."

"Very well then... I draw!" The Doctor pulled his next card from the Deck and looked at it. Smiling, he told his foe, "You're definitely different from the other Number users that I've fought so far, Ms. Shimmer; you're much more powerful... So I suppose I should take this Duel a bit more seriously."

The otherworldly girl raised an eyebrow, wondering what he meant by that.

"I reveal my face-down Trap Card, Flash of Hope!" The Doctor told her, flipping over his Set card. "By banishing two LIGHT-Attribute monsters from my Graveyard, I can Special Summon 1 new LIGHT monster from my Deck in Defense Mode. So I banish two of the three Daybreakers in my Graveyard..." He took out two cards from his Graveyard slot and placed them in his coat pocket as he spoke. "...and then call Cybernetic Magician to the field!!"

The Doctor's new monster was a white-skinned human with yellow hair, wearing a white outfit with silver armor. Under the outfit was a blue pair of pants, and in his hand was a silver wand with a blue jewel on the front of it (Cybernetic Magician: Level 6 / ATK 2400 / DEF 1000).

"Of course, Flash of Hope does have its negative side effects." the man then stated. "The monster it Summons has its effects negated and it is destroyed at the end of my turn."

"Then what was the point?" asked Sunset Shimmer. Just then, the answer came to her. "Wait a second...! You're going to use it to Summon an even stronger monster, aren't you?!"

"Very perceptive, Ms. Shimmer." The Doctor answered her. Holding up the card he had just drawn, he told his opponent. "The monster in my hand is a creature like none you have ever faced before... It's a monster so powerful, that it can even bring a Number card to its knees..."

"I don't like the sound of that..." the red and yellow girl replied, getting a bit worried.

"I now release both Thunder Spark Dragon and Cybernetic Magician to Special Summon my most powerful monster to the field!!" shouted The Doctor. In an instant, both of his monsters were sucked into a pair of whirlwinds which then merged together into one large cyclone.

"Huh?!? Did he just get rid of his Number card?!" Sunset asked herself, astounded by the shocking move of her opponent.

"Yes!!" cheered Derpy, getting her hopes up once more. "Sunset's REALLY gonna get it now!"

When the cyclone disappeared, it left behind a strange, cross-shaped, boomerang-like object. The Doctor then began to chant, "The galaxy that lurks in the darkness. Become the light of hope and my very servant!" He then grabbed a hold of the bizarre object and hurled it into the air as hard as he could. "Descend now, embodiment of light!" he shouted as the object stopped high in the air and began to get brighter and brighter by the second.

"Wh-what's going on?!" Sunset asked. Looking up at the object in the air (and shielding her eyes from its intense light) she then thought to herself, (That... that thing is pulling in all of the light around us...!)

Placing the card in his hand onto his Duel Pad, The Doctor then finished his summoning chant. "Appear now, Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!"

The object in the air then let out a brilliant flash that shone for several seconds, bathing the surrounding area with its intense light. The light then began to form into a large shape, which Sunset immediately recognized as a dragon. The dragon seemed to be made of pure energy, its body mostly light-blue in color, sparsely covered with bits of red and dark blue armor. It had enormous wings that shone brilliantly in the moonlight, and it had a long, spiked tail that looked like it could topple a building with one swipe. Its eyes had large, swirling lights where its pupils would have been that looked like galaxies; apparently, that's where the monster had gotten its name from.

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Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon:
(Effect Monster/Dragon-Type/LIGHT/Level 8/ATK 3000/DEF 2500)

You can Special Summon this card (from your hand) by Tributing 2 monsters with 2000 or more ATK. During either player's Battle Step, when this card battles an opponent's monster: You can target the monster this card is battling; banish both the opponent's monster and this card. At the end of the Battle Phase, return any monsters banished by this effect to the field, and if the other monster was an Xyz Monster, this card gains 500 ATK for each Xyz Material it had when it was banished.

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Sunset Shimmer was at a loss for words when she saw the uber-powerful monster that The Doctor Summoned to his side of the field. (What... what is that thing...?) she thought. (What kind of monster is that...? It's like nothing I've ever seen before... That thing makes the giant dragons in Equestria look like kittens in comparison!) The red and yellow girl trembled, not sure what to expect now.

"Are you scared, Ms. Shimmer?" asked The Doctor. "Well, I can't say that I blame you; Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon is the most powerful monster in my Deck... and no creature of this world is able to touch it, let alone defeat it..."

"Every card has a weakness, Doctor..." the otherworldly girl told him sternly. "And I'll find your dragon's weakness before this Duel ends!"

"I'm afraid that won't happen, Ms. Shimmer." the mysterious man informed his foe. "My Galaxy-Eyes will devour your remaining Life Points... and then justice will finally be served!"

"What are you talking about...?" asked Sunset, confused by what he meant with his last remark.

"You'll see soon enough!" The Doctor then shouted a command to his mighty dragon. "Go! Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon!! Attack Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut!!" The massive creature then let out a loud roar that shook the area around them.

"Bad move, Doc!" Sunset told him. "I now activate the effect of Crystal Chrononaut! By removing one Overlay Unit, I can make him indestructible for the rest of this turn, and send all the damage from this battle right back at you!!" Her monster then absorbed one of the yellow spheres that orbited around it into its mirror, preparing to use its ability (Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut: OLU: 2 -1 = 1).

"Hmph... did you honestly believe that I wasn't aware of your monster's effect?" asked The Doctor. "I knew that you would do something like that!"

"Y-you did??" asked the red and yellow girl in shock.

"Your monster is not the only one with a special effect, Ms. Shimmer!" the man told her. "Now behold the true power of Galaxy-Eyes!!" At that moment, the gigantic dragon's body began glowing even brighter than ever, covering the surrounding area in a light so intense, Sunset and Derpy had to cover their eyes so as not to go blind from it. When the light finally died down, Sunset gasped when she saw the scene in front of her...

"N-no way...!" she stuttered. "Both of our monsters are gone...!!"

"Quite correct." The Doctor replied. "Whenever Galaxy-Eyes battles an opponent's monster, I can choose to banish both your monster and my dragon from the field! As a result, your Chrononaut's ability has been nullified, since it is no longer on the field!"

"Perhaps... but it cost you your monster as well." Sunset Shimmer reminded him. "Seems like a tactical error to me..."

The mysterious man chuckled a little and asked his opponent, "...Oh, is it?" He then told her, "I now end my Battle Phase..."

And right after he said those words, a large ball of light began to materialize in front of them. Before Sunset could ask what was going on, the ball exploded into a flash, and soon after, the otherworldly girl saw that both of their monsters had returned to the field. "They're... they're back?!?" she asked in surprise. "What's going on??"

"After the end of the Battle Phase," The Doctor explained, "all the monsters that Galaxy-Eyes banished return to the field, in the same battle positions that they were in. Of course, your monster looks worse for the wear..."

Sunset looked at her monster and realized an important fact: because it had left the field, its last Overlay Unit was sent to the Graveyard (Chronomaly Crystal Chrononaut: OLU 0). (No...!) the girl thought to herself. (I can't use his effect to protect him anymore!)

"And that's not all, I'm afraid." the man then told her. "My dragon has one more effect: Since it banished an Xyz Monster, it gains an additional 500 attack points for every Overlay Unit your monster had, prior to being banished!" As he said that, a yellow orb emerged from a violet-colored portal in the center of the battlefield and phased itself into his dragon, increasing its power by a small amount (Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon: ATK 3000 + 500 = 3500).

Sunset gasped when she saw the man's powerful dragon become even more powerful. "So not only can it remove itself from the field, it can also gain power from Overlay Units?!" she asked in shock.

Derpy smiled; normally, she didn't get enjoyment out of watching someone squirm. But Sunset was the exception. "Now you're in deep trouble, Sunset..." she said. "The Doctor's gonna beat you just like that other girl did last year!"

The Doctor then told his opponent, "My Galaxy-Eyes has 3,500 attack points right now, which is 600 more than your Crystal Chrononaut. And 600 also happens to be the exact amount of Life Points you have left. So unless you do something on your next turn, you will lose."

Sunset was a bit scared of the giant creature that the strange man had Summoned, but wasn't going to let that fear get in the way of her dueling. "Well, doing something on my next turn is exactly what I had in mind!" she told him as she drew her next card, Fire Ant Ascator (Shard of Greed: Greed Counters 0 + 1= 1). After looking at it, she thought, (Darn... this won't be able to help me right now... I need to try and hold out for a little while longer until I can find a way defeat his dragon...)

"First, I switch my Crystal Chrononaut to Defense Mode." the otherworldly girl then told the man. "Then, since I only control Chronomaly monsters on my field, I can bring back Chronomaly Nebra Disk from the Graveyard!" After she said that, her green disk monster emerged from a violet-colored portal on her side of the field and put itself in Defense Mode. "Lastly, I'll set one card face-down to end my turn."

"My turn, then... I draw!" The Doctor shouted as he drew his next card. "And now I Summon the monster I just drew in Attack Mode! Sunlight Unicorn!!" His next monster was a large, white Unicorn with a flowing, blue mane and tail and a dark grey horn (Sunlight Unicorn: Level 4 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1000).

(A... Unicorn?) Sunset asked in her mind. (...Really?) The irony of the situation was that, in Equestria, Sunset Shimmer was also a Unicorn.

"And now, I attack your Chrononaut with Galaxy-Eyes!" shouted the man as he stretched his hand out towards his foe. "Go!! Photon Stream of Destruction!!" The giant beast then let out a powerful blast of energy from its maw, reducing the red and yellow girl's Xyz Monster to nothing more than a vapor. "And next, my Sunlight Unicorn shall attack your Nebra Disk!!" The Doctor then shouted as his second monster galloped forward and rammed itself into Sunset's remaining monster, horn-first. Nerba Disk was shattered into many small pieces as a result.

(Rrrgh...! He just wiped out all of my monsters!) thought the otherworldly girl in despair. (But I can't give up now...! I have to try and beat him!) She then shouted, "I activate the Trap Card, Stonehenge Methods! This lets me replace my destroyed Chronomaly monster with another one from my Deck that's Level 4 or lower! And I choose my Chronomaly Golden Jet!" She then took the appropriate card from out of her Deck and placed it horizontally on her Duel Pad. After doing so, a gold colored jet plane-shaped monster flew in from out of the sky (Chronomaly Golden Jet: Level 4 / ATK 1300 / DEF 1400).

(Hmmm... she's still not giving in.) The Doctor thought to himself. (I'll just have to push her even more... It's the only way that she will Summon her Number card... Once she does, it will confirm beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is possessed by one.) He then told her, "In that case, I will activate the effect of Sunlight Unicorn: Once per turn, I can excavate the top card of my Deck and reveal it; if that card is an Equip Spell Card, I can put it in my hand."

Sunset watched as the man took the top card of his Deck and showed it to her. Her heart sank when she saw what it was. "Fairy Meteor Crush...?!" she asked in disbelief.

"Indeed, Ms. Shimmer." The Doctor confirmed. "This card grants any monster on the field the power to inflict piercing battle damage... So when I play it on my Galaxy-Eyes next turn, I will be able to defeat you once and for all..." He then told her, "And once I do, I'll have fulfilled my promise to her by defeating you right here!"

"Wait... 'her'?" asked Sunset. "Who's 'her'?"

"I suppose you wouldn't remember, Ms. Shimmer..." the man then stated. "You stepped on so many people at your school, you couldn't honestly remember them all... But my assistant is still frightened to death of you for how you treated her in the past, and I promised that I would punish you for your actions against her!"

(What's he talking about...? Who in CHS could still possibly hate me??) Sunset wondered. (I thought that after I saved the Fall Formal this year, everyone in school finally forgave me for what I did...) Just then, a sudden thought came to her, (Wait... everyone at school was there when I fought Rarity's Number card that night... except for one person...) She then gasped when she realized who that person was. (Derpy! She wasn't there at the Fall Formal! In fact, I haven't seen her here at school at all this year... The last time I saw her was during last year's Battle of the Bands competition...)

Sunset now realized what was going on. (So this is what she's been doing this whole time...) she continued to ponder. (She's been with this Doctor guy all year so far... Which means that she doesn't know that I've changed my ways since last year...) She sighed a little to herself as she contemplated the situation. (I guess she must still be bitter about how I bullied her in the past, especially in regards to that selfish article I wrote about myself for the school newspaper...) Thinking about that day some more, she then continued to say in her mind, (I can't say that I don't deserve to punished for what I did to her... But I need to show her that I'm not that kind of person anymore, and that getting revenge on me now won't do any of us any good... And there's only one way that I can do that!)

"This Duel will soon end, Ms. Shimmer..." The Doctor told her. "Do you have any last words to say to me before I defeat you?"

"Actually, there IS something I'd like to say..." Sunset answered him, "but not to you."

"Hm?" The perplexed man raised an eyebrow, but said nothing more in response to the girl's comment.

The red and yellow teen then looked up at the large call box, the Tardis, and asked, "That booth of yours has all sorts of complex functions and gadgets built into it, correct?" She then added, "Which means that, in all likelihood, your assistant can see and hear everything that's going on here, am I right?"

The Doctor nodded yes to confirm that.

"In that case, now that I know all of that," the otherworldly girl responded, "I can say what I have to say." She then turned to face the Tardis and said, "Derpy Hooves... If you can hear me, there's something that I've wanted to tell you for a while now..."

"Huh...?" asked the grey-skinned teen, watching and listening from in front of the large computer.

Sunset sighed and told her, "Derpy... I... I'm... I'm sorry."

Derpy gasped when she heard that. "What? She's... apologizing??" she asked in surprise.

"Derpy..." she continued to tell her former victim, "what I did and said to you in the past was wrong... especially that thing with the school newspaper. I wasn't thinking about your feelings when I was giving you such a hard time over it... I was so focused on wanting power and notoriety, that I didn't realize that there was another way to be happy in life... And now that I fully realize that, just thinking about what I did to you and other people makes me feel horrible inside... So, for what it's worth... I'm sorry for everything, Derpy..."

"...Sunset..." the grey girl replied softly after hearing the red and yellow girl's heartfelt apology.

"And now that I know all of that, I need to prevent you from making the same mistake that I made." Sunset told her. "I know that I deserve to be punished for what I did to you... but getting revenge on me this way won't solve a thing. You still won't feel better after it's all over, because in the end, you'll still see me the way you did back then. If it's all the same to you, Derpy... I'd rather resolve this conflict between us peacefully: With words and understanding... Anger and vengeance clouded my thoughts back when I was bullying you and others, and I know now that they don't resolve anything in the long run. So please, Derpy... I'm pleading with you; don't go down the destructive path that almost ruined me... Let's talk about this and try to help each other move on..."

The grey-skinned girl was at a loss for words after hearing everything that Sunset Shimmer had told her. Now her perception of her former bully had totally changed: At first, she didn't believe her, and thought that she was fibbing just to save face... But the more Derpy pondered about it, she became less sure that her initial thought was true, and she became more sure that Sunset was truly sorry for her actions.

"Hmmm... very heartfelt, Ms. Shimmer." The Doctor told his opponent. "But I'm afraid you're one apology too late; this Duel between us will not end until one of us falls in defeat."

"In that case," the otherworldly girl responded, "I'll use this Duel to find a way to resolve all of this!" As she prepared to draw a card, she then thought to herself, (There's one card that I can use that might help me out here... I need to figure out a way to end this Duel without any further conflict. It won't be easy... but I know that I can do it! Even though they may just be here in spirit, I know that my friends are behind me all the way to give me their support!)

In her mind, Sunset looked around and saw all of her friends surrounding her: Applejack tipped her brown hat towards her and nodded, and Rainbow Dash gave her a wink to tell her that Sunset had her support. Rarity and Fluttershy nodded to her, while Pinkie Pie jumped up and down excitedly in the air. "Wowee...! This is what the inside of your mind looks like, Sunnie?!" asked the pink girl. She then shouted, "Echo...! Echo... echo... echo...!"

Sunset Shimmer glanced to her left and saw Flash Sentry and Gilda, both giving her a thumbs-up, telling her to keep on fighting the good fight. Beside them were Principal Celestia and Vice Principal Luna, smiling from how proud they were of Sunset right now.

Finally, one more figure appeared before her: It was a girl with light purple skin, long, straight, purple hair with pink and differently-colored purple streaks running along it, and deep purple eyes. She wore a light blue top with a pink bow on the collar area, along with a purple skirt with a picture of a pink, six-pointed star and several small, white stars surrounding it. She also wore a pair of black shoes and purple socks on her feet.

The purple-skinned girl smiled warmly and said, "You can do it, Sunset. With all of us, along with the Magic of Friendship by your side, there is nothing that you can't do!"

Sunset smiled and nodded, saying to the girl, "You're right. I can do this. And I will do it... for all of us." Bringing herself back into reality, she then shouted, with confidence in her voice, "It's my turn! I draw!!" (Shard of Greed: Greed Counters 1 + 1= 2). She then stated, "I now activate the effect of Shard of Greed! Since it has two Greed Counters, I can send it to the Graveyard and draw two more cards from my Deck!"

"Hmmm... relying on luck of the draw this late in the Duel?" asked The Doctor. "It probably might be easier for you if you simply surrendered."

"Perhaps it would be easier... but no one gets ahead in life by giving up." the otherworldly girl informed him. "And furthermore, I'm not relying on luck to get through this Duel; just as you fight hard for your assistant, I fight for my friends! And with them backing me up, I know that I can overcome any obstacle that comes my way!"

The Doctor, as well as Derpy, were amazed at how brave Sunset was right now, despite being far behind in the Duel. It was as if they could feel her true feelings resonating from her.

Sunset then closed her eyes as she placed her right pointer and index fingers on top of her Deck, preparing to pull the top cards from it. (My friends...) she thought to herself, (please... give me your strength...) Then, all around her she felt the presence of each and every one of her friends beside her; everyone that she had seen in her mind and giving their support each placed their hands on top of Sunset Shimmer's Deck, and they all pulled the cards simultaneously.

Sunset then took a look at the cards she pulled... and smiled. "It's about time I evened the score in this Duel, Doctor." she told him without any fear in her voice.

(...What did she pull...?) wondered the man.

"From my hand, I Special Summon Chronomaly Moai in Defense Mode, since I control a Chronomaly monster!" Sunset shouted as she summoned her Easter Island head statue look-a-like to her side of the field (Chronomaly Moai: Level 5 / ATK 1800 / DEF 1600). "Then," she continued, "I Normal Summon Fire Ant Ascator in Attack Mode!" She then brought out her giant ant monster, placing it beside Chronomaly Moai (Fire Ant Ascator: Level 3 / ATK 700 / DEF 1300).

"A... a Tuner Monster!" exclaimed The Doctor.

"That's right!" Sunset then shouted, "I tune my Fire Ant, Level 3, to Moai, Level 5!" After making her declaration, Fire Ant Ascator transformed into a trio of fireballs that then became small, white lights that shot into the air. After that, three green rings flew down and surrounded Chronomally Moai, turning it into five small lights within the rings (Level 3 + Level 5 = Level 8). "Dragon deity of the Sun, illuminate all the darkness! Brighten the day with your benevolent light!" the girl chanted. "Synchro Summon! Show yourself! Level 8! Sun Dragon Inti!"

In a burst of intense flames, Sunset Shimmer's red-scaled, four headed, dragon monster appeared behind her, giving out a powerful roar from each of its heads (Sun Dragon Inti: Level 8 / ATK 3000 / DEF 2800).

"Wahhh!! That thing's HUGE!!!" commented Derpy.

The Doctor then noticed that Sunset's Synchro Monster had almost equal attack power to his dragon. He then smirked a little and asked his opponent, "So you're going to try and take out Galaxy-Eyes with a suicide attack? I'm afraid that won't work, Ms. Shimmer. Thanks to its ability, my dragon has 500 more attack points than your monster! And even without those extra points, I can just simply take both of our monsters off of the field! So your attack on my dragon won't do you any good!"

"Hmph... who said I was going to attack your dragon?" the red and yellow girl then inquired.

"You're... not?" asked the man.

"I know brute force won't work on your Galaxy-Eyes, so I'm not planning to attack it." Sunset then put on a smirk of her own and added, "But I do plan to get rid of that dragon this turn..."

Both The Doctor and Derpy gasped when they heard that bold statement. (This must be it...) the man thought. (She's going to play her Number at last...)

"For my next move," Sunset continued, "I'll activate the Spell Card, Xyz Reception! By targeting one monster on my field, I can then bring out another monster from my hand with the same Level, as long as I reduce my new monster's attack and defense points to zero! So by selecting my Golden Jet on the field, I can then Special Summon Chronomaly Aztec Mask Golem in Defense Mode!!" After playing her card, her red-colored golem appeared on the field in front of her (Chronomaly Aztec Mask Golem: Level 4 / ATK 1500 > 0 / DEF 1000 > 0). "And now I overlay it and my Level 4 Golden Jet to create an Overlay Network!!" And with that, her two monsters then transformed into a pair of lights, one yellow and one orange, and were drawn into a portal in front of her.

"Here it comes..." The Doctor said to himself, "She's Summoning her Number now..."

Sunset then began her summoning chant, saying, "Noble marksman of the sky! Raise your mighty rifle in the name of justice and fell your enemies with skillful precision! Xyz Summon!" She then placed her chosen card on her Duel Pad in Attack Mode. "Gilda, lend me your strength! Rank 4! Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer!!"

In an instant, Sunset Summoned the newest addition to her deck, calling up the human-bird hybrid that carried a powerful rifle in its hand (or talons), displaying its mighty and beautiful wings after taking its place in front of Sunset Shimmer. Surrounding it were two green orbs that circled around it constantly (Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer: Rank 4 / ATK 2000 / DEF 1500 / OLU 2).

"Wh-WHAT?!" exclaimed The Doctor, taken by surprise. "That... that isn't a Number either!!" Try as he might, he couldn't figure out what was going on, and why Sunset had not used a single Number card against him. (I don't understand...) he pondered. (I know my scanners are working perfectly... I know she has a Number card! In all of my Duels against those possessed by Numbers, they are compelled to Summon that Number, even if doing so would cause them to lose the Duel...) Just then, he gasped when he finally realized something. (Does this mean that... this girl is NOT possessed?!)

"I know you want me to bring out one of my Number cards, Doctor." Sunset told her opponent. "But I don't NEED a Number to get through this Duel! The only thing I need is the support of my friends!" Pointing to her newly Summoned Xyz Monster, she then told him, "I got this card from a good friend of mine, as a sign that she would always be there to support me in the tough times ahead! And I'd say that situations don't come any tougher than right now!"

"What's Sunset planning to do...?" Derpy asked herself, not sure about what the red and yellow girl's plan was.

"I now activate the effect of Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer!" Sunset shouted. "I remove both of his Overlay Units, which then lets me target any other face-up card on the field. And that card gets sent back to its owner's Deck!"

"Back to the Deck?!?" asked The Doctor. "You mean...?!"

"Exactly." the otherworldly girl finished. "While your Galaxy-Eyes may be immune to attacks, special effects such as Castel's are beyond its control. And once it's gone, you'll be wide open to attack!"

(This can't be...) thought the man, completely in shock. (If she sends my Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon back into my Deck, I'll have no way of stopping her attacks this turn! She'll destroy my only other monster and deal a total of 3,200 points of damage to my Life Points!! That will only leave me with 300 points remaining!) Looking at his Deck, he continued to think, (And the odds of me drawing a card to counterattack or even defend myself are depressingly low...!) Still in disbelief, he then asked himself, "Am... am I actually going to lose...??"

Sunset Shimmer then removed both of the cards out from underneath her new Xyz Monster (Castel, the Skyblaster Musketeer: OLU 2 - 2 = 0), triggering its effect. "Go, Castel!!" she then shouted. "Send Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon back to his Deck!!" The bird-man then drew its two swirling orbs into its rifle, and fired out a powerful tornado straight towards the massive dragon. As powerful as Galaxy-Eyes may have been, even it was unable to withstand the mighty cyclone. It let out a roar as it was flung into the air, vanishing away completely.

The Doctor did his best to shield himself from the force of Castel's powerful tornado. But when he looked up to see if it was finished, he saw something coming towards him: It was a chunk of brick that had been lying on the rooftop, and it was being carried along the cyclone's winds. Although he saw it coming, it was too late for him to do anything about it. The brick struck him in the head and, along with the force of the tornado, sent him flying into the air, heading towards the edge of the roof.

Sunset gasped when she saw him flying into the air. "Oh no!!" she shrieked in horror.

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Watching from the Tardis, Derpy was equally as horrified when she saw her mentor and friend in danger of falling fifteen stories to the hard ground below. "DOCTOR!!!!" she screamed. Instinctively, she got up out of her chair to leave the call box and help him... but she stopped when she remembered something important: "Hold on... if I go out there, I'll be frozen by that device! If that happens, I won't be able to help him at all!!" She then contemplated switching off the time-slowing machine, but then she wouldn't able to leave the Tardis in time to save The Doctor. She had no idea what to do as tears ran down her face. Then, all of a sudden...

"Hold on!! I'm coming!!!" shouted Sunset's voice from the computer.

"Huh?!" The grey-skinned girl immediately ran back to the computer and saw something that shocked her: Sunset Shimmer was running as fast as she could to the other side of the roof, towards where The Doctor was sent. Then, just as he fell off the side of the building, the red and yellow girl managed to just barely grab onto his left arm, saving him from certain death.

"Don't worry...!" Sunset grunted as she pooled all of the strength she had to hold onto his arm. "I've got you...!"

"S-Sunset?!?" exclaimed Derpy in shock. "She's... she's trying to save him?!" The grey teen then began to ponder in her mind, (The old Sunset that picked on me would have NEVER done this...) She then gasped and realized something. (...She ...she HAS changed!) the girl exclaimed in her mind. Now she was praying that her former bully would be able to save The Doctor's life.

Back outside, Sunset was pulling with all her might to try and get her opponent back onto the roof and safe from harm. But that task was difficult, given the man's weight. "Urrrgh...! URRRRRGH!!" the otherworldly girl grunted as she pulled on the mysterious man's arm. "This guy's so heavy... it's getting too hard to pull him out of there..." But she then told herself, "But I can't let him fall off the building! Even at my absolute worst, I'd never let someone die right in front of me! Enemy or not... I have to save him! I HAVE TO!!"

Then, at that moment, a red, sparkly aura began to surround Sunset Shimmer. She was too focused on trying to save The Doctor's life, that she didn't notice what was happening to her. All of a sudden, her human ears vanished from the sides of her head, immediately being replaced with a pair of pointy ears directly on top. Not only that, her hair began to grow into a super-long ponytail that almost reached the soles of her slippers.

All of a sudden, Sunset felt something inside of her after the physical changes to her body. "What... what is this...?" she asked herself. "This... power... It feels... familiar..." She then put on a determined look and began pulling the man off from the side of the building once more. But this time, she found the arduous task much easier, as if her strength had suddenly multiplied ten-fold. Then, with a loud cry, Sunset managed to pull The Doctor up and hefted him over her head and out of danger.

"She did it!!" cheered Derpy, relieved that her mentor was safe.

The otherworldly girl gently set the man down onto the roof of the apartment building and breathed heavily, exhausted after carrying a full-size adult human. "I... did it..." she said in between breaths. "I saved him... But... how'd I do it? I know I'm not THAT strong in the physical sense..." She then went to wipe some sweat from her forehead... and that's when she felt something on the top of her head. "Huh?" The teen then quickly looked at her reflection on her Duel Pad's touchscreen and saw the physical changes to her body.

"So that's what happened!" she exclaimed. "I must have ponied up from the stress... and that gave me the strength to pull him to safety!" She didn't know for sure if her transformation happened because of that, but she was glad that it happened when it did. She then turned her attention back to The Doctor, who was knocked unconscious when he had been hit in the head by the brick. Sunset immediately picked up his hand and put her fingers on his wrist to check for a pulse. She then breathed a sigh of relief. "Thank Celestia... he's still alive."

Noticing the slight gash on his forehead, the otherworldly girl then quickly ripped off a sleeve from her pajama top and tied it around his head as a makeshift bandage. "There... that's all that I can do for you right now..." she told him, even though she knew he wouldn't be able to respond to her comments. "I'm sure your assistant will be able to take care of things from here." She then raised her hand and placed it on his chest, saying to him, "Don't you worry... I know you'll be just fine."

Not long after her hand touched his chest, Sunset's key necklace began to glow brightly. "What the-? What's this thing doing??" she asked. Before she could ask another question, everything suddenly went white around her...

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When her vision returned, Sunset found herself in a room that was covered with all sorts of bizarre machines, as well as pipes that zigzagged all over the ceiling overhead. "Huh?? Where am I?" she asked herself. Looking down at herself, she saw something else surprising. "My... my clothes! These are the robes that I had on in my dream with that strange gate! What's going on??"

Just then, the otherworldly girl heard the sound of a door opening behind her, followed by footsteps. When she turned to look, she saw two people walking towards her. She was shocked to see that they were none other than The Doctor and Derpy Hooves. "Wah! It's them!" she cried out. Frantic, she then said to them both, "L-l-listen! I can explain!! I-I don't know how I got in here!!"

The two people didn't hear her and just continued walking closer to Sunset. They came closer... and closer... and closer, until... they walked right through her; literally.

"What the...?" Sunset asked, not sure what just happened. "Did they just... walk right through my body?" She then called out to them, "H-hey! What's going on here??" But they just kept right on walking, completely ignoring her. (I don't understand... It's like I'm not even in here...) the red and yellow girl wondered.

"Wow, Doctor!" cheered Derpy. "That was the greatest adventure yet!"

"I must admit, I enjoyed our visit to the Bo Dimension, no matter how little sense it and everyone living in there made..." The Doctor answered her. "I have no idea how that man was able to grow such long nose hair like he did... but, for once, I'd be better off not knowing about it."

"I liked that little orange spiked guy, though." the grey girl then told him. "What was his name again...? Don...? Poppa...?"

Sunset was confused as to what was taking place around her. "What is it that I'm looking at...?" she asked herself. She wondered about it for a while, trying to figure it all out. Then suddenly, it came to her. "Wait a second... are these... Am I looking at this guy's memories??"

Before she could think about it anymore, a beeping sound could then be heard by everyone. "Um, Doctor?" Derpy asked the man. "Your thingy is beeping again... What does that mean?"

"Well, it means that someone is trying to contact us..." The Doctor told her. "How they found us here, I don't exactly know... But we'll see who it is in a few seconds..." The man then began fiddling with the computer as Derpy and Sunset watched. For a while, it didn't seem like there was any progress being made...

But then, the monitor screen began to fill with with static, and a scratchy-sounding voice could then be heard. "...--cto-...D--tor...ca-...-ou...h--r m-...?" said the voice, though what it said was nearly impossible to hear.

"What was that??" asked Derpy. "I didn't quite catch that..."

"It appears our caller is not coming through very well..." The Doctor answered her. "There's no video feed, but we do have some audio... I'll just focus all of the power into increasing the strength of the audio feed, and we'll at least be able to HEAR who it is that's calling us..." The man began to type in some more information into the computer. After he was done, he then spoke into a nearby microphone and said, "There... can you hear me now?"

"...Yes... I can hear you perfectly well." the voice responded, now sounding a lot clearer. "Though it seems that I cannot see you..."

"You and me both, sir." the man told him. He then asked, "Now who are you?"

"Before I answer that, I must ask to speak to the one that they call, 'The Doctor'." the voice requested.

"That is me." The Doctor told him.

"Good..." The voice then told them both, "As for who I am... I cannot yet reveal my full identity to you right now, but I can tell you where I am from, and why I have contacted you."

"Very well then." the man replied. "I suppose it's better than nothing."

"Currently, I am contacting you from a world far beyond your own." the voice then informed him. "A nonphysical realm of existence that lies within the stars... The Astral World."

"Astral World...?" Sunset asked herself.

"Astral World? What's that?" Derpy also inquired. She turned towards her mentor and asked him, "Doctor, do you know anything about an 'Astral World'?"

"Only a little..." the man answered her. "From what information that I have, the Astral World is a higher plane of existence; a parallel dimension that transcends all other worlds. But... I am afraid that not much information exists that can tell us more, as this world is difficult to see, let alone enter. It seems that only people with certain criteria can bear witness to the Astral World... What those criteria are, I do not know..." Getting an idea, he then smiled and suggested, "But I suppose our new friend here might be able to shed some light on his home for us..."

"Very well, then..." the voice then said, agreeing to The Doctor's wishes. "It will help explain why I have come to you in the first place, so I suppose I can tell you more." The voice stopped talking for a moment before telling them, "The Astral World is a parallel world without Chaos; a true utopia. Great power freely flows within it and around us... But as you said, only certain beings are allowed to see my world... Only those who have spiritually ranked-up can enter the Astral World."

"Ranked-up?" asked Derpy.

"What does that mean...?" wondered Sunset.

"Although the criteria for seeing our world are strict," the voice continued, "there have been several beings throughout time and space that have witnessed the power of the Astral World. It can also be a safe assumption that many of your world's religions may have been born from the people who have seen my world."

"Well, if this world you come from is as powerful as you say it is," The Doctor spoke, "it's a very good possibility."

"Indeed, but we'll save that discussion for another time, Doctor... I must move on to the main point..." the voice said. "Yesterday night, on September the 13th in your world, a strange event had occurred that has troubled me greatly..."

"Wait... did he say September 13th?" asked Sunset. She remembered that day very well, and for good reason: "That's the night that I bought my necklace and had that weird dream...!"

"On that night... a doorway was opened between our worlds." the voice continued. "I am not sure how it has happened or why, but when that doorway was opened, a great amount of power from the Astral World escaped and now resides in your world."

"What kind of power?" asked The Doctor. "Is it dangerous?"

"Indeed." the voice confirmed. "This energy is sentient and is as much a resident of the Astral World as well as a power source. But not everyone is capable of controlling its power; even a small fragment of it can overwhelm one's spirit and make them subservient to that very power itself; a living corpse, if you will."

"Oh my... that sounds horrible..." Derpy commented, shaking a little. Sunset was also a bit worried from hearing that... as well from how familiar to her it all sounded, like she had experienced something like it before.

"This raw energy does not belong in your world." the voice told the two of them. "As long as it exists here, many who covet that power will seek it... And if that power falls into the wrong hands, many great disasters will befall your world, ranging from total enslavement... to total destruction..."

Derpy gasped, now more frightened than ever. Sunset was equally as horrified to have heard all of that.

"So... I can only assume, based on what you have told me and my assistant," The Doctor began to tell the being that contacted him, "is that you want my help in recovering all this power before something like that happens, am I correct?"

"That is correct." the voice replied.

"And... how would I be able to identify this power?" the man then asked.

"The power that has escaped from my world has split itself into many fragments..." the voice answered. "They have since taken on the form of ordinary objects, disguising themselves until they find a being to corrupt and enslave."

"And what do these objects look like?" The Doctor inquired further.

"...Duel Monsters cards." said the voice. "They are known as... 'Numbers'."

Sunset gasped loudly (knowing that nobody could hear her at the moment). "Did he say 'NUMBERS'?!" she exclaimed in shock.

"Numbers...?" asked The Doctor.

"Yes... and I need your help in gathering them all in order to ensure the safety of both of our worlds." the voice told them. "But it will not be easy... The Numbers have powers beyond those of this world; no creature of your realm can defeat them in combat."

"But how will we be able to stop them, then??" asked Derpy.

"It will take quite a bit of effort, but I believe that you, Doctor, will be able to succeed in the task..." the voice informed them both. "But I will not simply sit by and have you do all of the work yourself... so I shall lend you some of my power to assist you."

At that moment, a small ball of light appeared in front of The Doctor and Derpy. Sunset walked closer to them in order to see what was going on. The three of them watched as the light took on a different shape. Once the light faded, a blank Duel Monsters card appeared on the console of The Doctor's computer.

"A Number card...!" Sunset said to herself, recognizing it immediately.

"Um... why is that card blank?" asked Derpy. "What is it?"

"That is one of the Numbers." the voice answered. "It was the only one that I managed to recover after the energy from my world escaped. This card contains great power that will shape itself, based on the nature of your soul, as well as your deepest desires. But I have also infused it with some of my power; it will allow you to wield the card, without becoming corrupted by its power..." It then instructed, "Doctor... if you wish to assist me in my goal of recovering the Numbers... if you wish to save our worlds from a future of darkness... then take that card."

The Doctor and Derpy stared at the card in front of them. Sunset also watched as well, wanting to know more about what had happened during this point in time. "Wh... what are you going to do, Doctor?" the grey-skinned girl asked him.

"Well, you heard what our guest told us..." the man informed his assistant, "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."

Without any more hesitation, The Doctor reached out and picked up the card in front of him. Once he did, a powerful light surrounded him and the card. Derpy stood back a bit as the energy around him grew even more intense. As the light flowed around him, a red mark began to appear over his left eye; the same mark that appeared whenever he dueled. After a few seconds, the light energy faded away, though the red mark remained over his eye.

"Doctor!! Are you okay?!" asked Derpy.

"Urrgh... Yes, Derpy... I believe so..." the man told her. When the two of them got a look at the card, they gasped when they saw something new upon it. "Oh dear... there's now a picture on this card!" he exclaimed.

"Oh wow... that monster looks so powerful..." Derpy commented, impressed by whatever was shown on it.

Sunset also managed to sneak a peak at the card for a few seconds. "Woah... and I thought his Galaxy-Eyes Photon Dragon was powerful..." she said to herself. "But that thing seems to be in a whole other league...!"

"Hmmmmm... I knew that I made a good choice in enlisting your help." the voice then said. "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..."

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After that last comment, everything around Sunset Shimmer went white again, and before she knew it, she found herself back on the roof, still sitting next to the unconscious Doctor. "What... what did I just see...?" she asked herself. "What did I just hear...?"

The otherworldly girl was still at a loss for words after bearing witness to what she assumed to be The Doctor's memories. What she did know, however, was that her opponent in the Duel had a legitimate reason for collecting the Number cards; he was just trying to prevent their power from causing any trouble, just as she was trying to do.

Looking around her, Sunset saw that everything around them was still being affected by the time-slowing device. "According to this Doctor guy..." she noted to herself, "time will only begin to move again when this Duel ends... But with him unconscious, there's no way that we can continue." She then thought, (But now that I know why he's doing what he's doing, there's no point in either of us taking the other's Number cards... All he and I want is to protect who and what we care about, that's all...)

Making her final decision, Sunset then tapped on her Duel Pad and selected the option to offer a draw. After doing so, she then moved to The Doctor's Duel Pad screen and tapped on it to confirm the option. As a result, neither of them won or lost the Duel, so neither of them would lose their Number cards to the other. Once she did so, she picked up the man again (she was still in her ponied-up state, so the task wasn't difficult) and placed him in front of the door to the Tardis. She then quickly knocked on the door and left for her apartment, her pony ears and ponytail disappearing as she did so.

Not long after that, time began moving again; the popcorn kernels that Applejack had tossed into her mouth finally completed their journey, and she happily munched on them as she laughed at what was happening on the TV. "Aheheheh! That was a real funny one!" she commented. "Ah didn't hear that joke the first time Ah watched this! What did y'all think, Sunset?"

But when she turned around towards the bar counter, she didn't see her friend over there. "Huh? Sunset? Where'd ya go??" she asked. Before she could ask again, she heard a knock on the door. Applejack then paused the DVD and went to the door to open it. When she did, she gasped when saw an exhausted Sunset Shimmer standing there with a missing pajama top sleeve, supporting herself by leaning on the door frame with her right hand. "S-Sunset?! What happened t' ya?!" she asked out of concern. "Y'all look like you've been in a fight or somethin'!"

The red and yellow girl breathed heavily, tried from her entire ordeal. "You don't know the half of it, AJ..." she said in an exhausted tone. "It's a long story... but I'm too tired to tell you right now..."

"Th-that's alright... y'all can tell me later when you're feelin' up to it." stated Applejack. Taking her left arm and putting it over her shoulders, she helped her friend to stand up and move. "Here... lemme help ya over to the couch... Y'all can rest there for a spell."

"Thanks, Applejack..." Sunset responded with a tired smile. "I'm glad to have such a helpful friend like you around..."

"Anytime, Sugarcube... anytime." the orange girl replied with a smile.

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"Urrgh... urrgh..."

"...Doctor...?" said a calming, concerned voice. "Are you okay...?"

The Doctor slowly opened his eyes as he finally recovered from the blow to his head. He slowly sat up and saw that he was now inside of the Tardis and no longer on the apartment roof building. He looked around, trying to find Sunset Shimmer, but only Derpy was there, sitting by his side.

"D... Derpy...?" the man said in a tired tone, still trying to recover from what had happened to him.

"Oh, thank goodness!! You're awake!!" the grey girl cried out, hugging him tightly. "Don't EVER scare me like that again, Doctor!" Tears of joy rolled down her face as she "scolded" him.

"Um... what happened?" he then asked her. "Why am I in the Tardis? The last thing I can remember was that I was dueling Ms. Shimmer..."

"You were." Derpy answered him. "But then you got hit in the head pretty badly... and after that, you almost fell off of the building... You almost died..."

"I... I did...?" the man asked, astounded to know that his life was in jeopardy. "Well then... I suppose that I owe a great deal to you for saving my life..."

"Um... actually, about that..." the grey teen began to tell him, rubbing the back of her head, "I wasn't the one who saved you... It was Sunset."

The Doctor gasped when he heard that. "S-Sunset?!" he asked in shock. "She saved me?! Are you absolutely sure??"

"Look, I know only one of my two eyes works properly, but I know what I saw!" she told her mentor. "After that brick hit you, you flew off of the roof and off the side of the building... But then Sunset managed to grab onto you and pull you to safety... She even tore off a sleeve from her shirt and used it to bandage the wound on your head."

"She did?" The Doctor then touched his forehead and felt something soft and cottony. By this point, he figured that it was okay to untie the bandage, so he did just that. He then held it in his hands, looking at the red bloody mark that was left behind; the only evidence that he had that confirmed that he had received an injury. He also saw that the red-violet color of the bandage matched the pajama top that Sunset was wearing during their Duel.

(She's... she's right...) the man thought, amazed by the evidence in front of him. He was also a bit confused. "But... I don't understand, Derpy..." he then said to his assistant. "You told me that Sunset Shimmer was the cruelest person you had ever met..."

"She was..." the grey-skinned girl replied, "but... I don't think she's like that anymore... I mean, you heard that apology she made to me, right? Not to mention that you would've been killed if it weren't for her." Feeling bad about it all, she then told him, "I wanted to get back at Sunset for everything she did to me... I wanted revenge on her for treating me like a doormat..." She sniffled a little as she spoke. "But she's right... even if I got my revenge, I wouldn't have felt better in the long run... All I would have done was cause her problems like she did with me, and nothing would have been resolved. Besides, seeking revenge on others, even if it's justified, just isn't who I am... And I hope you can forgive me for getting you involved with my problems..."

Sighing a little, The Doctor then said to his assistant, "Well... I suppose we were all wrong about Ms. Shimmer. One thing is for certain: She is not possessed by her Number cards... I am not sure how, but I am quite confident that she is not under their influence." Looking at his Duel Pad, he then added, "Especially considering the fact that she had declared the Duel a draw... when she could have just as easily forced me to forfeit while I was unconscious."

"Which means that you still have all of your Numbers." Derpy concluded. "And she still has hers."

Pondering for a while, the man thought about what to do next. "Derpy... I think I might have an idea." he told the girl after coming up with something.

"What is it?"

"...I'd like for you to return to your school for a while."

"Huh? Why?" asked Derpy.

"Hear me out..." the man told her. "We got into this mess because we didn't know enough about Sunset Shimmer... That lack of information nearly cost us all dearly. My life was in danger because of it; next time, it could be your life at risk, or both of us..."

That comment got Derpy's attention, and she decided to listen to what her mentor had to say.

"So I believe that, in the best interest of us both, as well as for Ms. Shimmer," he continued, "Our best course of action is to learn more about this young lady... And I feel that you would be the best candidate for finding that sort of information."

"Are... you asking me to SPY on Sunset?" asked Derpy, taken aback.

"Sort of..." the man replied. "I just need you to observe her daily routine, and see what she's really like. Watch her, converse with her, obtain info from other students, things like that. I believe that, this way, we can learn more about why Sunset is collecting Numbers, do you understand?"

"I think so..."

The Doctor then spoke again, telling Derpy, "I challenged Sunset to a Duel tonight because I wanted to get her Number cards before she could obtain more, because we thought she wanted them for malicious purposes... But since that's clearly not the case in this situation, we would be better off leaving her to her own accord and focus our attention on the Number holders that are actually causing trouble."

"That makes sense..." the grey girl responded. "No point in trying to fight her again if she's not possessed by a Number."

"And while I continue my search for Numbers," he then added, "your job will be to learn more about Sunset and what her true intentions are. Are you okay with that, Derpy?"

The grey girl thought about it for a while; she then recalled that, when Sunset apologized to her for mistreating her in the past, the red and yellow girl stated that she wished to resolve their issues peacefully through words instead of fighting. Taking up The Doctor's request would give her that opportunity. Derpy smiled and nodded, saying, "Okay, Doctor! I'll do it!" She then shook his hand to confirm her decision.

"Thank you very much, Derpy." he then said to her. "I knew I could count on you." He then stated to his assistant, "I'll write up a letter to your Principal, stating that, beginning next Monday, you are to return to school, and that the time you've spent with me should positively count towards your grades this year. I'm sure she would comply with a simple request such as that."

"I think so too." agreed the girl. "And I promise that I'll learn as much about Sunset as possible... and maybe... she and I can even be friends."

"Well, I suppose that could be quite an ideal outcome."

Derpy then stood up from her chair and told him, "Anyway, I'm gonna go to the drug store to get some more things for you to help with your recovery. And I think that you should put a hold on dueling for a while, at least until we know that you're completely okay, that is." Giggling a little, she then added, "You know, I just realized something: I'm playing Nurse... to a Doctor!" She then giggled a little more about the whole thing.

The Doctor chuckled a little himself at the irony. "Yes, I suppose you are, aren't you?" he replied.

Giggling a little bit more, Derpy then told him, "Anyway, you just stay here and worry about getting better... Until then, I'll do my part and help you out as much as I can, okay?"

The man nodded and said, "Thank you very much, Derpy... I must tell you, I have had many assistants over the years, helping me with my work... but you are particularly remarkable: You are bright, kind, caring, and you always have a knack for making the best out of even the worst of scenarios... To me, you're more than an mere assistant; you are also my friend. And I will always remember the good times that we've shared together."

Derpy wiped a happy tear from her eye after hearing him say that to her. "Thank you..." she told him. "And I feel the same way towards you, Doctor." Heading to the entrance of the Tardis, she then said, "Anyway, I'll be back in a few minutes... Just rest there and take it easy for a while, okay?"

"Okay." he responded. After Derpy left, The Doctor then continued to think about everything that had happened... as well as Sunset Shimmer. "That girl..." he said to himself. "There is more to her than meets the eye... As much as I hate to admit it, she fought very bravely, even against seemingly impossible odds... In all my years, I have never met someone with that kind of courage... I would like to know where she gets such feelings from... But one thing's for sure: This won't be the last time our paths will cross... We will face each other again one day, and see just whose convictions are stronger in the end..."

-- To Be Continued...

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NUMBERS OBTAINED:

Dr. Whooves (4 Numbers total):

- Number 91: Thunder Spark Dragon

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