• Published 21st Mar 2018
  • 2,118 Views, 607 Comments

Duelists of the Friendship Cup - DrakeyC



Friendship Games is retold, but with less academics and athletics and more card games.

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Cybernetic Revolution - Rainbow Dash vs Indigo Zap (Part 1)

Author's Note:

Duelists of the Friendship Cup

Cybernetic Revolution – Rainbow Dash vs Indigo Zap (Part 1)

“Where did Sunset go?” Rainbow swiveled her head across the field. She paused as Sunny Flare marched past them, not even turning her head her way, and passing the Shadowbolt bench to head into the school.

“I didn’t see,” Fluttershy said.

Rarity swallowed heavily. “I hope she’s alright.”

“Oo, oo!” Pinkie jumped in place. “Maybe she ran to go get you the ‘Congratulations On Your Awesome Victory And Also Having Magic’ cake she had ready for you!” The rest of the group affixed her with annoyed looks. “What? It’s what I’d do.”

“If the assembled students will please clear the dueling field promptly, we will now choose the next two duelists,” Radiant Hope announced.

On the display board above the field, the highlighted portraits of Rainbow, Flash Sentry, Shining Armor, and Indigo Zap began to flash in blue and violet borders. After several seconds, the outlines stopped and two portraits grew larger.

“The next duel is decided! Canterlot High’s Rainbow Dash shall face Crystal Prep’s Indigo Zap!”

“Yes!” On the sidelines, Indigo jumped up and pumped her fist, grinning ear to ear.

“Now?” Rainbow gaped. “B-but, we’ve kinda got something important going on here!”

“You betcha you do!” Indigo called as she jogged past. “C’mon, I’ve been waiting for my turn since yesterday!” She reached the other side of the field and turned around, raising her duel disk. With a press of her touch screen, a card tray of dark blue energy materialized along the front.

“Will the Canterlot High students save for Rainbow Dash please vacate the dueling field?”

“We’re kinda in the middle of something!” Rainbow called over, directing a scowl at the principal table. She watched, her expression hard as Sombra placed a hand over the microphone and leaned to say something to Hope. Hope nodded as Sombra stood and withdrew his hand, and she leaned back to the mic.

“We will take a brief ten minute break while the duelists clear the field.”

“Ah’ll take it.” Applejack nodded at Rainbow. “We’ll go find Sunset, you take care of things down here.”

“You got it.” Rainbow stepped away from the group. “But you get her back here quick. I don’t want her missing my win!”

As the group filed off the field, leaving Rainbow alone, Indigo smirked. “You actually might wanna tell them to take their time. I can’t imagine how embarrassed I’d be if my teammates saw me lose as badly as you’re about to in about ten minutes.”

“Don’t worry, in eleven minutes you won’t need to imagine it!” Rainbow replied.

Indigo’s smirk twisted into a look of confusion. “So, a minute after I beat you, I’ll know how embarrassed you feel?”

“Yeah! I mean, no, you will! Be embarrassed!”

Applejack rolled her eyes as the four reached the stairs up to the parking lot. “Ah think she’ll be fine without us.” As she turned forward again, she froze, looking across the field.

Fluttershy turned her head, squeaked, and backed away when she saw what had gotten Applejack's attention. The four stepped aside as Sombra walked past them. The rival principal paused with one foot on the bottom step, and without moving his head, turned his eyes to look at Rarity. Applejack gasped and tightened her grip as Rarity suddenly became heavier to hold and her knees shook under her. After a moment of silence, Sombra looked forward and continued up the steps, approaching the Crystal Prep limousine.

Rarity swallowed heavily and put a hand on the railing of the stairs to steady herself. Applejack turned her attention back to her. “Rares, you okay?”

Rarity nodded. “Quite, dear. I think I may just need another moment to get my bearings.”

Pinkie tilted her head as she watched Sombra climb into the back seat of the limo. “What was that about?”


The empty bathroom echoed with the sounds of clanging metal. With a continuous barrage of punches, the cover of the paper towel dispenser slowly caved in, the white now marred by streaks of silver where the paint had come off, and streaks of red where blood had been left.

Sunset let her hand rest in the sizable dent she had made. Breathing heavily, she glared at her own hand and gave a final punch to the metal. Wincing at the impact, she brought her hands back and stared down at her knuckles, the skin cracked and bloodied. Her hands shook slightly until she willed them to stop.

Stupid.

She moved to the sink and turned on the taps. She held her hands under the water and watched the red wash away. She ripped off a length of paper towel and pressed her hands dry; when she pulled the towel back the wounds were still raw and slowly seeping blood again. She twisted the taps off and inhaled.

Should visit the nurse.

Wrapping the paper towel around one hand and cupping it over the other, Sunset slowly pushed open the door into the hall and made her way to the stairwell doors. She descended carefully, unable to grip the railing. The walls resounded with her boots hitting the steps, one by one until she reached the bottom. She pulled the door open and paused when she saw who was coming down the hall.

Rarity…

Hoping the other girl hadn’t seen her, Sunset ducked back into the stairwell and slid down below the windows in the door. She swallowed heavily and looked at the hand she was nursing, red spots showing on the white paper towel.

A gentle rapping came from above her head. Sunset ignored it and lifted her eyes to stare at the steps in front of her. The door beside her swung open.

“Sunset?” Rarity knelt next to her and put a hand on Sunset’s shoulder. The contact made Sunset’s breath catch, but if Rarity noticed it she didn’t say anything. “What happened to your hand?”

“Some idiot smashed it against a paper towel dispenser,” Sunset muttered, turning her head away.

“I see.” Rarity gently moved the paper towel away and looked at Sunset’s wounds. “How many times did she hit it?”

“I lost count.”

“Well, you let her know if she does anything like this to you again, I’m going to have some very choice words for her that I’d otherwise not use in polite company.”

Sunset looked back at Rarity and locked eyes with her; her eyes confirmed what was implicit from her words. Sunset tried to look away but found herself unable. “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry?” Rarity tilted her head. “I don’t follow.”

What happened to you out there!” Sunset shrieked. “Your eyes, the glowing, the new cards!” She sighed and pulled her knees up to her chest and buried her face in them. “You probably don’t remember. It was magic again. It took control of you. I didn’t do it, I swear!” She raised her head. “Maybe it was residual because of what happened yesterday, or back…” She stopped herself from finishing that thought. “Are you okay?”

“Actually, I feel rather pleasant.”

“…What?” Sunset swiveled her head, confused.

Rarity lifted her eyebrows and shrugged. “To be honest. I feel almost refreshed. Like waking up from a nap or stepping out of a shower.”

“Rarity, please don’t joke.”

“I’m not.” Rarity put a hand over Sunset’s. “I remember everything that happened. I remember drawing my new card, summoning a monster, and winning the duel.” She gave a small murmur. “It’s a bit hazy, like something you were only half-awake for. But I remember it all the time.”

She looked at Sunset. “And more pressingly, I don’t see how what I did out there was your fault.”

“Don’t you?” Sunset shook her head. “I corrupted you with magic in the last tournament, and I just used magic again yesterday. That can’t be coincidence.”

“I don’t disagree on that. But I think it a bit presumptuous to run away and blame yourself for it. And besides…” Rarity gave her a warm smile. “I don’t think this was quite the same.”

“What do you mean?”

Rarity’s expression darkened. “When you did… that, to me, during the Autumn Crown tournament, I had no recollection of anything until Twilight defeated me. But as I heard afterward, I became quite unpleasant for the duration.” Her face brightened into a smile again. “This was nothing like that. I felt I was in control of myself, and I stayed who I was. I just…” she grew distant and glanced away. “I knew I couldn’t let my friends down, and I wanted to win for their sake. Then I felt this rush of energy, and…” she trailed off.

“I thought I wanted the same thing during my duel with Twilight,” Sunset whispered. “But look what happened to me.”

“I won’t pretend to have all the answers, darling. But I know that whatever it is you think you need to blame yourself for, one way or the other, you don’t.”

“I wish I could believe that.” Sunset shook her head. “It would be easier if we could actually explain how you suddenly got magic.”

Rarity nodded and pushed herself to her feet. “I agree entirely. But sitting here blaming yourself won’t help us figure it out, will it?” She held out a hand and stretched it into Sunset’s field of view. Sunset turned her eyes to the offered hand. After several seconds of hesitation, she reached out and took it, letting Rarity pull her up. Rarity carefully unwrapped the paper towel to look at Sunset's wounds and gently dabbed at them.

Sunset felt the tension in her shoulders lessen as Rarity rewrapped her hand. “Thanks, Rarity.”

She patted the back of Sunset's hand. “What are friends for?” She gestured her other hand to the hallway. “I believe Rainbow Dash is starting her duel soon, if you want to observe.”


Twilight stepped onto the field and looked at the principal table. She frowned when she saw the empty seat next to Hope. “Where is Principal Sombra?”

“Took off?” Lemon Zest held up a hand, leaning on her bench with her head tilted back. “Why?”

“I need to see him.” Twilight looked at the others. “Do you know where he went?”

Pacing back and forth in front of the bench, Sunny shook her head. “We have more important things on our minds right now! Not that you care, or you’d have been here earlier.”

Hands on her knees to support her head, Sugarcoat rolled her eyes. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you need a babysitter more than a principal.”

“Shut up!” Sunny jumped to her feet and glared down at the other girl. “I don’t need to be talked down by the likes of you!”

“Would you rather we go get Rarity?” Sugarcoat said, smirking slightly.

Sunny bristled. “She got lucky, nothing more.”

“She beat you, nothing less.”

“I’ll rematch her after!” Sunny practically snarled the words. She swiveled her head the other way. “Twilight, you wanna take down Sunset too, right?

Before Twilight could answer, Sour cut in. “Will you both grow up? You lost, get over it! I lost to Sugarcoat last week, you don’t see me whining and angsting about it.”

“I am not angsting!” Twilight protested, glaring at the other girl. “I am investigating! Sunset Shimmer is…” she stopped herself and took a breath. “She may not be what she seems.”

Sugarcoat sat up. “Meaning what?”

“I…” Twilight sighed. “I’m not allowed to say.”

“That’s not very much to go on.”

Lemon stood up and put an arm over Twilight’s shoulders, then reached out to Sunny with her other hand but was slapped away. She looked at Twilight and smiled. “Look, Twi, these are the big leagues. It’s rough and it’s hard and it ain’t always fair, but that’s how the cards are dealt sometimes. But you can’t let it get to you like… like her.” She jerked her thumb at Sunny.

“Bite me,” Sunny hissed. “I think Twilight is right, that duel wasn’t legitimate. It couldn’t be.”

Sugarcoat slapped her forehead. “Give me a break.”

Twilight stepped out of Lemon’s hold. “Why, what happened?”

“I told you, she got a lucky draw! Do you want me to draw you a diagram of how she moved her hands as she played her cards?”

“Maybe.” Twilight looked over the group. “I can’t go into details, but I’ve been looking into something for Principal Sombra. Something about Canterlot and its duelists. And if Rarity’s win wasn’t legitimate, that might be part of things. So how did it happen?” Twilight looked at her duel disk and tapped to call up the tournament records.

“She got lucky!”

“You said that already,” Sugarcoat said.

“I need specifics,” Twilight said. She paused and squinted at her duel disk’s projection. “No recording of the duel?” After a moment’s thought, she raised her eyes to the four girls. “Sunny, what cards did Rarity use to beat you? Name them.”

Sunny opened her mouth. She hesitated and put a finger to her lip. “...It’s strange. I can’t seem to recall.”

Twilight turned her eyes among them. ”Do any of you remember?”

“Uh…” Lemon scratched her neck. “Sunny had an Xyz card out.”

“Hazy Flame Basiltrice,” Sour Sweet offered.

“Right. And Rarity had an empty field… she drew…” Lemon tilted her head. “I guess I wasn’t really paying attention. Did she summon Rainbow Dragon again, or am I misremembering the turn order?”

“I’m fairly sure she did…” Sunny said.

“This can’t be coincidence…” Twilight lowered her head, a hand to her chin. “But she wasn’t even here…” The sound of footsteps behind her caught her ear and Twilight looked over her shoulder. “Principal Sombra!” She ran over and stopped as he kept walking past her.

“Not now, Twilight,” he said sternly as he headed toward the principal table.

Twilight kept pace with him as she spoke. “I need to speak to you, sir. It’s urgent.”

“Later.”

“Sir, I think we need to cancel this duel.”

Sombra stopped and spun on his heel, green eyes boring into Twilight. She stopped in her tracks and leaned back.

Later, Twilight.”

Sombra turned back around and continued to his seat alone. Twilight swallowed heavily and debated approaching, but quickly decided against it when she heard her name.

“Twilight!” She looked over shoulder and saw Lemon waving at her. “You wanna have a seat and watch the duel?”

Twilight looked at the dueling field where Rainbow and Indigo were positioned.

“...Yes. I do.” She quickly walked to the other girls and sat down. She tapped her duel disk screen and a projection of the duel stats appeared above it.

“If the two duelists are ready, we can begin shortly.”

“Ready, and waiting!” Rainbow called back.

“Eager to lose?” Indigo taunted.

“Then let the duel begin!”

-Rainbow Life Points: 8000-

-Indigo Life Points: 8000-

The crowd cheered as the two portraits on the display board flashed in sequence and stopped with Rainbow’s lit up. “Rainbow Dash will take the first move.”

“Sweet.” Rainbow picked up her opening hand from her duel disk and looked over them. “And we’re off to a heck of a start!” She picked up a card and slid it into a slot on her duel disk. “Let’s get an arena worth dueling in! I activate the Field Spell ‘U.A. Stadium’!”

A column of light burst up from behind Rainbow and split, fanning in a circle around her and Indigo. In its wake appeared the walls of a massive sports arena, glass windows framing spectator boxes and rows of seats. As the circular energy met again and finished forming the field, a large ring appeared floating in the air above them and activated in rows of blue lights, holograms projecting displays and statistics of the duelists.

“That’s more like it.” Rainbow grabbed another card from her hand. “I summon ‘U’A’. Midfielder’.” A portal appeared in the air before her and her monster jumped down into a crouch, an athlete with spiked brown hair and glowing silver and green armor (1200/1000).

Rainbow reached to tap on her duel disk’s screen. “When I normal summon a U.A. monster, the effect of U.A. Stadium lets me add a U.A. monster from my deck to my hand.” The holographic field projected the image of a card that flipped over as Rainbow took her card from her deck. “I’ll take this, ‘U.A. Goalkeeper. Next I’ll return Midfielder to my hand in order to Special Summon Goalkeeper in defense mode.”

Midfielder swirled up into another portal. With a large thud, Rainbow’s monster descended to the field, a massive creature in thick white and orange hockey armor with glowing green lines crossing the pads. It crouched and held its hands out to the side, a red visor over its eyes lighting up (1000/2800).

“Special Summoning a U.A. monster activates the other effect of U.A. Stadium, giving all my monsters a permanent boost of five hundred attack points.” Rainbow snapped her fingers and pointed at Goalkeeper as electricity surged over its armor (1000 → 1500). “I place one card face-down and end my turn.” She crossed her arms. “I’m all set, bring it on!”

“Careful what you wish for!” Indigo drew with a flourish, looked at her card, and barked out a laugh. She swung her card onto her duel disk. “Since you set it up, let me spruce it up. I activate my own Field Spell, ‘F.A. Circuit Grand Prix’!”

A horizontal wave of energy shot out behind Indigo, leaving black asphalt on the ground behind it, steel-blue railings lining the edges. The wave turned and weaved up and down the walls of the stadium, tracing out a racing track along the edges of the field. The energy wave reached the start of the track behind Indigo and rippled out, creating a large circular pit zone around her.

“Next I’ll summon ‘F.A. Sonic Meister’.” A horizontal portal appeared on the road behind Indigo. With a roar of an engine, a gleaming silver, blue, and orange race car sped out, two large rocket engines blazing on either side of a large central rear wheel behind the driver. The race car turned and moved into position next to her, the engines dying down (0/1000).

Rainbow looked up at the holograms as several close-up angels of the monster popped onto the screens with its stats. “Zero attack points? It must have a killer effect, huh?”

“You’re smarter than I thought,” Indigo snickered.

“Hey!”

“My F.A. monsters have a print attack of zero, but once in play, they have attack power equal to their Level times three hundred.” Indigo held up four fingers. “Sonic Meister is Level 4, so that works out to twelve hundred attack points.” Sonic Meister’s driver grinned inside his helmet and revved his engine (1200).

“Next I’ll throw a card face-down and end my turn.” Indigo rolled her shoulders and slumped back. “Go for it.”

“With pleasure!” Rainbow smirked and drew. “First, let’s get rid of that obvious Trap you left out, with the Spell card ‘Mystical Space Typhoon’!” A cyclone blew out of Rainbow’s duel disk and whirled across the field. “Say buh-bye to your face-down.”

“Sorry to say, it isn’t a Trap!” Indigo called back, putting a hand to her duel disk. “I’ll activate that card now, the Quickplay Spell ‘F.A. Downforce’. This lets me increase the Level of my Sonic Meister by two for the rest of the turn.” Sonic Meister’s engines lit up blue and began to rev louder.

“Oh, and my Sonic Meister has an ability, too. When I activate an F.A. Spell or Trap card or its effect, it gains a Level permanently.” Indigo held up her hand again, three fingers extended. “All in all, Sonic Meister is at Level 5 now, plus two for the rest of the turn, which means it’s attack points are at twenty-one hundred.”

“If you wanna confuse me with math, you’re gonna have to try harder than that!” Rainbow shouted. “Your field is still clear, so I’m safe to summon U.A. Midfielder again. That activates the effect of U.A. Stadium, letting me add ‘U.A. Mighty Slugger to my hand. And just like last time, I’ll return Midfielder to my hand and special summon Mighty Slugger.”

Rainbow’s newest monster descended from a portal above her, a baseball star in black and silver sports armor. It posed with an arm held out, a metal cylinder in its hand, and with a flash of light it extended a holographic red light in the shape of a baseball bat (2300/700).

“Special Summoning Mighty Slugger triggers the effect of U.A. Stadium again, giving both my monsters an extra five hundred points. I then switch Goalkeeper to attack mode.” Mighty Slugger (2300 → 2800) grinned and turned its head to watch Goalkeeper stand up, beating a fist into its palm (1500 → 2000).

Rainbow nodded. “Just in case you have any other tricks up your sleeve, you should know that when Mighty Slugger attacks, you aren’t allowed to activate cards or effects. So there’ll be no stopping this hardball!” She thrust her hand out. “U.A. Mighty Slugger, attack and destroy F.A. Sonic Meister!”

Mighty Slugger grabbed a glowing blue baseball from a pouch on its waist, tossed it in the air, and spun to wallop it with its bat. The baseball blazed across the field, sparking brightly. The baseball smacked into Sonic Meister with an explosion and a shower of sparks.

“Oh yeah!” Rainbow pumped her fist. “First you lose your monster, next you lose a ton of Life Points!”

Indigo rolled her eyes. “Strike one and two. Check again.” She looked over her shoulder. The smoke of the attack cleared, revealing Sonic Meister, engine still revving.

“What gives?” Rainbow exclaimed.

“It’s Sonic Meister’s special ability – it can’t be destroyed in battle when it battles a monster with a lower level than it. Your Mighty Slugger is only Level 5, and Sonic Meister is Level 7.” Indigo scoffed. “Oh, my mistake, Level 9 now. See, the effect of my Circuit Grand Prix field grants all F.A. monsters a boost of two levels during the battle phase. And now that he’s at Level 9, Sonic Meister has twenty-seven hundred points. Mighty Slugger is at twenty-eight, so your attack barely scratches me.” Indigo put a hand on her hip. “How’s that for some math, Rainbow Dunce?”

-Indigo Life Points: 7900-

Rainbow growled. “Keep talking, Indigo Yap! I end my turn.”

“Goodie!” Indigo drew and reached to her hand. “I’ll start this turn by summoning ‘F.A. Whip Crosser’.” A portal opened behind Indigo. An armored blue and yellow motorbike rode out of it, the driver clad in armor of the same color scheme. He popped a wheelie and drove up beside Indigo before letting the wheel down (0/1000).

“Whip Crosser has similar abilities to my Sonic Meister,” Indigo said. “Namely, he has three hundred attack times his level, and he increases in level as I use F.A. Spell and Trap cards or effects.”

She reached to her duel disk. “Like this one. I activate the effect of F.A. Downforce in my Graveyard.” The image of Indigo’s card appeared above her and dissolved. “By banishing Downforce, I basically get its effect again, boosting my F.A. Sonic Meister two levels for this turn only. And since I activated the effect of an F.A. Spell card, they also get another permanent level gain.”

Indigo held her hands out to gesture to her two monsters. “That means Sonic Meister is Level 6, Level 8for this turn, and Whip Crosser is Level 5.”

“Stop making me keep track of this stuff!” Rainbow screamed.

“Too much going on?” Indigo laughed. “Here, this will simplify one thing at least. I switch Sonic Meister to defense mode, and then activate the Spell card ‘F.A. Test Run’.” A computer console rose next to Sonic Meister, cables snaking out of the machinery and attaching to the car.

“This card changes Sonic Meister back to attack mode, and then I get to destroy one card on the field.” Indigo tapped her chin. “I’d like to go tit-for-tat and get rid of your face-down card, but that Midfielder combo is getting on my nerves. I’ll destroy U.A. Stadium!”

The computer exploded and sent blasts of electricity in all directions. Around them, the walls of U.A. Stadium began to crack apart and crumble, creating a massive cloud of dust. The debris hit the ground and dissolved into particles of light, piece by piece.

“Crud,” Rainbow muttered.

“And by the way, just to make sure you’re still keeping up, that’s another F.A. Spell activated and another level on my monsters.” Indigo grinned. “I think we’ve built up enough speed now, so let’s see how they run! I enter my battle phase, and now the effect of my Field Spell gives my F.A. monsters another boost of two levels. F.A. Sonic Meister, attack U.A. Mighty Slugger!”

Sonic Meister (Level: 11, ATK: 3300) revved up and sped off across the field, crashing through the guard rails of the pit stop. It drove into Mighty Slugger, the baseball player splaying out across the front of the car, and after driving another second, it screeched to a sudden halt. Mighty Slugger flipped through the air and crashed into the wall of the stadium.

-Rainbow Life Points: 7500-

Indigo’s duel disk beeped and ejected a card, which she picked up. “Once per turn, when an F.A. monster destroys a monster in battle, I get to draw a card due to the effect of my Field Spell. Oh, and since that’s an F.A. Spell effect triggered, that’s another level booster!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Rainbow muttered. “Any more effects you wanna pile on?”

“Actually, yes.” Indigo pointed at Sonic Meister. “As long as it has a current Level of seven or higher, F.A. Sonic Meister can attack two monsters a turn! Here comes the second lap!”

Sonic Meister (Level: 12, ATK: 3600) roared to life again and turned to drive at U.A. Goalkeeper. The car shot passed it, braked, and turned, and the rear end of the car slammed into Goalkeeper and sent it tumbling across the grass before it shattered.

-Rainbow Life Points: 5900-

Indigo winked at Sonic Meister as her monster drove back into place through the hole it had punched in the guard rails. “And I hope you haven’t forgotten about Whip Crosser. I certainly haven’t! F.A. Whip Crosser, direct attack!” Whip Crosser (Level: 9, ATK: 2700) zoomed forward, hopped over the guard rails, and aimed itself at Rainbow Dash.

“Not this time!” Rainbow growled. “I activate my Trap card ‘Reinforce Truth’!” The card flipped over and lit up. “This lets me Special Summon a Level 2or lower Warrior from my deck.” Rainbow tapped the hologram of her selected card and it ejected. “I’ll summon ‘X-Saber Pashuul’ in defense mode!”

An elderly warrior with a massive mess of tangled black hair, dark blue armor, and a massive sword, appeared in front of Rainbow and knelt.

Indigo lifted her eyebrows. “Huh, going off-brand, are we?”

“I’ll play whatever cards I need to beat you,” Rainbow replied. “X-Saber Pashuul can’t be destroyed in battle, so go ahead and attack if you wanna waste more of my time.”

“Nah, I’m good.” Indigo shrugged. “I end my turn, and the Spell boosting effects wear off of my monsters.” Sonic Meister (Level: 8, ATK: 2400) and Whip Crosser (Level: 7, ATK: 2100) glowed as their engines slowed.

“Fine by me. I’ll be destroying them this turn no matter what level they are.” Rainbow put a hand on her deck and glared at Indigo. “This duel isn’t even at half-time yet.”

Indigo laughed. “Keep telling yourself that, Dunce. Truth is I’m already set to lap you and leave you in my dust.”

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