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Setting: Cyem-Punk, Venice

Chapter lEdit

Maron leaned against the bars brick wall, looking into the smoggy night sky. He let's out a big yawn, then thinks to himself "Did Kan get attacked by a Muttie again? He can handle himself.....right?". There is a low growl from the shadows. Maron squints his eye towards the dark alley to see what is is. He calls out "Hey, don't scare me or you'll take a bullet to the face!". He can only make out a large, shadowy figure crouched in the shadows, but not much else. Maron slowly makes his way toward the alley hoping to a cybernetic god that it's Kan.

The figure slowly starts to move toward him, into the light. "One more step and I'll light you up like a neon sign!" Maron yells. It appears to stop, but then a tiny puppy step out of the shadows, looking incredibly scrawny from hunger. It looks at him with big eyes, and sits. Maron kneels down and pats his right thigh. "Come here boy." He pulls out a piece of stale bread from his pocket and holds it out towards the dog. The puppy trots over, and immediatly devours the bread. Maron rubs the puppy's head roughly pulling out some strands of fur. He notices something strange about the puppy though. It appears to be acting a bit unlike a regular puppy. Maron stands up immediatley and backs away from the strange creature. "You better not be mutated.". The puppy looks at him with a strange look. It takes another step foward, but then stops. A rock hits the puppy's back, and it goes crazy. Its eyes turn red, and it turns toward the source. Maron sees Kan standing there, another rock in his hand, "Shoo! Shoo you foul beast!". "Ugh...disgusting thing. "Maron exclaims to Kan. The puppy starts to click, and mechanical wings come out of it's sides. It starts to fly, then stops, and falls. Kan stomps on it's head, exposing gears, oil, and the crumbs of the bread Maron had fed it.

Maron notices something shine from the pile of crushed remains. Maron saunters over to the shining piece of medal and examines it. "What is it?", "I think it's...Titanium." "From the underworld?" Kan asks. On closer inspection, the Titanium appears to be shaped like a box. As Maron looks down at the oily box he notices a shadow moving behind Kan. "Kan...walk towards me...slowly." The shadow stops moving as he says this. Maron slowly moves his hand towards his holster and puts his fingers on the pistol handle. The shadow suddenly runs out of sight, before Maron can draw. Maron draws his weapon and fires two shots into the darkness. "Kan come on!". Kan pulls his weapon out and they give chase. They follow the shadow as it dodges around buildings and structures, and eventually they catch up to it as it is climbing up onto a roof.

Kan fires his gun and the bullet grazes the shadow's shoulder. He falls off the roof onto the ground below. The figure doesn't move, and they can see a dull metal object laying beside him. "Kan, you shot it. You check it out." Maron says. "Of course." He replies sarcasticly. Kan walks up to the prone figure, and is hit in the head by something, knockinig him out. Maron rushes over to Kan and see's a large swell on his head. Maron than moves over to the object that hit him....a wrench. Maron can now see that the figure they had been chasing was a young teen, a bit younger than them.

The boy stirs, as if to get up. Maron points his revolver at the boys head and clicks the hammer back. "Kan, wake up." Maron loudly whispers. The boy freezes, and then whispers something under his breath. Kan does not waken, but Maron can see his chest rise and fall. "You hear that click? That's the sound of my revolver chambering another piece of lead. And if you don't comply with me your gonna taste that lead. Got it? Now stand up". The boy looks around carefully before replying, "Why should I comply?". "Ever wanna see the god damn sun light again? If so than comply!".

The boy sighs, then slowly stands up and yawns, facing Maron. "It's not like I see the sun much anyways." Maron looks at the boy's dirty face and greasy clothing. "An underworlder?" The boy looks tiredly into Maron's eyes, "Yeah, I suppose so. Is that why you're trying to make my holiday miserable?". "Holiday? To this hell hole? Damn the underworld must really suck." Maron chuckled at his own wittyness. The boy raises an eyebrow, "You haven't experienced half the dangers I have. I don't know why you don't just kill me if your so superior." "I would, but I've never seen one of you in the flesh. What's your name?".

The boy looks genuinly suprised, "What, really? My friend says he comes up here all the time...." His voice drifts off as he thinks. "Your name first." "I'm Maron." He tells the boy as he pushed down the hammer of his revolver and holstered it. The boy relaxes slightly once it is holstered, "I'm Cal. Not nice to meet you." Maron chuckled slightly at Cal's remark. Cal looks over at Kan. "So who's your friend....the one who shot me?". "The one you knocked out with your flying wrench of doom? He's Kan." "Flying? It was falling. There is a difference you know." "Man you underworlders really can't take a joke. Come on, help me wake him up." Cal starts rummaging through his pack as he speaks, "I can take a joke, and stop stereotyping me. It's not like we're different species."

Maron starts walking over to Kal's unconcious body. "There's a reason we're separated you know. We don't blend well together. Cal looks up as he pulls out a box,"Wait, there was a reason? I guess that explains why everyone hates you guys.". He walks over to Kal and opens the box, pulling out a spray bottle. "Learn your history, worm." Maron says sharply. Cal stops, and slowly turns to face Maron. "Worm? Worm?! As if you know what goes on down there! Do you know how many of your byproducts are in our water? Do you know how many machines I've found broken, cast from the sky?! And you're telling me to learn my history?!" Cal pulls out a metallic sphere and takes a threatening step foward. "Do you care?! Not at all!" Cal raises the sphere as if to throw it.

The sudden change in volume wakes Kan from his "slumber". "Woah what's going on here?" He asked them. Maron unholsters his weapon and Kan reaches for his as he gets up. "Maybe if your ancestors weren't so god damned stubborn I wouldn't have said that!" Maron yells with a weak voice. Cal freezes, then slowly lowers his hand, "Huh. I just hope you're wrong." He glares at the two of them, and then tosses the spray bottle at Kan. "For your head." Picking up his wrench, Cal starts off down the alley. "Uhh...th-thanks." Kan muttered.

Chapter llEdit

Maron sat in his bike garage rolling the titanium cube around in his hand. Kan sat in front of him, "What the hell happened back there?" he asked. "You saw what happened. We chased him you shot him.". "No I mean you two were talking...I could see that much." Kan said looking into Maron's eyes. Maron stood up from his seat and puts the cube down. "He was an underworlder, I'm guessing that's where the cube came from." The cube beeps as it touches the metal surface. Maron and Kan look at the cube in shock. As they watch, the cube unfolds into a large, round, flat surface. It appears to be a chessboard. They stand there suprised of what they just saw. "What is that?" Maron and Kan say simultaneously. There is whirring sound, and chess peices pop up. A mechanical voice speaks. "Please choose your color and side of the board." Kan calls out "Black...left.". Maron follows with "Red, right." The black peices all arrange themselves on the left side of the board, as the red do the same on the right. Each boy makes their way to their side of the board. "Is this a game or something?" Kan asks to Maron. Maron shrugs. There is more clicking, and the voice speaks again. "Kan, you go first." Kan is taken back by the use of his name. "How do you know our names?" Maron asks the machine. The Chess board is silent, but Maron notices a tiny piece of white on the black king. Maron picks it up and inspects it. The robotic chess piece appears to struggle, but Maron easily keeps hold of it. He can see that something was firmly wedged inbetween the gears of the piece. Maron squints into the gears and puts his pinkie finger inside to unwedge it. His finger pushes whatever it is that is stuck in there, and the whole piece starts rearranging itself.Maron drops the figure onto the cement floor. Him and Kalnback away. "Ed-E, what is that thing?" a flying droid hovers above them and scans the metallic figure. "I'm sorry sir, I am not able to read these scans." Ed-E says in a small boyish voice. The used-to-be chess piece appears to realize what is going on, and sheaths its sword. "Commencing return scan.....". "Kan get a jar!" Kan rushes over to a nearby shelf and retrieves a glass jar. He hands it to Maron, Maron traps the figure in the jar. The figure remains motionless. "Data not recognized. Reaching Base.". "Ed-E try to scan it again." Maron demands. Ed-E scans the figure "I'm sorry sir, I can't get a reading.". Kan lies dow in front of the jar and asks the figure. "What are you?" It turns its head to look at him through the jar. "I am Check. You have been recognized as Kan. Recieving data..." Kan stands up and turns to Maron and looks at him with scared eyes. "Do you have a master Check?" Maron asks. The figure nods. "The Master is currently dead." "Well did your master have a name?". "The Master is titled Damask." Check says. "Ed-E look up Damask.". "Please be more specific sir." Ed-E replies. "Does he have a last name...or title?" The ex-chess piece's gears stop, then start again. It walks up to the side of the glass jar, and stops. "Damask has not been known by any other name. Message recieved.". The figure continues, but in a very different voice. "Maron and Kan. You have been selected as the new Masters of the Board.". "Master of the board?" Kan asks rhetorically. "We don't wanna be its masters." Maron replies. The figure continues. "You may believe what you like, but this is no simple organization. You shall meet the other Masters at 23, B5". "Speak English!" Maron yells. The figure does not respond, and instead folds back into a black King chess piece. "Ed-E look up the code." Ed-E makes some chirping noises then replies "B5. It is a code for a district in the Underworld. Not much is else known about it. 23 appears to be time."

Chapter lllEdit

The pair walk between the dark buildings, Ed-E flying behind them. There is no sound other than their footsteps. After a bit of walking they reach the center of the district. There is still no sign of life. "This place is worse than people make it out to be." Kan says breaking the silence. "Just shut up Kan." Maron says back. They are startled to hear voices floating up from the ground. After a quick inspection of the area, they discover a manhole cover that is positively loose. They can't make anything out, but there is definitely people. Maron and Kan run to a wall for cover, motioning for Ed-E to follow. Ed-E quickly floats towards them. Maron grabs him and pulls him behind cover. After a while of waiting, nothing happens. They can still hear voices floating upwards from the hole they found, but can not figure out what they are saying. "Ed-E, check that tunnel out." "Yes sir." Ed-E makes his way towards the tunnel and listens for a few moments the floats back. "They are conversing sir, here are some intresting ones.". Ed-E played the recording "Hey guys! I learned a new trick over the weekend!", "Is there anyone willing to bet this time?", "That was nearly my throat! Are you trying to kill me or something?!". "Thanks Ed-E now get down!" Maron tells him. There is tense silence for a while. They hear another voice, louder and clearer, "I'm going up! I should be able to get a better signal!". Maron moves from cover and motions to the others to follow. A pair of goggles pops up out of the hole, and young man clambers out, eyes riveted to a device in his hands. "Get down." Maron whispers as he pulls out his revolver. The man looks up, looks back at the device, and shakes his head. He turns to back toward the tunnel, and notices Maron, Kan, and Ed-E. Startled, he stops. Maron fires a shot towards him but misses. "Get down!". Kan grabs Ed-E and dives behind cover. The man's eyes widen as the bullet goes past his face, and quickly pulls out a bottle. "What are you doing here?!" Tossing the bottle towards them, he jumps down the hole. The bottle hits the ground, and smoke begins to rise from its spilled contents. Maron jumps over the shattered bottle and follows the man down the tunnel, leaving Kan and Ed-E behind. All noise coming from below stops, as they hear the man yell "We're under attack!". Maron tumbles into a large room, where several people are staring in shock at him. A girl in a dress reacts fastest, and starts for a deck of cards lying on the table nearby. The girl grabs the cards and immediatly throws them before Maron can react, pinning him to the wall. A lady walks over to him, and pulls the cards out. "Tch. You have got to be more careful with these." Kan climbs down the tunnel, he pulls out his gun and points it at the crew. Ed-E follows. The girl who threw the cards sighs, "Scarlet, did you seriously have to do that?" Maron picks up his weapon and points it at them. "Who are you guys?" The man with the goggles on his head steps toward them, another bottle in his hand. "The question is, who are you? And how did you get here? This area is broken, toxic, and abandoned.". "We are looking for a group of game...masters." Maron says. "You appear to have found them then" The woman called Scarlet says. The man stops, and turns to look at a familiar looking boy. "I guess your machine worked then....." He turns back to Maron and Kan. "If you are the new Masters, then I suppose you should be introduced to everyone. I am Shane, the Alchemist.". "Cal?" Maron asks even though he knew the answer. Cal looks up at them. "Hello Maron. Hello Kan.". The girl who had pinned Maron to the wall begins to nervously shuffle her deck of cards. "I'm Shayla....sorry about that.". "It's good to meet you Shane, Scarlet, Cal and Shayla." Ed-E says politely. "Why did you pick us?" Maron asks Cal. Cal sighs. "I didn't pick you, the previous masters did. The dog was connected to their spirits, and I simply followed to make sure it wasn't intercepted. It was then up to you to figure it out."  Another girl who had been sitting, unnoticed, in the corner gets up. "And I am Yorla. You are?". "That's Maron, Kan....and a robot" Cal interrupts. Yorla walks over to them. "And I suppose you are the new Masters of the Board?". "I....I guess." Maron says, still asking himself why he was chosen. There is a loud thud behind them. They turn to see a teenager sprawled across the floor, face down. "Hello." Is his muffled comment. Ed-E let's out a childish laugh but quickly stops. Kan helps the boy up. The teen looks at Maron and Kan, raises an eyebrow, and quickly asleep standing up. Maron backs away very confused. Shane sighs. "And that would be Garrett....the other Master of the Dice.". "So why us?" Maron asks. Cal turns to Maron. "I don't know why you were chosen, but the Masters of the Board have never really showed affinity to board games like the Masters of the Cards show to cards.".

Chapter IVEdit

The Masters sat around the table discussing various things as Maron and Kan attempt to follow the conversation. "So what do we do now?" Maron asked while sipping a cup of black coffee. Shane turns to Maron as he rolls a set of dice and declares that his turn is over. "Well, we should be able to start executing Plan B again. However, that can wait for tomorrow.". Shayla wanders up with a bag of chips and refills a large bowl in the center of the table. "Until then, you should get to know everyone a little better.". "I'd rather not." Maron says, getting up from the table and putting the cup of joe on a nearby counter. Kan gets up and follows him through the tunnel. Shane waves. "Well, we'll see you when you're ready!". Kan turns back and waves as Maron walks away. As they leave they hear a loud cheer accompanied by the sound of rolling dice. "And the Dragon is slain!". Kan turns back and waves as Maron walks away. The two humans and their floating companion make their way out of the tunnel. "So I guess we're doing this." Kan says as they finally make their way to the light of the city. "I guess so." Maron says looking down at the shaft they just crawled out of. They can still hear some sound coming from it, but it is muted and undefinable. Maron rubs his temples. He is noticably annoyed at what they got themselves into.