Chapter 8: The Meteor
It didn’t take long for Leo to get to the top of the hill that was said to overlook the meteor that had caused so much chaos, but he was in no way prepared for what he saw when he got there. The object that fell from the heavens all those nights ago did leave a crater. A rather large crater in fact. Leo thought that the crater was three times larger than the stadium in Neo Domino where they held the Fortune Cup. Many of the forest trees around the crater were now burned and leafless. It was what was at the center of the crater that shocked Leo more.
The thing in the crater was no meteor, but a large alien ship. The ship was spherical, and about two times smaller than the crater. Leo noticed that it was made of the same brownish-green metal that Mrs. Kretch’s duel disk was made of. There were small red lights arranged in vertical lines arranged across the surface of the ship. At the very top of the ship was a large bright green dome. For a moment, Leo wondered how the ship was able to fly, but he didn’t wonder for long. He knew that it didn’t matter how the ship got there. All that mattered was that Luna was on board, and he needed to rescue her.
Leo ran down the other side of the hill until he got to the edge of the crater. Leo saw that the crater was too steep to run down. Very carefully but quickly, Leo slid down the side of the crater until he hit the bottom. It was not a smooth ride. Leo had a few scrapes. After resting for a moment, Leo ran towards the ship to begin to look for an entrance. As he walked around the side of the ship, Leo noticed how smooth the surface was. There weren’t any grooves that would indicate a door or hatch. Suddenly, not far from where Leo was standing, a hatch suddenly opened and a ramp extended to the ground. Leo crouched down to avoid being seen by whoever or whatever was coming out.
Emerging from the hatch was a young woman with dark brown, shoulder length hair, wearing a light purple t-shirt, black jeans, and brown sandals. Leo noticed that the woman had the same blank expression as everyone else who was being controlled. As quickly and quietly as possible, Leo ran into the ship before the hatch closed. Leo found himself in a dark corridor, dimly lit by eerie green lights that ran along the ceiling. The walls were smooth and had what looked to Leo like veins running along them. Leo felt as if he were inside a living creature. Leo didn’t know which direction to go, so he picked a random direction and went to his left.
After walking aimlessly for what seemed like twenty minutes, Leo heard what could only be described as footsteps coming his way. Leo ducked into a connecting hallway to avoid being seen. What he saw next was in no way human. The creature had green, reptilian skin. In place of where the head would normally be on a human was a light greenish-grey horn that curved forward. That did not mean that the creature didn’t have a face though. In the center of its chest was a large red eye with a slit pupil. Right below the eye was a mouth filled with sharp jagged teeth. The creature had two slender arms that ended in crab-like pincers, which looked like that could cut a person’s arm off. The final horrid feature of the alien was that it walked on not two, but three legs. Each one was able to bend in two places. Leo could only stare in horror at the thing and pray that it didn’t notice him.
After the creature went through a set of sliding doors at the end of the corridor, Leo breathed a sigh of relief, almost fainting in the process. Leo had seen many frightening things in Neo Domino. He had seen demons from the underworld and killer androids from the future, but Leo decided that the alien he had just seen was scarier than either of those things. After waiting about five minutes for his heart to stop back up, Leo got back to his feet. Against his better judgment, and because the hallway he ducked into lead to a dead end, Leo decided to go through the same door the alien went through. Leo walked up to the door. It did not open automatically, like so many of the doors depicted in sci-fi movies. Instead, Leo had to push a large button on the right side of the archway.
The doors opened, and Leo walked in. He was relived that the alien creature he saw was nowhere inside. However, what he saw inside was perhaps just as terrifying. The entire right side of the hallway was a long glazed window that overlooked a large chamber. Leo looked into the window and saw what looked to be at least a little more than fifty people, from all ages and walks of life, all lying on the ground unconscious in neat organized rows. Walking in between the rows were more of the horrid creatures like the one Leo had seen a few horrid minutes ago. At the center of the chamber was a raised platform, which Leo could see an old man lying facedown on. Above the platform was a large machine that had a small needle-like device on the end. Leo watched as the machine pierced the back of the old man’s neck, only to retract a moment later. The old man then got up and was escorted out of the room by one of the alien creatures. Leo could see a blank expression on his face.
It didn’t take long for Leo to realize that the chamber he was seeing was the place where Roxanne and the other had had those implants put into the back of their necks. Leo frantically looked over the unconscious crowd in the hope of finding Luna. Sadly, she wasn’t there. Leo decided to keep going, for there was currently nothing he could do for the people below. Just as Leo was about to continue down the corridor, he noticed another door on the left side wall. Hoping that it might lead to Luna and away from the aliens, Leo went through the door, finding a corridor even darker than the ones he had been in. As Leo walked down that dark corridor for what seemed like at least an hour, he noticed that it seemed to be rising, as if he were going up a gentle hill.
At last, Leo came upon a large door. He opened the door to discover a large spherical chamber that was bathed in an eerie green light, slightly brighter than the light in the rest of the ship. In the center of the chamber was a large hole which looked like it lead to nowhere but a bottomless pit. Leo was more interested in what was on the other side of the chamber. It was Luna, still wearing her school uniform, and also wearing her duel disk.
“Luna!” Leo cried as he ran into the chamber.
“Stop right there Leo.” Luna commanded. Leo suddenly froze in his tracks. “You wouldn’t want anything to happen to your dear sister, now would you?”
Suddenly, Luna began walking towards the pit in the center of the chamber, stopping only when she reached the edge.
“Luna, what the heck are you doing? Have you lost your mind?” Leo frantically asked.
Suddenly, it dawned on Leo that there was something terribly wrong with Luna. Her eyes were blank like the ones being controlled by the aliens. Yet there was a smile on her face, a smile that did not seem right.
“I’m not Luna.” The green haired girl told her confused and horrified twin. “The body belongs to her though. I’m just borrowing it for awhile.”
“What are you talking about?” A confused Leo asked.
“Ah, haven’t caught on to what’s going on yet, eh?” Luna answered in a cold, calm voice. “Then allow me to explain. Your previous opponents, with the exception of Mrs. Kretch, were operating on automatic, following a set of preprogrammed instructions. Your sister, on the other hand, is under my direct control. I’m essentially using her like a puppet. Speaking and acting through her.”
“So… you’re not Luna?” Leo asked, realizing the horrid reality of the situation.
“You catch on quick.” Luna answered in an uncharacteristically cold tone. “I was thinking that I'd have to explain this to you three or four times.”
“Who are you than?” Leo asked.
“Ah yes, forgive me. Human manners are so hard to remember.” The possessed Luna answered coldly. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Grand High Intellect. I believe my servant, Mrs. Kretch mentioned me to you.”
“Let my sister go!” Leo angrily demanded.
“Hmm… let me think.” The possessed Luna said, placing her right hand on her chin and pretending to look up thoughtfully at the ceiling. “Alright, I might let her go, if you do one little thing for me.”
“And what’s that?” Leo asked.
“Beat me in a duel.” Luna answered as she raised the arm that had her duel disk on it. “If you win, I might just let you and your sister go.”
“Wait, you want me do duel you while you use my sister’s body like a plaything?” A horrified Leo asked.
“Exactly.” Luna answered with a cold smile. “It will amuse me.”
“And what if I refuse?” Leo asked, afraid of the answer.
“Well…” Luna began as she looked down into the pit. “It’s a long way down, and human bodies are so fragile, especially the bodies of children. It’s a rather unfortunate design flaw, really.”
Leo gritted his teeth in frustration. There was no way out of his current predicament, at least not one where his sister wouldn’t be harmed or killed. With no other choice, he raised his duel disk to duel his sister.