Chapter 1: Under the Mask

Soren Lysander sat in the bleachers of the stadium that so many others like himself had gathered in. Kaiba Land, they called this place. In the duel arenas below Soren could see all manner of strategy being used. Effect damage, deck capping, and even direct attack focused decks all being used for the sole purpose of gaining entrance to one of the many prestigious duels schools in the world, Duel Academy. The entrance exam was divided into two categories, a written and a practical.

"Examinee Number 15, Soren Lysander, please report to Duel Field 3." a feminine voice announced over the speaker system.

Guess that's my cue, thought Soren as he rose from his seat among the mass of other examinees and made his way to the arena that would make or break his future. As he walked through the halls of the stadium he decided to take a last look at his deck to make sure that no cards were missing. Looking at each individual card Soren couldn't help but wonder if maybe it was time he tried building a new deck or two. He had been using HERO cards for quite some time.

Sighing, he shuffled his cards and placed them into the slot on his mass produced Kaiba Corp duel disk and continued on his path. As Soren rounded the corner he collided with someone. He stumbled back slightly rubbing his forehead.

"Sorry about that, I didn't see you. Are you alright?" He asked hoping he didn't hurt the other person. Soren looked at the person who stood before him and noticed it was a girl in a strange outfit of white and blue. Her hair was brown and her eyes were gray. From the looks of her outfit she must already be a student, thought Soren as he looked her up and down quickly.

"Ugh, yeah I'm fine, Just do yourself a favor and watch where you're going next time." The girl said as she looked back at Soren, her face portraying her annoyance at his carelessness.

"I'll be more careful. Are you a student already? Your outfit looks rather unique compared to everyone else."

"That's right, I'm a first year Obelisk Blue student, so you had best learn some respect. Who are you anyway?"

"My name is Soren Lysander. And you are?"

"Jasmine Makurada. I suppose I can let you off easy this time but don't let this happen again. Where were you off to anyway that you were spacing out like that?"

"I was heading to the Duel Field for my practical exam. Speaking of which i should hurry or they might decide to drop me. I'll see ya later." Soren stated as he began sprinting down to the arena hoping to make it on time.

As he walked onto the field he could see his test administrator waiting patiently, his arms crossed in an authoritative manner. As Soren took to his side of the field, another administrator brought a suitcase to Soren's soon-to-be opponent. He opened the case and selected a specialized deck designed for testing those who scored higher on the written portion of the entrance exam. After he made his selection the other man returned to the desk of the DA spectators.

"So you finally decided to show up. Very well then, my name is Dean and I will be administering your practical exam. I hope you're prepared Mr. Lysander because this exam will be one of the tougher ones since you scored so high on the written portion."

"I understand. Just try not to get angry once I win. Now..." Soren began shuffling his deck, a motion Dean returned in kind, and both drew their starting hands. Both players raised their disks and took a step forward. Then...

"DUEL!"
SOREN-4000
VS
Dean-4000

"I'll take the first turn!" Soren exclaimed, grabbing the top card of his deck.

"I draw!"

TURN ONE-SOREN-SIX CARDS

"I'll start things off with this, Elemental Hero Stratos in attack mode!" Soren shouted as he placed the card on the middle slot of his duel disk.
Wind billowed from the middle of the field as the monster clad in blue and silver armor appeared in an array of golden light.

Elemental HERO Stratos- WIND - LVL 4- ATK 1800/DEF 300

SOREN-FIVE CARDS

"Next I activate his effect, whenever he is summoned I can add one "HERO" monster from my deck to my hand." Soren explained as he looked though his deck for the desired card.

"I'll add Elemental HERO Shadow Mist to my hand." He showed the card to his opponent to show he was not lying or cheating before adding the card to his hand.

SOREN-SIX CARDS

"Next I'll set three cards face down and end my turn." Three holograms appeared behind the hero monster, ready to aid in the battle ahead.

SOREN-THREE CARDS

"A fine opening move but it won't be enough to win you this duel!" The Admin declared as he reached for the top card of his deck.
"It's my turn, I draw!"

TURN TWO-DEAN-SIX CARDS

"I summon D.D Assailant in attack mode!"
Once more a golden light sprang forth from the duel field as as a masked warrior clad in white armor jumped onto the field wielding a giant sword.

DEAN-FIVE CARDS

D.D Assailant- EARTH - LVL 4- ATK 1700/ DEF 1600

"Battle! My D.D Assailant attacks your Stratos with Dimension Blitz!"

The masked warrior leapt high into the sky only to vanish into a dimensional portal and reappear behind the hero of wind. The monster brought its sword down in an arc motion only to have his blade shatter as it made contact with Stratos' azure chest armor. One of the shards flew into the torso of the administrator and he grunted as he watched his life points diminish slightly.

SOREN-4000

VS

DEAN-3900

"Now I can activate my monsters effect, when D.D Assailant is destroyed by battle with an opponents monster I can banish both monsters." Dean explained as the the warrior of the different dimension appeared from within another dimensional portal and dragged Stratos in with him.

"Tsk, so that's what you had planned." Soren said as he placed one of his favorite cards into his deck holster, signifying its banished status. "But since you normal summoned already your field will be wide open next turn."

"That's what you think. However I have this, the quick-play spell known as Photon Lead!" Dean slid the card into the middle spell/trap zone of his duel disk and the card appeared on the field.

DEAN-FOUR CARDS

"With this cards effect I can special summon one level four or lower LIGHT attribute monster from my hand in attack mode. The one I choose is D.D Warrior Lady!" He said placing the monster in the previously occupied card zone.

DEAN-THREE CARDS

A blonde haired woman leapt onto the field brandishing a glowing machete. A sudden realization crossed Soren's mind and his opponents next words confirmed his suspicion.

D.D Warrior Lady- LIGHT - LVL 4- ATK 1500/DEF 1600

"And since this card was activated during the battle phase that means I have one more attack this turn. Go, D.D Warrior Lady, attack him directly with Dimension Slash!" The warrior complied and lunged toward Soren, the holographic sword piercing his chest. Soren reeled back, watching his life points drop as the fighter from another world returned to Dean's side of the field.

SOREN-2500

VS

DEAN-3900

"I'll set one card face down and end my turn." He said as another card hologram appeared behind the female warrior.

DEAN-TWO CARDS

"You had better start trying to win or you'll never make it into Duel Academy. Now show me what you can do!"

"Believe me I am just getting started. I'll show you just how I play when things get rough, I draw!" Soren shouted as he ripped the card from the top of his deck.

TURN THREE-SOREN-FOUR CARDS

It's here!, thought Soren as he glanced at the card he drew. "First, I summon Elemental Hero Prisma in attack mode!" The monster made of prisms rose from the ground and took up a fighting stance as he glared at his opponent.

Elemental HERO Prisma- LIGHT - LVL 4 - ATK 1700/ DEF 1100

SOREN-THREE CARDS

"Next I activate the spell card, Smashing Ground." He said as he revealed one of the cards in his hand. "With this cards effect I can destroy the monster on your side of the field with the highest Defense. And since you only have one monster, that means your Warrior Lady is destroyed!" Both duelists watched as a giant arm appeared from the sky and brought itself down upon the female warrior's form. As the arm rose up everyone present saw no remains of the monster that had been there moments before.

SOREN-TWO CARDS

"Now Prisma, attack Dean directly with Spectrum Blast!" Soren thrust his hand forward and his monster followed the motion. A multi-colored beam shot forth from the monster's crystal-like hand and hit Dean's face.

SOREN-2500

VS

DEAN-2200

"Now, I activate one of my face-down cards. The Quick-Play spell, Mask Change.!" The middle card on Soren's field flipped itself face-up.

"Mask Change? What does it do?" Dean asked curiously.

"I'm glad you asked. You see, by releasing the LIGHT attribute Prisma on my side of the field I can special summon a Mask HERO from my Extra Deck that has the same attribute." Soren explained as Prisma vanished from the field in an array of light.

"O warrior of the light who shines brighter than the sun, appear now and smite those who would challenge your strength. I call upon you now, Masked HERO Koga!"

The light that had enveloped Prisma seconds ago burst into a pillar of golden energy and from within a warrior clad in gold armor shot out wielding twin blades attached to his forearms.

Masked HERO Koga- LIGHT - LVL 4 - ATK 2500/ DEF 1800

"Finish this Koga, Light Barrage!" The golden warrior brandished his swords and lunged forward, his twin blades piercing Dean's chest. Soren Watched as the rest of his opponents life points drained. Man, it's a good thing these attacks aren't real, Soren thought to himself as Koga returned to his side.

SOREN-2500

VS

DEAN-0

The holograms disappeared and both Soren and Dean lowered their duel disks and the two met in the middle of the field.

"That was an exceptional turnaround. Congratulations Mr. Lysander, you passed." Dean said extending his hand.

"Thank you sir, for a nice duel." Soren too extended his hand and both exchanged a friendly handshake. He then turned to walk back to his seat.

Off to to the side of the arena a Blonde haired man in a blue uniform marked Soren Lysander as "passed" on his clip board.

END OF CHAPTER 1

NEXT TIME ON YU-GI-OH GX TAG FORCE: ANOTHER HERO TAKES TO THE STAGE. WILL HIS APPEARANCE LEAD TO A HEATED RIVALRY OR A LASTING FRIENDSHIP? OR BOTH?