Praestrigiae

“Good morning Mr. Kaiba,” the synthesized voice greeted as the aforementioned CEO entered his office… in a space station, after going through a rocket-like elevator situated in a glass tube that went all the way to the atmosphere.

Sitting atop the Kaiba Corp. building was no longer enough for him, but up there in the atmosphere, looking down at the earth, while defying the logic of how satellites and space stations where supposed to work, he felt… uninterrupted. Not at peace, he was never at peace, but at least he could focus on his work.

“You have a call from Mr. Mokuba,” the AI announced, so much for being uninterrupted.

“Fine, put him through,” Seto conceded with a frown.

A giant holographic screen appeared in front of Seto’s desk. “Seto!” Mokuba pouted, “you promised you’d give Twitter a try. You promised! C’mon, it’s fun and you need to have some fun!”

Twitter, aka a soap opera in one hundred and forty characters, that gossipy, defective, social media outlet that wasn’t owned by him, for now. He would have to make a mental note to buy it and destroy it. Why had he allowed it to exist this long? For the marketing uses, he supposed. While Seto mused on such things, Mokuba continued his incessant whining, guilt trips to broken promises and sad puppy eyes included. “Fine,” Seto finally breathed, exasperated.

The CEO ended the call with his little brother and, via the brain wave scanning device on his head, made a holographic smart phone appear before him. “Kaiba Corp’s new Duel Disk will push reality to the limit, replacing this flawed world with a new one! Coming this fall!” He posted the tweet but doubted that would quell Mokuba’s obsession with making him socialize more, especially since the tweet wasn’t even personal.

In a moment of genius, (which is all the time if you asked him), a brilliant idea occurred to Seto. He would simply copy some of his brain data into an AI and have that tweet for him. He wouldn’t copy everything, he didn’t want the AI to be too much like him and rebel, or outright refuse to tweet. He started copying some data representative of his opinions and modified it to be a little more open to expressing them on social media. With that distraction out of the way, he let the AI run and went back to his work.

xoxox xox xoxox

“You have a call from Mr. Mokuba,” the synthesized voice interrupted the silence that reigned at the space station.

“What is it now?!” The AI interpreted Seto’s reply as a command to allow the call.

The holographic screen appeared again and Mokuba’s concerned face stared at his brother. “Um… Seto… Er…”

“What?” Seto snapped impatiently.

“Just check your Twitter…” with that ominous instruction left hanging, Mokuba ended the call.

With ever growing dread, Seto made his holographic cell phone appear and scrolled through his twitter…

“The biggest challenge I’ve faced with holographic technology is recreating the Pharaoh’s hair.”

“I will not rest until I heal from the scars of defeat, by humiliating the Pharaoh in a duel!”

“If there is no afterlife, I will make one just so I can duel the Pharaoh again.”

“Dueling a recreation of the Pharaoh from my memories is not satisfactory, I must face the real one once again!”

“@KingofGames YUGI! YOU WILL WEAR THE PUZZLE!! YOU WILL CALL THE PHARAOH!!!”

Seto immediately deleted the Twitter AI and his Twitter account. It was strange, he didn’t have this obsession anymore, he had chased the Pharaoh all the way to the afterlife and dueled him in a place that looked like ancient Egypt. He knew he had been obsessed, but there was a method to his madness, or so he liked to think, and his goal had been accomplished, thus now he could move on.

The hastily made AI didn’t do its job properly, but it did give him a dangerous idea, an idea that he couldn’t afford to believe, a thought that he needed to eradicate from his mind. “If there is no afterlife, I will make one just so I can duel the Pharaoh again.” A virtual world so realistic that it invaded his senses as if he truly was in ancient Egypt. He could make it, then it was a simple matter of forgetting he had made it, of finding it again, as if discovering a portal to a different dimension.

If only he could trick himself into believing he had done the impossible, then maybe his lizard brain would allow him to move on, and the last shred of his sanity could be preserved. A true genius cannot be tricked, but you’re not a genius unless you’re smart enough to trick anyone, even yourself, paradoxes, impossibilities, broken logic, broken reality, broken sanity…

Seto shook his head, the AI was just defective. He had no memories of creating an ancient Egypt dueling stage. He only created the Pharaoh’s holographic model and nothing more. He had found a way to follow the Pharaoh, they had dueled, it was real, it was real, it was real… His breaths quickened, it was real, his hands shook, it was real, he fumbled clumsily with the desk drawer, it was real, he pulled out a small bottle, it was real, he swallowed a blue pill, it was real, his headache faded, it was real.

His breathing became steady, of course it was real, the feeling of the hot sun on his face, it was so real, the sand beneath his boots, it was so very real, the Pharaoh standing up from his throne with a grin that let him know he had been wanting to face him again just as much. Then they dueled.

Seto straightened in his chair. He didn’t have time for social media. Let his marketing team advertise his company’s products on the official Kaiba Corp. Twitter, he didn’t need an additional personal account.

“Would you like some lunch, Mr. Kaiba? I must remind you that Mr. Mokuba will get upset if you skip it.” The AI, which was written from scratch and not at all foolishly based on a brain scan, once again broke the silence.

Seto felt the haze clear from his mind, he focused on the here and now, setting his uncertain memories aside, “fine.”

End

This was requested by Hikou. It takes place after the movie Dark Side of Dimensions and addresses the issue of if the Pharaoh was really back or if Seto’s technology, which basically creates illusions from memories, projected the Pharaoh fueled by Seto’s obsessive rivalry. This was supposed to be a story about Seto and Twitter, but just like years ago, my Yugioh stories still hold a tendency to turn dark. Praestrigiae is a Latin word, which means deception, illusion, tricks and juggling (as in juggling different realities). This is a story about Seto, so I thought a pretentious sounding title might be fitting. Seto wants to believe his duel versus the Pharaoh at the end of the movie was real. Was it? What was that pill? I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide.

Network: http://azurelight.net
Deviant Art: http://mikaristar.deviantart.com

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