Episode 1: Strange Bedfellows
The new school year has begun. Whether by boat or by helicopter, all of the new students of Central Duel Academy arrive in batches at the docks before being led on foot to the main building. It’s the only Dueling Academy prestigious enough that it didn’t deign to prescribe itself a proper name, at best using its location relative to its subsidiaries as a prefix. A diploma from the Duel Academy was basically a free ticket into the pro dueling scene; the most popular spectator’s sport the world over.
As the students arrive, they are each given a set of school uniforms and instructed to change into them within the locker rooms. Afterwards, they are led to a classroom where an large overhead screen projects Chancellor Sheppard as he gives this year’s students the same orientation speech he gives every year.
“Good morning and welcome, my students! I am Chancellor Sheppard, the headmaster here, and you are the best and brightest young duelists in the world. Now please, get yourselves settled in at your assigned dorms. I think you’ll find them quite comfortable, depending upon how you ranked, of course! Hahahaha!”
As the speech eventually comes to a close, every student is given an academy duel disk and PDA. Each PDA contains the student’s name, assigned dorm, dorm room, school rules, and standard calling / messaging / internet browsing features. It also offers deck planning software, a “duelist radar” for finding nearby duelists who also have this feature enabled, and a list of your previous dueling opponents, obtained by automatically synchronizing with your duel disk, with an option to request their contact information. Finally, it shows your DP balance; short for dueling points, which functions as a meritocratic currency for Duel Academy students.
Every student is sent two messages from the school; the first, a simple welcome message reminding them to read the rules thoroughly. Obelisk blue students get an additional blurb encouraging them to try to make friends with their roommate. The second message is simply an explanation of DP. The rules are generally standard, with a caveat for school curfew and a strict ban on ante duels and entering buildings on the island not intended for students, such as the power plant or the crumbling remains of the abandoned dorm. Dueling Points are awarded to students who win duels automatically, and can be spent on various amenities, such as food, additional furniture, additional uniforms, additional cards from the card shop, or even a trip to the spa on the eastern end of the island. The explanation comes with a warning that duel progress is closely monitored by a sophisticated AI, and attempts to abuse the system to farm points will automatically be penalized. The explanation goes on to say that students are given a modest DP allowance based on their rank that is roughly enough to cover the cost of three meals a day. Unless the difference in cost is made up via dueling, Slifer Red meals are typically rather simple, if not outright bland. Ra Yellow students have a more appreciable food budget, and Obelisk Blue students can afford to enjoy high class meals prepared by professional chefs on a daily basis.
@Crimson Flame@Darkmoon Angel
Pine and Helena receive an additional message from the school asking them to avoid duels without teacher supervision. The message contains no word on how long this arrangement will last, nor whether consent from a teacher is necessary. Since it's labeled a school announcement, it also offers them no option to reply with questions, and the teacher on duty, a familiar face from the entrance exams, is completely clueless.
Eventually the teacher tells the students to report back to the classroom they’re standing in tomorrow before dismissing them all for the day. Although a majority of the class files out, some stick around to socialize, be it in the classroom, out in front of the school, or somewhere else. Whether walking back alone or with others wearing the same jacket, the students eventually take their luggage and make their way to their respective dorm rooms.
The Slifer dorms are co-ed. This year, male students are placed on the top floor and female students placed on the bottom floor. Room numbers are beside each doors, counting up from left to right, with the exception of the fifth ground floor room, which is larger, entered from the side of the building, and serves as the Slifer Red cafeteria. Ms. Hibiki resides in Room 101, with a simple “Headmaster” label added next to her room number.
Slifer Room 102
As Helena arrives at her room, she finds she's not the first person to arrive. In fact, her room seems to be stuffed. A bespectacled girl with her academy jacket loosely draped over what appears to be some kind of kimono is loudly humming some kind of tune. She seems to be hanging paper dolls from the ceiling, taping them on both ends with string. Perhaps more alarming than that is the multitude of tiny ghostly sheep floating around her, passing into and out of the paper dolls she's already hung, causing them to gently sway or do a subtle dance. It's quite mesmerizing, if not simply overwhelming. Each tiny sheep seems to be a duel spirit, and there are twelve of them in total, though getting a proper count with them floating about and disappearing into the paper dolls is pretty difficult.
Eventually, the girl notices she's not alone, panics, sputters, falls off the bunk bed ladder she was using to reach the ceiling, and lands on the floor with all the grace of a seal trying to move around on concrete. The sheep seem to take that as their cue to disappear, and the paper charms stop moving entirely. She scrambles to her feet, then points at Helena like she's somehow done something wrong.
"Wh- Wha-, Who! No, why! Why are you here!?"
Despite the demanding tone to her voice, she is very clearly sweating bullets, shaking in the knees, and acting like she's about to get mugged despite falling off the ladder of a bunk bed not even two seconds ago.
Slifer Room 103
Renho seems to be the first to her dorm room. She's just beginning to settle in when the door to her room bursts open and a blue haired girl in a red jacket comes barging in. "GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS, ROOMMATE~! I AM SINA ELAQUERI! IT IS MY UTMOST PLEASURE TO MEET YOUR ACQUAINTANCE~!" She makes dramatic gestures with her hands the whole time, ending with a pose that she will hold for up to three consecutive awkward silences in a row and a wide smile she seems to be ready to keep on her face for even longer. Until the end of time, maybe.
Slifer Room 201
As Pine is walking back to his dorm, a stranger wearing a Slifer Red jacket walks up next to him. "Hey! You're Slifer Red too? Let's go together. My name is Kaison. What's yours?"
Whether Pine likes it or not, Kaison proceeds to go off on a tangent about different cards and strategies he likes. Very clearly, he's partial to underdog strategies, including normal monster decks and strategies involving weak, low level monsters. He eventually asks Pine what kind of decks he likes, and when he hears that it's plants, he goes on another tangent about the unrealized potential of Samsara Lotus, bringing up Yubel strategies, Arcana Force XXI - The World strategies, or even just baiting people into taking damage from Dimension Wall, which is "somehow funnier than just using Magic Cylinder."
Eventually they arrive at the dorm, only to find that they share a room. They settle in without much fanfare until Kaison considers things just about finished and raises his duel disk in challenge.
"So, you up for a duel?"
Slifer Room 202
When Leo opens the door to room 202, he finds that someone is already there, splayed out over the top bunk, faintly snoring away without a care. A Slifer Red jacket, a pair of dirty socks, a pair of orange creamsicle-colored shoes, and a long gold chain were all carelessly tossed onto the ground and landed in such a manner as to seemingly take up as much surface area as physically possible.
The Ra Yellow dorm entrance immediately opens up to a large and comfortable communal lounge. On the right side of the lounge is a wide but short hallway leading to a pair of rooms that connect to each other; Sartyr’s personal room behind one door, and Sartyr’s office behind the other. On the left end of the lounge is a similarly wide hallway that leads further into the building, to rows and rows of student dorms. Like the Slifer Red dorms, the Ra Yellow dorms are co-ed, with female students assigned to one side of the hallway and male students assigned to the other. Room numbers are labeled on the doors, counting the left then right door on each side of the hallway, with the highest numbers at the end. Unlike Slifer Red dorms, Ra Yellow dorms feature two separate beds on opposite ends of the room, rather than bunk beds. Moving past the dorm rooms, the hallway eventually opens up into a cafeteria, with a surprisingly large kitchen to go with it.
Ra Room 101
Valerie arrives to the sight of a red-headed girl unpacking her luggage, haphazardly tossing things into drawers and putting up weird robotics posters. Some are tame, or just mecha-themed, but others are slightly more... uncanny.
She eventually notices Valerie over the sound of her own commotion and immediately drops what she was doing. "Oh! Hi!" She runs up and tries to grab Valerie's hand to shake it, smiling all the while.
"My name's Roché. Here, I have a gift for you!"
She hands Valerie a small object that she belatedly realizes is a firecracker.
"Here, I'll light it up for you." Roché approaches with a lit utility lighter like some kind of psychopath, fully intending to light the firecracker while it's still in Valerie's hand, right in the middle of their room.
Ra Room 103
When Mina enters her room, she finds that her roommate seems to have already arrived. The girl's luggage stands next to her, still unopened, as she sits on the bed, staring blankly at the ground. She makes no move to acknowledge Mina as she comes in, not even sparing her a glance. It's only when (if) Mina confronts her that she introduces herself, all while keeping her blank gaze locked to the floor.
"My name is Rin."
And that's it. Wow.
Ra Room 104
Flynn arrives to an empty room, though he's not alone for long. Soon enough, a small giant walks in, mid-conversation with someone else not visible through the doorframe. "Hehehe. That's a good one. I'll see you around, man."
He closes the door and turns to face Flynn with a shit-eating grin on his face. "Yo. I'm Chris, you?"
Obelisk Blue Dorms are not co-ed, instead having two separate buildings both designed like luxurious castles inside and out. The Obelisk Blue boy's dorm is situated close to a lake, and is the closest to the school of all the dorms, while the Obelisk Blue girl's dorm is a bit farther away, mostly built on top of the lake, farther from the school than even the Ra Yellow dorms, but the closest to the spa and the closest to the nicest beach on the island. Both Obelisk dorms feature a grandiose entrance hall, complete with a large indoor fountain in front of an imperial staircase leading to the second floor, with further stairs leading higher criss-crossing upward. The rooms on the ground floor of either building are largely reserved for teachers, administration, and various guests of the school, though the Obelisk dorms are equipped with an elevator for student use right in the entrance hall. The Obelisk dorms are somewhat labyrinthine, and if the main hall is left, it can be easy for new students to get lost amidst the dueling arenas, the rec rooms, the computer rooms, the theater, the gym, the restaurant-like cafeteria, the indoor bowling alley, and so on. Uniquely, the girl's dorm comes equipped with a large circular public bath, though every Obelisk room has its own bathroom complete with a shower.
Each Obelisk dorm room is connected with the next or previous by a pair of doors that can be locked from either side, which are all left wide open by default. Having these ‘roommates’ is intended to encourage members of Obelisk Blue to socialize with their fellow students (and thus develop better social skills) the same way the other dorms do, without necessarily depriving them of their privacy, and giving the option to keep their door locked, in case they do not get along. The boy's dorm is arranged in a circular fashion as the building continues upward, with room numbers counting up clockwise from the elevator and every two rooms connecting. The girl's dorm has similar areas, but is otherwise arranged in hallways, similarly to the Ra Yellow dorms. Because of this, odd numbered dorms connect to odd numbered dorms and even numbered dorms connect to other evens. Obelisk blue room numbers have an added B or G on them to indicate either the boy's or girl's dorm based on room number alone.
Obelisk Room 201G
When Kaycee returns to her dorm, she hears shuffling from room 203G before a girl in a poofy dress skirt comes through the paired doors to introduce herself. She begins with a smile, which soon fades into confusion. "Hi. My name is Melony, wh- ...wait, what are you?"
She walks up to Kaycee and begins, rather rudely, poking at her exposed mechanized joints like a kid who found a dead body wild bird that doesn't fly away. Her face is filled with curiosity, though she doesn't seem to notice Kaycee's reaction, if any.
Obelisk Room 202G
Cassandra barely has time to settle in before another girl with a rather interesting sense of fashion comes in from room 204G, leaning against the doorway that connects the two rooms and cutting straight to the point without even introducing herself. "Wanna duel?"