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Chapter 1

Tim idly flips through his sourcebooks, their tattered pages briskly sighing as the pass his fingers. He hears the sound of two birds chirping outside the window, as well as R. Dorothy sweeping the kitchen floor, and Norman running his weekly maintenance on Big O, Touyou, Menzai and Eliminar, the three Megadeuses that followed his arrival. Roger, he remembers, is out on yet another repeated drive through the City, whilst Jack and Scott play a battle of wits at a game of chess.

Life, it seems, has become oddly slow pased at the Smith Household, which usually is buzzing with excitement and anticipation. Perhaps, Tim thinks, that the extra presences of the Overlords has quietened things down in Paradigm City, and it is a quiet that he is beginning to be frustrated with. There are no more Element Megadeuses showing up, nor any other kind of Megadeus for that matter, no demented and twisted villains plotting to overthrow the Paradigm Group, or kidnap Dorothy, or demolish one dome or another anymore. "Things really have gotten dull around here," he thinks to himself, as he fondles a page on RPG Battles, "What we need is some kind of major event, definitely with the Megadeuses, and a few old favourites of Paradigm's history." Suddenly, but surely, a flash of brilliance illuminates the dark corridors of Tim's memory; he hastily closes his book, and dashes off to his room, almost blowing off the chess pieces of the Jack and Scott's battle.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, Roger approaches the familiar stairway leading down to the Speakeasy, his refuge from what little fast track there was in Paradigm City, the so-called 'last bastion of mankind.' He marched down the slimy wet steps, and paused for a moment in front of the near-deserted street, a blue car passes, the lady driver momentarily glancing at the sharply dressed man, out of place even in the smartest of areas, before continuing on along the road. Roger takes off his sunglasses, and crosses the road with all the cheer and happiness of a Halloween graveyard. He passes the same old bartender, catches the same old bottle of Newcastle Brown, and walks to the same old wall with the same old seat, with the same old company, Big Ear. The mysterious android, similar to Dorothy, who could get the most definitive leads on the most obscure of information. "It's been a while, Negotiator," he greets his weary friend with a new expression of silent surprise on his face, but Roger remains ever the stoic working man.

"If you don't mind, I'm really not in the mood for conversation, Big Ear." He tilted his head back and stared at the water-logged ceiling, sipping his drink whilst contemplating how much time he had before he got an afternoon shower.

"I take it your case didn't go too well then."

"No, it didn't, you'd think it would be hard to miss a body covered in bandages with a tattered brown coat on it in the middle of the desert."

"Well, you know Schwarzwald, he never was one to make things easy."

"That he wasn't." Roger raises his bottle in a sombre toast to his deceased rival, and the former pilot of Big Duo, the flying Megadeus. Roger once again wanders the bleak corridors of his memory, drifting between Norman's fried chicken last Heaven's Day and R. Dorothy's latest piece of piano alarm-clock music, when suddenly, as if from no-where, he notices a small locked door just to the left of R. Dorothy memories. He struggles with the lock at first, it's internal mechanisms long corroded by age, but eventually manages to wrench the door open, revealing to his awe and wonder, his collection of memories, from Schwarzwald. He recalls the first time they met, upon that desecrated rooftop, the countless records of the man who was once Michael Seebach burning to cinders not far beneath them "For the time being you can call me Schwarzwald..."

* * * * *

The ponderous form of Touyou continues trekking through the endless sands of the Paradigm Desert as Tim trudges along ahead of him, checking every crevice, hole and arch he can find as he effortlessly searches for his prize. He reaches the area where the sand finally begins to give way to ocean and wreckage, even managing to find the tattered remnants of a white bandage seemingly floating on its prison of steel piping, forever caught in the endless wind. Tim hastily runs to the bandage and begins digging away at the sand underneath the pipe. Lo and behold, he finds more.

Countless voices echo in the dark void, a shadowed figure drifting between light and darkness constantly listening to their cries;

"What are you?"

"Who are you?"

"Where did you come from?"

"How did you get here?"

"Why are you here?"

"What do you want?"

"When do you come from"; but one voice towers above all the others, it's resonating sound making them cower in fear,

"What are you searching for?"

"Truth," the figure answers at last, his gritted voice a drop in the ocean of the void, his obscured eyes falling into their own distinct darkness, and his form ablaze with nothing.

* * * * *

Roger returns home late, R. Dorothy prompted to tell him so. Tim lounges on the couch, eagerly awaiting Roger's return to give him his news.

"Glad to see you found something to amuse yourself," regards Roger, as he enters the spacious living room for the first time since earlier this morning.

"You could say that," replies Tim as he stands up, amending a few creases in his uniform.

"May I ask what?"

"Well, I've noticed things are getting a bit slow around here."

"Thank you, King of the Obvious."

"Well, I've decided how to fix it."

"And how might that be?"

"By bringing me back..." A shock tingles Roger's spine as the voice resounds through the door, and a bandaged man enters from behind Tim.

"Schwarzwald? But.. how?"

"I don't quite understand the reasoning, Negotiator, but it is to my understanding that this man, this 'Tim', has the answers I am searching for, and he has given me a second chance, that I might acquire them."

"What do you.."

"He means Tim has decided on a.." Scott appears from the shadows, the room becoming quite tense as Jack interrupts him, "Tournament."

"A Tournament?" inquires Roger.

"Yeh, a Tournament. Think about it: what could be more fun than a championship between 10 Megadeuses and their Pilots?"

"10 Megadeuses? But there's only 5 Pilots in this room, who are the other 5?" Tim simply replies with a trademark smirk, he raises his arm to the ceiling as a blinding ball of yellow-white energy shoots up, criss-crossing the entire room with its path as it whizzes through existence itself. The room is transformed into a giant computer conduit, and all falls silent as the energy finally subsides into darkness.

* * * * *

"Welcome, to the Stadium," echoes Tim's voice throughout the shapeless void.

"Where are we?" asks a familiar voice from the eerie black, the voice of Beck Gold. The area illuminates, revealing a gigantic coliseum on an otherwise featureless terrain of mechanical crosshatches. Tim once again appears in front of the main entrance.

"The crowd is waiting, I do hope you won't disappoint them." It is revealed that along with Roger, Schwarzwald, Jack, Scott and Beck, Tim has also acquired Angel, Alex Rosewater, Alan Gabriel and R. Dorothy for his spectacle.

"What happened?" inquires the bewildered Angel, having spent her last few weeks meandering through the city streets looking for clues as to the location of Vera Ronstadt, to no avail.

"Yes, what happened, I was sitting in my room polishing my hand and suddenly POOF!" replies the ever-irritating Gabriel.

"What is the meaning of this, who are you?" questions the further arrogant Rosewater to Tim, his arm outstretched in a sign of defiance, "I demand to know who you are!"

"I am Overlord Tim, Guardian of the Overlords, and you are to compete against each other in the very first Nemesis Tournament!" a cheer goes up from the crowd inside the stadium, as if growing increasingly impatient waiting for their first match.

"The Nemesis Tournament? Is that why you have assembled so many of our adversaries?" asks R. Dorothy, as stoic and monotonous as ever.

"Correct Dorothy, I'm glad to see at least you understand. Now, the let's get started shall we?" Tim claps his hands and the small gathering of harlequin characters vanishes into the stadium, another uproar from the crowd, "This is going to be fun!"

* * * * *

Angel awakens in a small room infront of a large number of television screens, the eerie room sending a chill down her otherwise fine spine, "Oh no, not this again." Suddenly, she realises where she is, inside the cockpit of Big Venus once more. She scans every one of the images appearing on the screens, but is completely unable to realise where the Megadeus is situated. Suddenly, a loud rumble echoes through the barely fitting container as Big Venus is hoisted up through its ceiling and into a vast, dusty, arena.

"Welcome to the 1st Annual Nemesis Tournament folks!" screams a young boy's voice from somewhere high above. "We have an excellent pairing for the first match here, the undefeated Big Venus, which together with its pilot, Angel, is hailed as being the most powerful Megadeus in extistence. However, how will it fare against the also undefeated Touyou, and his pilot, the ever confident, OVERLORD TIM!" The crowd lets loose a roar even more powerful than their previous ones as Touyou is lifted into the arena a few kilometres away from Big Venus on the other side of the Arena. "Who will be the victor in the first match today, will it be the intimidating Big Venus, or the mysterious Touyou, who is immune to Big Venus' RESET ability!"

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