"Well no-one told me abouuut he-er; the way she li-ied."
Sophia hummed along to the music, sorting through her gate cards.
"Well no-one told me abouuut he-er; how many people cri-ied."
She pulled out a random ability card from her pile and put it with an appropriate gate card as quick as she could. Which, in fact, was within two seconds.
"Well it's too late to say you're sorry; how would I know, why should I care?"
Her Baku-pod beeped. She turned down the music blaring from the stereo (She's Not There by The Zombies) and checked it. It was a message from Luna. It said: "I might be late, so get dinner without me." Sophia groaned. Luna and her college courses, they were taking over her life. But she couldn't stop an abnormally brainy fourteen-year-old from doing what she loved.
"What is it?" Fenix asked from the bench next to her.
"Luna." Sophia sighed. "She might not be home 'till late tonight."
"I see." Fenix replied. "Is something wrong?"
"Probably a college course taking up her chill time."
"You should consider college."
"Seriously? Seriously, Fenix?"
"Absolutely. Why not?"
"You could take a music course, or computer technology."
"Nah, college isn't for me. Not yet, anyway."
"Okay." Fenix noticed that there was a gate card alone on the bench. "You should put your Mind Ghost card with Marionette. It works wonders."
Sophia eyed the cards. "Yeah, but that's the oldest trick in the book!"
"Exactly." Fenix replied. "It's so old that nobody will be expecting it."
"Sometimes the best plans are the simple ones, huh?" Sophia grinned and packed away the cards.
"Absolute - hang on, you've been reading Skulduggery Pleasant again, haven't you?" Fenix glared at her brawler.
"Listening to them, Fenix, listening." Sophia corrected. "They're the best books in the universe. And the guy who voices Skulduggery has an awesome voice."
Fenix laughed, and Sophia had to join in. She looked up as the door bell tinkled and a man walked in. He had short black hair and was clad in a grey jumper and black trousers. He winked at Sophia and she raised her eyebrows.
"Go get dinner, Sophia." He jerked his thumb over his shoulder, out the door. Sophia picked up her laptop bag, slung it over her shoulder and walked past him, Fenix flying onto her shoulder.
"Thanks, Tom. See you in a bit." She called over her shoulder. She walked down the street and down to her favourite take-away store. She got dinner for herself and Luna before walking to the park, which was a five-minute walk from the music store. She sat down underneath her usual tree and started eating.
"I understand why you like this place." Fenix said. She had seated herself on a tree root next to Sophia's feet.
"Mm-hmm." Sophia replied through a mouthful of hot chips.
Then a breeze drifted past Sophia and she heard footsteps behind her she stood up and walked around the large tree root. Fenix hovered beside her. Before them now stood a girl a little older than her, and much taller.
"You're a brawler." She said simply. Her voice was high, like a child's. She had a blue shirt on and a deeper blue jeans. Her chocolate brown hair sat on her shoulder blades, swaying slightly with the wind.
"That I am." Sophia replied with a smirk. "And you are?"
The girl held her hand out, and she was holding an Aquos Bakugan in her hand. "My name is Sakura Sora, and I challenge you to a brawl!"
Sophia sighed. "Normally I'd accept, but I'm having dinner right now, so would you mind, y'know, going away?"
Sakura gritted her teeth. "Your dinner can wait! Either we brawl, or I go around telling everyone what a chicken you are!"
Sophia raised her eyebrows. "Blackmail?" She sighed before pulling out her field card. "Well, guess I have no choice."
Sakura pulled out her card. "Field open!" They said in unison, and the field opened around them. "Gate card set!"
"Bakugan brawl!" Sakura cried. "Aquos Limulus, stand!" A giant blue crab stood on the gate card.
"Gate card set!" Sophia set another gate card next to the one Limulus was on. "Bakugan brawl! Ventus Mantris, stand!" A giant Mantris (it certainly wasn't a coincidence that it looked like a praying mantis, was it?) stood on her original gate card, ignoring the one set just seconds before.
"Gate card set! Bakugan brawl!" Sakura threw an Aquos Griffin onto another gate card.
Fenix gasped. "She's going to use -"
Sophia nodded. "The tsunami wave ability when she engages her Aquos Siege." She finished. "Bakugan brawl! Ventus Elcondor, stand!" Elcondor stood on the same gate card as Limulus.
"Ability card activate! Dive mirage!" Sakura held up an ability card and it glowed blue. Limulus dove from one gate card to another. Sophia grinned.
"Ability card activate! Marionette!" Her ability card glowed green, and strings appeared from Mantris and attached themselves to Aquos Griffin. Griffin was dragged to the same gate card as Limulus.
"No!" Sakura cried, her eyes wide.
"Gate card open!" Sophia threw her arm out. "Mind Ghost!" The gate card opened and there was an explosion. Two blue Bakugan bounced their way towards Sakura's feet. She stared at them, speechless. Ventus Mantris closed and flew towards Sophia and she caught it.
"What do ya know?" Sophia laughed. "That actually worked!"
"Told you." Fenix said from her shoulder.
On the other side of the field, Sakura grit her teeth. "Bakugan brawl!" Sophia looked up as Sakura threw another Bakugan onto the field. "Aquos Siege, stand!" A giant man stood on a gate card, looming over Sophia.
Sophia looked sideways at Fenix. "Your turn?"
Fenix closed and Sophia held her between her middle and index fingers. "Bakugan brawl!" She threw her at Aquos Siege's card. "Ventus Fenix, stand!" There was a flash of green light, and A giant green firebird flew above the Siege.
New battle commences. Aquos Siege at three-zero-zero Gs. Ventus Fenix at three-one-zero Gs.
Sophia looked over at Sakura. She was gaping at Fenix. But she came to her senses in no time and flung her arm out. "Gate card open!" she yelled. "Character cad activate!"
Siege power doubled. Siege now at six-zero-zero Gs; leading by two-nine-zero Gs.
"Ability card activate!" Sophia held up an ability card. "Tornado storm!"
Fenix power increase by one-five-zero Gs. Siege still in lead by one-three-zero Gs.
"You can't win!" Sakura yelled from the other side of the field. "Just give up!"
"Not so fast." Sophia yelled back. "Ability card activate! Tornado pandemonium!" She threw an ability card at the gate card, which dulled.
Siege power reduction by three-zero-zero Gs. Fenix in lead by one-six-zero Gs.
"No way!" Sakura screamed as Fenix blew a fierce tornado at Siege. It blew him off his feet and he reduced back into a ball, landing at Sakura's feet. Fenix flew back toward Sophia, who caught her.
The field dissolved around them. Sakura fell to her knees, her head hung in shame. "I lost."
"That you did." Sophia replied. "I have some advice for you: practice."
"Indeed." Fenix opened and once again sat on Sophia's shoulder.
"I know." Sakura muttered. She collected her Bakugan and stood up. "Thanks for the battle!" She waved and ran off.
Sophia grinned, collected her dinner and walked back to the music store.