It was Christmas Time and Emily Williams, the Chief Medical Officer of the Vortex Riders, was going over some last-minute decorations. Christmas was her favorite holiday as it meant she spent time with her family, especially her fellow Kamen Riders. She checked the alignment of the garland on the banister and smiled once she was satisfied. She then headed back upstairs to the kitchen and found the cookies she baked earlier. She looked around the sufficiently festive house, then wiped her brow before she took a cookie and poured herself some milk. She then dunked the cookie in the milk and happily munched on it. Just then, her doorbell rang. That surprised her, her husband and sons weren’t due for another hour. She headed to the door as the doorbell was rung repeatedly. “I’m coming!” she called. “You know, it’s naughty of you to-!” She opened the door to see Death holding a man up. The man was fat, wore red, and had a white beard. “…Santa?!” she asked.
“He’s ill!” said Death.
“Get him on the couch!” ordered Emily. As Death brought Santa Claus into the house, Emily headed to her room and got her medical kit. She then checked over Santa with her tricorder (a Christmas gift from years ago). The tricorder then gave her the readings she needed. “…You know, if I didn’t know any better,” she muttered, “I’d swear he’s got the flu.” Santa groaned.
“Santa just collapsed in front of my office,” explained Death as Emily tended to the living Christmas icon. “He was checking over his list when it suddenly went black. It then went to some form of normal, but Santa became very ill. He shouldn’t get sick unless someone tried to take his power.” Santa then slowly opened his eyes and took in his surroundings.
“Wh-where am I?” he asked.
“You’re in my house, Sir,” explained Emily. “I’m Dr. Emily Williams.”
“Emily…oh, yes, Kamen Rider Touché,” mumbled Santa. “Sorry about the unannounced visit.”
“I never took you as someone who got sick.”
“I don’t, usually. However, someone took control of the List and is in the process of making me mortal.”
“The List? You mean your naughty/nice list?”
“The very same.”
“So, whoever controls the List makes you mortal?”
“It’s a very involved process, so I still have time to-”
“Sorry, Sir, but you’re staying put until this whole affair is over!”
“But my workshop-!”
“I’ll take care of the whole situation. I just need to make sure Joshua and our boys know what’s going on.” Emily then heard a knock on the door. She headed to the door to see Joshua and their sons, Tom and Sam. They were accompanied by a kindly, plump old woman in red and a humanoid reindeer with a glowing red nose.
“Mama! Look who we found!” said Sam.
“Mrs. Claus and Rudolph, I presume?” asked Emily.
“Ah, you DO know us!” sighed Mrs. Claus in relief.
“Your husband’s laid up on my couch, Mrs. Claus,” explained Emily. Everyone went inside and the boys looked worried at Santa’s condition.
“Is Santa gonna die?” asked Tom.
“Not while I’m a doctor, he won’t!” promised Emily.
“I appreciate your willpower,” groaned Santa, “but this isn’t a flu that can be cured by medicine alone. We need to regain control of the List.”
“Then tell me and Josh how to get it back,” declared Emily.
“Yay! We’re going to the North Pole!” cheered the boys. Emily winced.
“Actually, Dad and I are going. It might involve a fight where you would get hurt.”
“But Mama-!” wailed Sam. Tom looked upset too but didn’t vocalize it.
“Right now, I need you boys to help Aunt Death and Mrs. Claus look after Santa.”
“Boys, once I’m well, we’ll all go to the North Pole,” promised Santa.
“…Okay,” mumbled Sam. “Really wanted to see Mama and Dad kick the bad guy’s butt though.”
“Oh, I have a way,” chuckled Santa. He then looked to Emily and Joshua. “Sougo Tokiwa’s already at the North Pole’s outskirts. Make sure you give him this.” He handed Emily a green and red Ridewatch with a Santa-based Kamen Rider’s head on the front.
“…You’re a Kamen Rider?!” yelped Emily.
“I WAS a Kamen Rider,” corrected Santa. “I gave that up in the 2000’s.”
“So, there’s an Another Rider taking control,” muttered Joshua. “Hiroki told us about those dingoes. Well, no point in earbashing now. Let’s get going!”
“I’ll get us there,” offered Rudolph. “I’m a little worried about my friends and family.” He opened a rift. Emily and Joshua grabbed their Vortex Drivers, and they followed the red-nosed reindeer through the portal.
They arrived at a snowy expanse and found Sougo with them. “Good to see you again!” greeted Sougo.
“You too, Sougo-san!” returned Emily. “I just wish the circumstances were more pleasant.”
“We better hurry!” urged Rudolph. “If Santa doesn’t get control of the List before Christmas Day, we’re finished!”
“Could have said something earlier!” growled Joshua.
“Sougo, before I forget, here!” Emily handed Sougo the Ridewatch.
“A new Ridewatch? Santa’s a Kamen Rider?” asked Sougo.
“He WAS a Kamen Rider,” replied Emily. Rudolph led the way.
“Last I heard, the List Thief was somewhere around here,” he muttered. His nose’s light cut through the wintery winds until they found a massive cave that looked like a beast with its mouth open. “Ol’ Bumble’s Cave,” explained Rudolph.
“Could he be the-?” asked Joshua.
“No, he’s a really nice guy when his choppers aren’t hurting him,” replied Rudolph.
“Where is he?” asked Emily.
“He must be inside,” guessed Sougo. Everyone crept to the cave and looked inside. They all gasped at the sight. Rudolph’s friends were in cages and the Bumble was chained to the wall, looking weak. In the middle of the cave was a red and white throne.
“Clarice!” called Rudolph. The doe with a bow in her hair turned to Rudolph in surprise.
“Rudolph!” she cheered. Hermey, Yukon Cornelius, and Donner and his wife looked at the cave entrance and rushed to the cage bars to see Rudolph and his backup.
“Son, what are you doing back?!” yelped Donner. “It’s not safe!”
“Not listening to your father, huh?” taunted a voice. “How very naughty!” A reindeer then stepped out from behind the throne. He had blonde hair between his antlers and held an Another Ridewatch in his hand.
“Fireball?!” yelped Rudolph.
“Hello, neon-nose!” growled Fireball.
“Wait, Fireball?! Your old friend?!” yelped Emily. “The one who hesitated in stopping Comet from banning Rudolph from the Reindeer Games?!”
“I will admit, the thought HAD crossed my mind,” replied Fireball, “but after that Christmas, I realized I was right in not speaking up!”
“Are you the one who stole the List from Santa?!” demanded Joshua.
“I am,” answered Fireball.
“Do you have any idea how naughty that is?!”
“I control the List now! I decide naughty and nice! And in my eyes, you are ALL naughty! Sougo Tokiwa! You conquered your world and turned it into a barren wasteland as Oma Zi-O!”
“That was a different Sougo!” protested Sougo.
“Emily Williams! You blindly followed a moody thrill-seeker on three different adventures, not once sticking to your feminist ideals! Your taking Joshua’s family name is proof of that!”
“Actually, I CHOSE not to keep my maiden-name!” snarled Emily. “That IS part of Feminism, for a woman to choose what SHE wants with no obstacles, like men do.” Fireball didn’t listen as he continued.
“Joshua Williams! …Wow, I…I don’t know where to start with you, there’s not enough time in the day! But how about we start with you being inducted into a corrupt clergy!”
“Oi, rack off!” snarled Joshua. “I’m cleaning up the clergy!”
“That’s why I marked your father as nice when I was in charge of the List,” Santa explained to Tom and Sam as everyone watched the confrontation on the TV.
“How are we able to see this?” asked Tom.
“Should we really question Christmas magic right now?” asked Sam.
“And then there’s YOU! Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer!” Fireball went on.
“I had a feeling I was involved somehow,” grunted Rudolph.
“Well, it involves both you AND Santa! You were banned from the Reindeer Games, yet Santa picked you to lead the Sleigh Team! I was the best athlete and the most trained, yet he picked a wash-out like you and you blindly accepted because you found a use for that accident you call a nose!”
“YOU INSULTED MY SON FOR THE LAST TIME!” shouted Donner.
“Pa, stay back!” called Rudolph. “This bitter stag is mine!”
“Wait, where do our children fit into this?” asked Emily.
“Oh, that part I didn’t change,” replied Fireball. “Your boys are still marked as nice! If you get out of this, tell them that the new Santa wishes them a Merry Christmas.”
“…I’ll get right on that.”
“But, as for the rest of you, the only present I have is-!” Rudolph heard enough. He charged at Fireball and locked horns with his former friend, quite literally.
“Get everyone out of here!” Rudolph called to his allies.
“Will do!” replied Emily. She and her friends then got to work freeing everyone and getting them out of the cave.
“Wait, we need to get Rudolph out!” called Clarice. Rudolph was then flung out of the cave and ended up headfirst in a snowbank. Clarice got him out, then Fireball stepped out.
“That clinches it! You’re all finished!” He pressed the button on the Another Ridewatch.
“KRINGLE!” it announced in a wicked voice. He then put the Ridewatch to his shoulder and he was surrounded by torn paper. “KRINGLE!” repeated the Ridewatch as it sunk into his skin and made a monstrous form for him. Fireball was now Another Kringle, based on Santa’s Kamen Rider persona of Kamen Rider Kringle. He had the red and white outfit, but he looked more like Krampus and the belt looked like it had a bare tree on the buckle. Emily, Joshua, and Sougo then put their own belts on.
“Vortex Driver!” announced Emily and Joshua’s belts.
“Ziku Driver!” called Sougo’s belt. Sougo then pulled out his personal Ridewatch, rotated the face, and pressed the button.
“Zi-O!” called the Ridewatch. He then put it into the Driver’s right-hand slot, then pressed a button on top of the belt, making the right side dip down. Emily and Joshua then inserted their personal i.d. tags into their Vortex Drivers. The three Riders then struck their poses.
“HENSHIN!” they called. Emily and Joshua then spun the wheels on their belts as Sougo rotated the whole belt assembly. The Ziku Driver stopped spinning once it returned to its original position.
“Rider Time! Kamen Rider Zi-O!” it announced as he became Kamen Rider Zi-O. Emily and Joshua’s belts summoned a wheel beneath them and the wheels fastened their armor onto them while the belts turned their clothes into undersuits. Emily was Kamen Rider Touché and Joshua became Kamen Rider Outback.
“Kamen Rider Outback! Better watch your back, mate!”
“Kamen Rider Touché! En Garde, thing of evil!” Rudolph and the Kamen Riders then rushed at Another Kringle, surrounding him. Another Kringle then brought out his multi-limbed switch and swung hard, knocking everyone to the ground.
“Your naughtiness will be punished!” roared Another Kringle.
“This isn’t working! The List is making him too powerful!” grunted Rudolph.
“How can one get control of that thing anyway?!” asked Touché.
“He had to erase Santa’s name, his REAL name, and replace it with his own.”
“…Who’s got the best penmanship?”
“That’s Clarice. Wait, you’re not suggesting-?!”
“If we don’t, Christmas will be cancelled!”
“…You’re right. Clarice! Do you know where the List is?!”
“It’s still in the cave!” replied Clarice.
“Go in there and erase Fireball’s name! Replace it with Santa’s real name!”
“Will do!” Clarice dashed into the cave as Rudolph and the Riders fought Another Kringle. Another Kringle then launched a fireball from between his antlers at Touché. She was hit and Outback dashed to her, then Another Kringle struck Outback’s backside with his switch. Zi-O then pulled out the new Ridewatch, rotated it to reveal the head of a Santa themed Kamen Rider, and pressed the button.
“Kringle!” it announced. He put the Ridewatch into the left side of the Ziku Driver, pressed the button on top, and spun it.
“Rider Time!” called the Driver. “Kamen Rider Zi-O! Armor Time!” New Santa themed armor attached itself to him. “Ho ho ho! Kringle!” sang the Driver. Zi-O then slammed his fist into Another Kringle’s chest, only for him to squawk in pain and clutch his fist. Another Kringle then slammed his own fist into Zi-O’s head. Rudolph flung snow up to try and cover his attack, but Another Kringle sensed it coming easily. He slammed his foot into Rudolph’s side and sent him sprawling on the snow. Another Kringle looked around.
“Pathetic!” he grunted. “Why the fat man put his hopes on you is beyond me! The game is over! God rest ye, dead idiots!” Another fireball then grew between his antlers…then it fizzled. He then cried out in pain and collapsed to the ground. A rift then opened, and Santa, Mrs. Claus, Death, Tom, and Sam popped out. Santa looked a lot healthier in the face. “WHAT?!” cried Another Kringle.
“Clarice did it!” cheered Touché.
“Fireball, what you did was beyond naughty!” thundered Santa. “It was flat out vile! You’re looking at a life sentence for this!”
“YOU OVERSIZED FRUITCAKE!” roared Another Kringle. Santa then pulled out a belt with a Christmas tree pointing to the wearer’s right. He fastened it on, then struck a pose. Death fastened her Mort Driver and struck her own pose.
“HENSHIN!” said the two. Death rotated the skull on her belt and black mist formed her armor as Kamen Rider Death. Santa moved the tree upright and red and white ribbons surrounded him.
“Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!” called the belt. The ribbons then became armor based on his usual appearance.
“Kamen Rider Kringle!” boomed Santa. “Your naughtiness will be stamped out!”
“Kamen Rider Death!” announced Death. “You cannot delay your appointment with me!”
“Round two, everyone!” called Touché. The fighters attacked, causing damage this time!
“Rider Kicks, everyone!” directed Kringle. He moved the tree down then brought it back up.
“Night before Christmas!” announced the belt. Touché and Outback spun their belts’ wheels.
“Final Attack!” Zi-O pressed the buttons on the Ridewatches.
“Finish Time! Kringle!” He then spun the Driver. “Night before Time Break!” Death spun the skull on her belt.
“Reaper man!” it called. Everyone then leapt into the air and flew towards Another Kringle with their feet outstretched.
“RIDER YULE KICK!” cheered Touché. The kicks struck true and they landed behind the spasming Another Kringle.
“That’s your last present…from me!” declared Kringle. Another Kringle exploded, flinging the now wounded Fireball to the snow and breaking the Another Ridewatch. Rudolph looked to Fireball with pity.
“We could have restarted our friendship, Fireball,” he muttered. “All this just because of the Sleigh Team?”
“It’s all that’s important for a buck!” snarled Fireball.
“Your uncle would beg to differ.” Rudolph then sighed as he brought out handcuffs. “Fireball of the House of Vixen, you’re under arrest for the attempted assassination of Santa Claus.” He slapped the cuffs on and led Fireball to jail while reading him his rights.
The workshop was restored to order and all the elves were working double-time to complete the orders around the world. The sleigh still wasn’t sky-worthy yet, but Santa still had two more days. “I’m sorry I can’t give you all a sleigh ride back home,” he said to his saviors.
“That’s all right,” replied Sam. “I’m actually terrified of heights. Getting on a plane just gives me the willies!”
“Well, Dr. Williams, I’m a grateful man! I simply must reward you.”
“I’m a doctor, I don’t do things just to get something else,” remarked Emily.
“I must insist!” urged Santa. “You’ll find something for you under the tree. You and all of your family and friends.”
“Thank you very much, Santa. I’m glad I could help.” A rift then opened for everyone. “Goodbye! Merry Christmas!”
“Merry Christmas!” supplied her family, Sougo, and Death.
“Merry Christmas!” replied Santa. “Ho ho ho!” Everyone then headed into the rift. Once they left the other side, they saw that they were back in their living room. The rift shut behind them. Tom and Sam then yawned.
“Someone’s tired,” mused Joshua.
“I don’t even have the energy to be naughty and lie about that,” mumbled Sam. “I’m ready to go to bed.”
“I’m gonna do the same,” yawned Tom.
“All right, let’s brush our teeth and get ready for bed,” called Joshua. He and the boys headed to the bathroom.
“I better get home,” remarked Sougo. “It was nice to see Santa though. I’m surprised I got on the nice list.”
“Like you said, Oma Zi-O was someone else,” replied Death. “I’ll take you home, Sougo-san.”
“Arigatou!” Sougo and Death then headed to the door. “Merry Christmas, Emily-san!”
“Merry Christmas, Sougo-san!” replied Emily. Sougo and Death then left, leaving Emily to look around the house before she sang to herself.
“You know Dasher and Dancer
And Prancer and Vixen.
Comet and Cupid
And Donner and Blitzen.
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all?
Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
Had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw it,
You would even say it glows!” As she sang, she headed off to bed.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from me to you!