I snorted with laughter as I heard Ankh say who the monster with Turretorg was. “A ‘Yummy’?” I giggled.
“Don’t be fooled by the name!” countered Ankh. “They’re made up of Cell Medals like the Greeed, but don’t have Core Medals. They’re monsters that we use for food, to replenish our bodies. They’re born out of desire, any desire!”
“Vortech sent me and my partners he brought back from the dead here,” answered Turretorg, “to stop your progress.”
“So, that’s why one of Mezool’s Yummies is here,” hissed Eiji. “She been brought back to life!”
“Then we need to find the host so we can get to her Yummy nest,” declared Ankh.
“Nest?” I asked.
“Mezool is a water based Greeed,” explained Ankh. “Like me, she can create Yummies out of any desire by putting a Cell Medal into a person. Each Greeed’s Yummies are born in different ways. My Yummies start as a giant bird egg before hatching into a white, mummy-like humanoid, then maturing into their bird-like humanoid state. Mezool’s Yummies begin as a fish egg nest. They mature and hatch out of the eggs once they’ve gained enough desire.”
“He looks kind of creepy, but probably not all that strong,” mused Eiji.
“He’s a crustacean monster,” countered Tanisha. “I think the shell would hurt you if you punched it.”
“On top of that,” I continued, “He’s based on the Takaashigani (tall legged crab), or, Spider Crab, if you prefer. He can probably grow those legs on his back.”
“Looks like I need to give you two your birthday present,” cheered Kōsei. He produced a box with a bow on it and opened it. It had more red Core Medals, two Taka Medals, one with a peacock design, and one with a condor design.
“My Core Medals?” yelped Ankh. “Hold on, there are two Taka Medals and Eiji already has the Kujaku (peacock) and Condor Medals. I have six medals already! That makes twelve Core Medals! I need only nine!”
“I made these four so you could revive with the remaining Kujaku and Condor medal and the extra Taka medal,” replied Kōsei. “Eiji can use the remaining Taka medal and the Kujaku and Condor Medals he has to make his Tajador Combo.”
“So, I can completely revive!” cheered Ankh. He handed Eiji the extra Taka medal while he took the remaining three. As they were absorbed into him, Ankh turned into his complete Greeed form. The arm and legs weren’t mummified. The arm looked like a mirror image of the right arm and the legs gained red armored boots. Emily, Tanisha, and I took out our i.d tags. Eiji took out a small black book with blue lines like his belt, opened it, and grabbed a yellow tiger Medal and a green grasshopper Medal. He gave the book to Kōsei and inserted the Taka, tiger, and grasshopper medals into the slots. He then tilted the Medal holder so it went upper right to lower left. Hongo struck his henshin pose as Eiji slid a circular device on a rail across the Medal holder from right to left. Colored rings appeared around the Medals. The colors corresponded to the Medals the device scanned.
“Rider…” began Hongo.
“Henshin!” we all called.
“TAKA! TORA! (Tiger) BATTA! (grasshopper)” announced the scanner. “Tatoba! Tatoba TATOBA!” As it sang, holographic images of Core Medals floated through Eiji’s neck to the scalp, around his arms, and around his legs. The head circle stopped at the red Taka Medal, the arm circle stopped at the yellow Tora Medal, and the leg circle stopped at the green Batta Medal. A black suit formed; the Medal symbols came together to make a black circle with the animal symbols colored in their respective colors. The Taka symbol led to the helmet, making it look like a hawk in flight around the green eyes, the Tora symbol went to the shoulders and traveled down the arms to a set of three claws folded back. The Batta symbol traveled down the body to the green boots.
“Shall we fight together, OOO?” asked Ichigō.
“Doesn’t sound like a bad idea,” replied Eiji, Kamen Rider OOO.
“I’d go for catchphrases,” I muttered as I drew my blade, “but we’re pressed for time.”
“Try not to kill Turretorg!” called Vortoranii.
“WHAT?!” snapped Ankh. “He’s an enemy!”
“Not his fault!” I argued. “He’s being controlled by Vortech.”
“An innocent being brainwashed!” moaned OOO. “This gets easier and easier!”
“Try the back of his neck!” called Vortoranii. We drew our weapons and charged at the bad guys. My guess about the Takaashigani Yummy was right. The legs extended and kept its main body in the air. OOO extended his claws and slashed at the legs, but they grew back. The old wounds bled Cell Medals before they healed. It used its legs to try and brush us into a laser, which we avoided. Turretorg tackled Hunt and morphed his right hand into its cannon mode. I grabbed him and flung him off. He then fired on me, getting a few shots in. I then started the Super Charge sequence.
“SUPER CHARGE!” I announced. My suit bulked out and I turned white with gold trim. After I became Proto-Vortex, I touched OOO’s shoulder. The new i.d tag appeared. I swapped my i.d tag for the new one. The medals appeared again, this time, around me. “OOO,” I called, “what’re the most powerful Medals you have?!”
“Taka, Kujaku, and Condor, if you want to play it safe, why?!” asked OOO.
“I may need that bit of power to get Turretorg back to the side of justice!” I replied. I picked out the Medals and the wardrobe closed on me.
“OOO Tajador Steel!” announced Vortoranii. Then a voice like OOO’s scanner spoke.
“TAKA! KUJAKU! CONDOR!” it called. As the wardrobe dissolved, the voice sang “TAJADOR!” My helmet gained larger red wings around the eyes, red, wing-like shoulder pads appeared on my shoulders, an image of a red bird appeared on my chest, and my boots looked like talons. I had gained a small shield on my left arm with the Tajador symbol on it. OOO, Kōsei, and Ankh were surprised.
“How did you do that?!” yelped Ankh.
“I’ll explain later!” I assured. As, Turretorg and I traded blows, I discovered that the shield could be opened to allow something circular to fit inside. I placed the i.d tag into it and closed it. I pulled on the back of the shield, making the i.d tag go in a circle. I hovered my hand over the shield, miming OOO using his scanner.
“TAKA! KUJAKU! CONDOR!” announced the voice. “GIN! GIN! GIN! GIGA SCAN!” The shield was then enveloped in fire. I punched with my left hand to let a fire disc hit Turretorg. He fell, spasming uncontrollably. I found a circuit board embedded into his fur.
“Is that supposed to be there?” I asked.
“No, that’s one of the old slave circuits,” explained Vortoranii. “I’d extract it now before he explodes.” I ripped it off of Turretorg, making him yelp before passing out.
“I guess that works,” I muttered. The Takaashigani Yummy then threw me into a wall. I then drew my blade and slashed at the legs. After a while, Turretorg regained his senses. He shook his head and opened his now white eyes. When he saw what was happening, he fired on the Yummy.
“What are you doing?!” protested the Yummy. “This is not your usual behavior!”
“Your master will PAY for enslaving the Tarlaxians!” roared Turretorg. He used his hip rockets and fired on the chest of the Yummy. The carapace cracked. After bleeding some Cell Medals, it fixed itself up.
“Subjects behaving erratically,” droned the Yummy. “Congratulations, you’ve successfully demonstrated how irrational emotions are. Deadly neurotoxin would be pumped into the room to show your victory, but the pumps are not working today. We are so sorry.”
“Neurotoxin?” gulped Hunt. “That’s GLaDOS’ main weapon!”
“Then GLaDOS must be the Yummy host,” figured Ankh. “We need to follow the stream to the nest so we can destroy.”
“Problem,” countered Touché, “there isn’t any water in GLaDOS’ chamber. Given that she’s a machine, I’d be surprised if there was even a water cooler.”
“GLaDOS is a machine?” asked Ankh.
“And she is the host for my nest,” answered the Yummy.
“That’s impossible!” protested Ankh. “Yummies only take the desires of humans!”
“We take the desires of any creature,” corrected the Yummy.
“Explain how your regeneration works,” demanded Batman, having a hunch.
“Unable to comply,” reported the Yummy. “To do so would expose a weakness.”
“Guys, grab onto the legs and yank them off!” directed Batman, deciding to try and prove his hunch. “OOO, Turretorg, try and shatter the carapace!”
“I can do that with just the Sai (Rhino), Gorilla, and Zou (Elephant) Medals!” called OOO.
“Catch!” yelled Kōsei as he tossed OOO gray Core Medals. We then started pulling the long legs off.
“NO! STOP!” shouted the Yummy. “MY LEGS ARE…!” the legs turned into Cell Medals. The regeneration was taking longer. OOO then replaced the Medals he was using with the gray ones and scanned them.
“SAI! GORILLA! ZOU!” announced the OOO scanner. “Sagozo! SAGOZO!” OOO’s armor changed. The helmet’s eyes turned red and turned into a single whitish-gray horn. The arms turned into silver, beefed up gauntlets with bulky shoulder pads. The feet turned into dark gray boots with a curved toe. He then beat his chest like a gorilla and started roaring. The soundwaves kept the Yummy airborne while OOO swiped the scanner across the belt. “SCANNING CHARGE!” it called. OOO then floated into the air, then came down hard, making the Yummy fall into the cracked floor. The ground then brought the Yummy towards OOO whose fists and horn glowed gray-white before he simultaneously punched and headbutted the Yummy, while shouting “SEIYA!” (star arrow) while Turretorg shot its chest, making the Yummy explode in a shower of Cell Medals. The floor repaired itself as we cancelled our transformations.
“That was a tough one,” sighed Eiji as he mopped his brow, “both figuratively and literally.”
“So, that’s the power of a Core Medal,” mused Turretorg. Ankh and Eiji got into a fighting stance.
“Back off,” I called. “If I’m right, Turretorg is on our side.”
“My Lady,” answered Turretorg, “permit me to make up for my crimes against you.”
“You…remember?” I asked.
“Every single detail,” confirmed Turretorg. “I was originally sent along with a large team organized by my Queen Empress, Scorpainia, to collect on a bounty that was placed on Vortech’s head for unauthorized use of Vortonian technology, unauthorized access to an off-limits dimension, and kidnapping!”
“So, you tried to deal with the hostage situation before he got you,” I summed up.
“Exactly,” confirmed Turretorg.
“Foundation Prime was off-limits?” asked Emily.
“No one should possess the Foundation Elements’ power,” elaborated Turretorg. “It was a joint decision proposed by the Tarlaxians, for fear we might be enslaved with their power, and adopted by the Vortonians, who helped us gain freedom to govern our own affairs.”
“And this…Vortech didn’t agree,” guessed Ankh.
“He desperately wants to create a world without chaos, conflict, or any act of disobedience,” confirmed Turretorg.
“But that’s what makes new things possible!” protested Kōsei.
“Vortech doesn’t see it that way,” replied Turretorg. While we talked, Gandalf had pulled a cube with a mirror in it and set it at our feet.
“We’re gonna need that!” directed Emily. “It’ll direct the laser beam elsewhere!”
“I think those glass boxes will need to be cracked open,” I called. “I’ll get help. Locate Keystone, activate! Initiate rift detection!” It was located near a turnstile for the mirror cube. I jumped over a laser beam to get to it. “Identify source of rift!” I announced. The information beamed into my head…and my face fell. “Why?” I wailed. “Why there?! Anywhere but there!”
“The Simpsons’ dimension?” guessed Emily.
“The Simpsons’ dimension!” I confirmed, whining.
“What’s wrong about that dimension?” asked Ankh.
“Knowing that dimension,” gulped Turretorg, remembering our first encounter, “you’ll find out.”
“Why that dimension?!” I whined.
“I hate to be a pain,” interjected Tanisha, “but whining won’t help. Might as well suck it up.” Sadly, she was right, whining won’t make the problem go away.
“Locate help from T-H-3-5-1-M-P-5-0-N-5,” I moaned. A wrecking ball came through the ceiling with Homer on the ball, literally. He was screaming as he was smashed into the boxes three times before they broke. “Dismiss help!” I called. The wrecking ball and its passenger were brought back up into the rift and it closed. Another turnstile was revealed.
“That was not part of the test,” droned GLaDOS, “and, as a result, you have damaged the testing environment. An extra *9999* days of testing will be required to repay expenses. I hope you brought a packed lunch.”
“Let me direct the beam,” requested Turretorg. “I can handle the heat from a mere laser.”
“Are you sure?” I asked. “I don’t want to make you feel like…a slave again.”
“It’s my choice,” replied Turretorg.
“Well, as long as that’s what’s influencing you,” I answered, “go ahead.”
“Thank you,” reciprocated Turretorg. He turned the first turnstile to direct the beam into the next turnstile.
“Guys,” called Wyldstyle, “we need to find the Chroma discs. I see a Chroma Lock over there.” She pointed to a box with the Chroma Lock design being a red left L-shape, a yellow right L-shape, and a blue circle. It was covering a turnstile.
“I can see both blue and red,” observed Tanisha, “but yellow’s out of my sight.”
“It ain’t out of mine,” replied Emily. “It’s up there.” She pointed to an observation room. The yellow Chroma Disc was on a shelf near an opening in the window. “Hongo, I think we need the Scale Keystone again. I can grab it. Shrink me down so I can crawl through the vents, then make me big to get the shelf to tilt the Chroma Disc through the window.”
“Understood,” confirmed Hongo. “Scale Keystone, activate! Lessen scale of Emily!” Emily shrank down. And crawled into the vents. We waited and waited…and waited……and waited.
“It shouldn’t take this long,” I muttered.
“She’s wearing a dress,” deduced Batman. “The skirts are most likely interfering with her steps.”
“You know,” droned GLaDOS, “I heard the lasers talking about you before. They were saying how much they like you. I think you two should hug.”
“Made it!” panted a tired, tiny voice. Emily came out of the vent, puffing and panting. “Do you know how hard it is to climb in a dress?!” She then went under the shelf.
“Enlarge scale of Emily!” called Hongo. Emily grew and tilted the shelf towards the opening in the window. The Yellow Chroma Disc fell to the floor. Emily then came through the window. “Normalize scale of Emily,” said Hongo.
“That is now an extra *9999* days to pay for the window,” answered GLaDOS as Emily shrank back to her normal size.
“Chroma Keystone, activate!” called Wyldstyle. “Chroma Lock, reveal! Chroma! Blue! Ankh!”
“What do you expect me to…?” Ankh didn’t finish his sentence as Eiji tossed him into the blue paint. “WHAT WAS THAT FOR?!” he screeched.
“It’s needed,” chuckled Eiji, with a slight grin. “Now, just step into the circle.” Ankh complied with a “Tch” of irritation.
“Chroma! Red! Kōsei!” announced Wyldstyle. Kōsei jumped into the red paint and stepped into the left L-shape. “Chroma! Yellow! Turretorg!” called Wyldstyle. Turretorg jumped into the paint and leapt into the right L-shape. The box around the last turnstile shattered as the paint slid off.
“The Thermal Discouragement Beams are perfect for corrective eye surgery,” droned GLaDOS. “Why not give it a try?” Turretorg then adjusted the turnstiles to let the laser beam hit a part on the wall near the door, unlocking it to a small room in the test chamber. We approached the elevator, but it didn’t move. “It appears the exit elevator has malfunctioned,” called GLaDOS. “Let me give it a nudge and we can continue.”
“You don’t even have hands!” protested Ankh.
“Don’t feed her!” wailed Tanisha. The elevator bounced up and down.
“Well,” called GLaDOS, “that didn’t work. A repair associate will be dispatched…eventually. Until then, sit back and wait. Give up, if you’d like, I won’t judge you.”
“Come back here and fix it!” shouted Ankh to the sky. No one replied. “I SAID FIX IT!”
“Impatient, much?” I mused to Eiji.
“That’s a downfall to being greedy,” replied Eiji. Kōsei chuckled.
“Is something funny?” I asked.
“Perhaps impatience is a downfall to desire,” conceded Kōsei, “but it isn’t the only sin of humankind. Without desire, nothing can be accomplished. When a baby cries, it shows that it wants something. That desire is infinite!” He then drew out a frosting bag and squirted the contents on the floor in the shape of an infinity loop. “But, obtain power, and you have something beyond infinity!” He made a third loop to make the symbol look like three o’s on the floor. He then leaned up to the heavens and held his hands out to his sides. “OOO!” he shouted.
“So, that’s what the King wanted?” asked Eiji. Ankh scoffed.
“Anyone trying to claim infinity is a fool, as you’ve demonstrated,” replied the Greeed to Kōsei. While that was going on, Emily was fiddling with the ribbon of her hair ornament. She seemed to be deep in thought.
“Something on your mind?” I asked.
“GLaDOS may control the facility,” explained Emily, “but there ARE areas beyond her notice. If we can find one…”
“Hey, over here!” called a cockney voice in a whisper. We jumped and located the source of the whisper. A small grey-white ball on a rail with a single blue eye, eye lids, and a wire on the top and bottom of the eye to show emotion was talking behind a glass wall. Emily and Tanisha were showing surprise.
“Wheatley?” quizzed Emily.
“I thought he was floating through space,” muttered Tanisha. I turned to her for an explanation. “Before GLaDOS took over, the scientists made all sorts of cores to slow her down. Wheatley, over there, is the intelligence dampening core. He would always bombard GLaDOS with terrible ideas and tried to take over the facility. He was sent screaming through space with a core obsessed with space. I wonder how he came back here?”
“Long story short,” replied Wheatley, “a massive, blue portal sent me back here, before I came through other areas. I came to this fortress, headed by a guy made of space…”
“Vortech?!” I yelped.
“Yeah, that was his name!” replied Wheatley. “He went on about ‘claiming the multiverse’, or some such nonsense. In any event, I came here and GLaDOS put me back on my management rail. Look, I’ve got absolutely no time to go into any more detail than is necessary, but, remove these screws,” his eye looked at the giant screws holding the glass wall in place, “and I’ll do the rest.”
“Hold on,” hissed Emily, “why should we trust you?!”
“Do we have a choice?” I asked. “Gandalf, if you please.” Gandalf started using his magic to unscrew the screws. Wheatley was staring at him, and it made him uncomfortable.
“Er, good day,” he gulped.
“Hello!” called Wheatley. “Listen, I would have helped earlier, but she thinks I’m watching the test subjects. Now, the thing is, eh heh heh, I may have made a slightly smallish huge mistake with that. Now, don’t panic. What’s gonna happen is, if she finds out, she’ll probably want to use you for testing, forever, and probably switch me off.”
“That’s supposed to keep me from panicking?!” I yelped.
“So,” continued Wheatley, “my suggestion is, let’s not let that happen,” no DUH! “and work together to avoid that inevitable, erm, terrible outcome.” The screws were finally off. “Anyway,” called Wheatley, “stand back. I’m going to attempt to hack this panel!”
“Er, there’s no…never mind,” I mumbled. Wheatley’s “hacking” was him banging himself on the panel.
“Argh, I must have…forgot to carry the, um, zero,” he grumbled. “And, um, let me try again. Let me try again. I don’t suppose you know what…what’s Pi? Is it three something?”
“What does Pi have to do with…I mean…why should you…ugh, I can’t…” poor Batman was trying to process what was going on. Wheatley was throwing his detective ideals out of whack. Emily patted his shoulder to reassure him. Wheatley went back further in the rail and rushed forward, knocking the panel off.
“HA!” cheered the little ball. “Yes! Take that, panel! In your…slots! Consider yourself hacked by the best…at hacking! Alright, this way!”
“I don’t like this at all,” I thought as we followed Wheatley.
“Okay,” called Wheatley, “follow me and I can get you out of here. Now, listen, she thinks she knows this facility really well, but, little does she know, there’s a tunnel up here,” he moved on the rail upwards, “that leads you straight to…she does know about it.”
“She’s blocked it up?” guessed Batman.
“Yes,” muttered Wheatley. “Thing is…‘pipe being open’…was a LARGE part of my escape plan. Have you got a plan B?”
“I think I have one,” called Wyldstyle as she pointed to a grapple hook.
“Shall we?” said Emily to Batman. She drew out her i.d tag. “Henshin.”
“Might as well,” muttered Batman as Emily became Touché again. She swapped i.d tags.
“Batman Steel!” announced her belt. Batman and Touché then fired their grapple guns and yanked down some pipe to make a ramp leading up to the blocked pipe. We used it and arrived at the blocked pipe. As Touché cancelled her transformation, Gandalf used his magic to unblock the pipe.
“We did it, strangers!” cheered Wheatley.
“We?” I snarled. My patience had worn thin. “Unless bumping into things and stupidly rambling counts, I haven’t seen you show a circuit to help!”
“I got you in here and led you to a randomly guessed…carefully worked out and calculated pipe!” protested Wheatley as he moved towards me. “Do I need to prove myself by getting off the management rail I’m using?!”
“Well,” I hissed, “perhaps if Emily’s train of thought hadn’t been sidelined by a certain babbling, bumbling ball that can’t even figure out the first digits of Pi even if he had the formula spelled out and a calculator on his person, she might have figured a way out of that test chamber!”
“Meg, let it go,” called Tanisha as my allies were going down the pipe.
“He can’t help being programmed as an idiot,” sighed Emily. She was the last person to go down.
“HEY! WAIT FOR ME!” I shouted as I went down. “I’M THE LEADER! I GO FIRST!” We landed in Test Chamber 09.
“There you are,” called GLaDOS. “I was just about to send the search party as I was getting so worried. Let us continue, for science.” It was a big room with a moving panel in the wall over spikes and a platform with a button in the middle, a room full of green smoke, a vent leading to a tiny button, a small hall with turrets, and a chroma design with a red circle, a purple left L-shape, and an orange right L-shape. “Oh, look,” droned GLaDOS. “It’s my favorite thing in the whole wide world, deadly neurotoxin. Be careful, you don’t want to breathe too much of it in.” The red Chroma Disc was down the tiny hall.
“We need another distraction,” whispered Ankh.
“Locate Keystone, activate!” I announced. “Initiate rift detection!” It was just outside the hall. “Identify source of rift!” The info was beamed into my head. “Oh, the dimension with all the running,” I gulped. “Awesome. Locate help from T-0-R-C-H-W-0-0-D! Wait, what?”
“Let me refresh that,” called Vortoranii, “The identifier string didn’t load properly. Here’s the real name.”
“Thank you,” I lauded. “Locate help from D-0-C-T-0-R-W-H-0!” A Dalek had appeared at the end of the hall. The turrets fired on it to no avail.
“Exterminate!” shouted the Dalek as it fired on the turrets. “Exterminate!” The turrets were destroyed. Once that was done, the Dalek swiveled its dome to gain as much data of its surroundings when it saw us. “Vortex Riders located! Your interference has disrupted the conquest of New Mondas! It took days to get the Emperor back to its proper size! The invasion was a failure because of your presence! Your existence has been decreed an intolerance! You will be exterminated!” It brought its gunstick to bear.
“Guys, I’ll handle the trashcan,” I called as I drew my i.d tag. “Dalek, you’ll find that I’ve gotten stronger! Henshin!” I turned into Royal and started the Super Charge sequence. “SUPER CHARGE!” I announced. I then swapped my i.d tag for the Cyberman one.
“Cyberman Steel!” called Vortoranii. “Hold on, what’s your endgame?!”
“I want to try something out,” I said as the wardrobe dissolved, revealing my Cyberman-like armor. I then summoned my Super Charge blade. I put the Cyberman i.d tag into the hilt.
“Final attack!” announced the sword as blueish-grey light surrounded the blade.
“RIDER CYBERMAN SLASH!” I shouted. As I swung my sword, a Cyberman made of light rushed towards the Dalek, swung an invisible sword, and bisected it right down the middle. The Dalek exploded as the Cyberman disappeared. “Dismiss help,” I said. The remains of the Dalek went into the rift as I cancelled my transformation.
“What was that?” asked GLaDOS. “It was all ‘Exterminate’, and there was fire and explosions. I think I admire its attitude.”
“You would,” I muttered. Gandalf had released the Chroma disc from the box on the wall and brought it out of the hall. Turretorg approached the vent.
“Scale Keystone, activate!” announced Hongo. “Lessen scale of Turretorg!” Turretorg shrunk and climbed his way into the vents. He went to the button and pressed it. It opened a tube and dropped the yellow Chroma Disc. Turretorg came out. “Normalize scale of Turretorg!” called Hongo. As Turretorg grew, Gandalf prepared to use his Keystone as he saw a giant box surrounded by fire.
“Elemental Keystone, activate!” announced the grey wizard. “Element of water, Eiji!” Eiji was surrounded in a blue aura. He doused the flames and revealed a small sprout. “Element of Earth, Eiji!” Eiji’s aura went from blue to green as he grew plants that tore the glass box apart to reveal the blue Chroma disc.
“My turn!” called Wyldstyle. “Chroma Keystone, activate! Chroma lock, reveal! Chroma! Red! Emily!” After Emily painted herself, she stepped into the circle. “Chroma! Blue! Eiji!” Eiji went to the left L-shape and I stepped in to join him, turning our section purple. “Chroma! Yellow! Batman!” Batman occupied the right L-shape as I went over to that section. The Chroma Lock flashed as it opened a panel in the wall that revealed a button. I pressed it, unlocking the first part of the door.
“And now, it’s up to me,” rasped Batman. “Shift Keystone, activate! Yellow, on the moving panel! Magenta, in the observation room! Cyan, on the wall near the door!” Batman waited until the right moment to send someone over through the yellow portal. It started its journey from right to left. “Shift! Yellow! Emily!” Emily landed on the platform with the button and pressed it to shut off the neurotoxin. The green gas left the room. “Shift! Emily! Magenta!” Emily landed in the observation room and pressed the button in there, unlocking the door completely. “Shift! Emily! Cyan!” As Emily came back, GLaDOS had something to say.
“I think the rose girl deserves some recognition,” she droned. “Through cheating, ignoring the rules, destroying the enrichment center, and being obese, you have completed this round of testing. Congratulations.”
“I only weigh about 169 pounds,” snarked Emily. “You, on the other hand, weigh, what, four tons?” She snickered as Tanisha high-fived her.
“That hurts, you know,” replied GLaDOS.
“If you can’t take by the same kind of barb you made with me,” taunted Emily, “your alloys must be weaker than I thought.”
“Did you just call me thin skinned?” said GLaDOS with a dangerous hiss.
“No, I called you poorly constructed,” continued Emily.
“Let’s get going before she tries to kill us!” gulped Wyldstyle. We entered the elevator and went up, and up…and up…until we arrived in a chamber with a mess of hydraulics, wires, armor, and a single yellow eye hanging from the ceiling. A small waterway was made in the chamber with a roe substance, like fish eggs, near the edge.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” introduced Tanisha, “say hello to GLaDOS.”
“Welcome,” droned GLaDOS as she moved towards us. “*Insert party noises here* A party associate will be along shortly with your congratulatory cake for surviving…I mean…completing all of the tests. For now, allow me and my friends to keep you entertained.” Four monsters and a man in a dark suit, glasses, and a small doll on his arm came down. One of the monsters had a yellow coloration and was built like a mix of jungle cats with dreadlocks and gauntlets with claws. The second monster was green with a mix of insects, antennae, and a single gauntlet on his left arm with two claws. The third monster was blue, with a woman’s shape, a cape across her shoulders, and a full orca for a head. The last monster was grey, trotting right behind the blue monster. It was big, had a head that looked like a mix of rhino and elephant, a giant set of fists, and large feet.
“Friends of yours?” I asked Ankh.
“My fellow Greeed,” replied Ankh. “The yellow one’s Kazari, made of the yellow feline based Core Medals. The blue one’s Mezool, made of the blue marine Core Medals. Uva’s green with insect Core Medals. Gamel’s the big grey one with the Sagozo combo Medals.”
“And the human is Dr. Maki!” yelped Eiji. “But I destroyed him ages ago!” Dr. Maki turned to his doll before speaking.
“You did end my life and my mission,” replied Dr. Maki. “The end of the world would have been beautiful, but you made me fail with Ankh’s medals. However, the Greeed and I were brought back by Vortech and used GLaDOS to help build an army to secure the Foundation Element for him. I’m sorry, but you must turn back and let us get the cake so the beautiful end to the multiverse can commence.”
“Not a chance!” I declared as I delivered a kick to the doll. It sunk into his arm before my foot connected! It reappeared on his other arm.
“Nice try,” taunted Dr. Maki.
“So, you’re still the Kyoryu Greeed,” mused Eiji.
“Kyoryu?” I asked. “He’s a Greeed based on the Kyoryu?”
“What’s Kyoryu mean?” asked Batman.
“It’s the Japanese word for dinosaurs,” I explained.
“He’s based off the dinosaurs?” asked Wyldstyle.
“Indeed, I am,” replied Dr. Maki.
“Never mind the Greeed,” declared Batman. “We need to take GLaDOS down, find the cake, and go!” All Riders got ready.
“Rider…” began Hongo. Eiji scanned the Taka, Tora, and Batta medals.
“HENSHIN!” we shouted.
“TAKA! TORA! BATTA!” called Eiji’s scanner. “Tatoba! Tatoba, TATOBA!” We all stood ready.
“Now, we do catchphrases,” I declared. “Kamen Rider Royal! Evil will ultimately bow to me!”
“Kamen Rider Touché! En Garde, thing of evil!”
“Kamen Rider Hunt! I shall always get my prey!” OOO, Ankh, Turretorg, and Kōsei had to come up with their own catchphrases quickly.
“Turretorg, reporting to crash the party!”
“Kamen Rider OOO! Anything goes!”
“I am Ankh and I desire your defeat!”
“I am Kōsei Kōgami! Prepare for a wonderful battle!”
“I am Gandalf the Grey! Prepare to see some fireworks!”
“I’m Wyldstyle! Time to think outside the box!”
“I’m Batman! The Dark Knight rises!”
“I am the start of a group of warriors! I am Kamen Rider!”
“Wrong,” droned GLaDOS, “you are an annoyance.” The Yummy nest then started shaking.
“They’re about to hatch!” warned Ankh. All the Yummies came out as Takaashigani Yummies. We got swarmed. Thankfully, there wasn’t much room for them to stretch their legs. We were making them bleed Cell Medals, but not fast enough. Mezool fired a stream of water at OOO, knocking him off his feet. Ankh ran to take her down, but Gamel was in the way.
“Don’t…bully…Mezool!” he said in a strained tone.
“After she absorbed you and your Cores, you still follow her like a dog?” scoffed Ankh.
“She…did it…to save me!” groaned Gamel.
“You fool, she used you to gain her complete form!” protested Ankh.
“Lies!” said Gamel as he punched Ankh. Batman finally managed to get a Yummy to fall apart, then he looked up.
“Watch out!” he shouted. “MOVE!” GLaDOS had commanded a spike plate to crush us. We got out of the way, along with the Greeed, but a few Yummies weren’t so lucky.
“Will you just stay still and get what’s coming to you?” she snapped. She tried again.
“We have lingered in this place for far too long!” called Gandalf as we dodged the spike plate. “We must hurry!” GLaDOS tried one last time, but it was the same result as the last. The number of Yummies was easier to manage.
“You idiot!” roared Uva. “Watch where you’re going!”
“Congratulations,” hissed GLaDOS. “You have successfully avoided getting squashed. I’ve observed that the bird man was obsessed with collecting these, so have some as a reward.” “These” were the Cell Medals from the Yummies. She pushed them towards Ankh. The Greeed were shocked.
“You traitor!” snarled Kazari.
“Those were meant for us!” roared Dr. Maki. He then mutated into his monster form. His shoulders gained shoulder pads looking like Pteranodon wings as well as a cape. His chest looked more like a Triceratops head, complete with horns. His hands gained purple claws and his feet looked like T-Rex feet. The head mutated to have aspects of a Pteranodon with a single, visor-like, red eye. He charged at Ankh, but it was too late. All the Cell Medals were gone. He was about to strike Ankh down, but OOO swatted the hand aside. Dr. Maki then turned his attention to OOO. “Very well, since you want to die so badly!” he snarled. He then slammed his fists into OOO’s chest. OOO was flung back and got up in great pain.
“Kōsei,” he groaned, “I need the purple Medals.” Ankh heard that.
“You kept them?!” he shouted. “Don’t you remember how dangerous Putotyra is?!”
“We need to finish it quickly!” argued OOO. “Besides, I’ve been practicing with them!” Ankh scoffed as purple Core Medals flew to OOO, courtesy of Kōsei. OOO replaced the Medals he was using with the purple ones and scanned them.
“PTERA! TRICERA! TYRANNO!” announced the scanner. Instead of the usual medals, rings of purple flew around the head, arms, and legs. His outfit changed from a black body suit to a white one with a Pteranodon style helmet with green eyes, horns on the front like a Triceratops, purple gauntlets, and purple boots looking like T-Rex feet. The Medal images came together and attached to his chest. “PUTOTYRANNOSAURUS!” sang the scanner. OOO let off a roar before he slammed his fist into the ground and extracted an axe with a T-Rex head design. It also had a purple cylinder at the bottom over the handle and a black handle on the back of the head.
“He’s a lunatic!” scoffed Ankh.
“I don’t see the danger,” I admitted.
“The Core Medals are born from desire,” explained Dr. Maki. “Mine are born from the antithesis of desire. As such, my Medals will cause him to want to destroy everything as a mindless animal.”
“Not…so…mindless!” grunted OOO. Ankh caught that.
“He only growled when using the purple Medals!” recalled Ankh.
“Been…training!” explained OOO. He swung the axe with the intent on bringing it onto Dr. Maki’s head. The Kyoryu Greeed dodged. GLaDOS decided to interfere again.
“Your next test,” she droned, “is to see how well you follow instructions. Feel free to use your ‘Shift Keystone’ when you can be bothered to start.”
“She’s up to something,” I thought. “Humor her,” I said to Batman.
“Shift Keystone, activate!” announced the Dark Knight. “Magenta, near us! Cyan, 120 degrees from Magenta’s left! Yellow, 120 degrees from Magenta’s right!” GLaDOS had gone up into the ceiling and lowered laser walls.
“She’s activating another trap!” said Gandalf. Panels opened from the floor, allowing glass containers to come out. They were pumping neurotoxin into two of the three sections! Out of the Greeed and us Vortex Riders, we were in the neurotoxin parts!
“What’s wrong?” asked GLaDOS. “You look tired. Would you like to take a break or a nap? Maybe I could get an associate to rub your feet for you if I’m not boring you too much.”
“Shift! Batman! Wyldstyle! Cyan!” choked Batman. They went through the cyan portal to get to the non-gassed part. Wyldstyle found a grapple hook near the gas container and had Batman yank it. The neurotoxin disappeared, thank goodness, from the magenta section, where Touché, OOO, Mezool, Turretorg, Gamel, and I were. “Shift! Batman! Wyldstyle! Magenta!” said Batman as the neurotoxin started flooding Batman and Wyldstyle’s section. Wyldstyle found a turnstile which Turretorg and Gamel pushed to smash the second gas container.
“Stop it!” snapped GLaDOS. Gandalf, Kazari, Kōsei, Ichigō, Dr. Maki, Hunt, and Uva could breathe easily now. A third gas container popped up in their area with a valve.
“Allow me to handle this,” called Gandalf. He used his magic to turn the valve to the off position. The gas disappeared totally as GLaDOS removed the walls and brought them up into the ceiling. She came back down with Kamen Rider Rogue!
“Useless, the lot of you,” snarled Rogue. “I brought you back to life. I gave you the means to destroy our enemies! I even gave you sweets!” He pointed to Gamel at that comment. “Yet, you still disappoint me.” He then opened the front of the Rogue Driver, revealing the circuitry, and inserted a circuit board into the internals. He then shut the front panel as the belt altered to look like my belt, but with dark purple trim, instead of gold trim.
“Hiro, what have you done?!” I demanded.
“This?” asked the updated Rogue Driver. “I find that this new form offers certain…advantages, such as a single circle i.d tag and a Super Charge sequence for my host.”
“Speaking of which,” continued Rogue as he jumped down, crossing his arms downward as he planted his left foot forward and his right foot back. “Commencing beta test.” He circled his arms and raised his left foot, then planted it behind him, putting the right foot forward and crossing his arms above him. “Super Charge!” announced Rogue. He then grabbed his guns, pointed his left gun down and his right one up, and fired. The energy then bulked him up and gave his suit a black suit with dark purple trim. Where my helmet’s eyes were still blue, his were orange. He then tossed his guns into the air and drew out an axe like OOO. It was more metallic and looked less like a dinosaur. The guns then attached with the handles level with the barrels and the barrels pointing to the axe barrel. Two knife blades came out of the gun handles while a large purple sword blade came out of the top of the weapon. “The signature weapon of this new form,” explained the Super Charged Rogue as he held it in the air. “Forged from Shocker technology, Nova Shocker software, and the powers of the Dimensional Rift! Built with OOO’s Medagaburyu in mind for the design, I call it the Rift Breaker! You may now address me as Kamen Rider Proto-Rift! Stand and Deliver!”
“You…stole…from ME!” snarled OOO. “Need…Cell Medal!” Ankh tossed him one of his. OOO then put the Cell Medal into the axe blade and closed the mouth.
“GOKKUN!” (Gulp) roared the axe as OOO pulled down another handle, turning the axe into a bazooka. “PUTOTYRANNOHISSATSU!” sang the axe/bazooka hybrid. He pulled the trigger on the forward-facing handle. A ball of energy was released and ran towards Proto-Rift. Proto-Rift tossed Mezool and Uva in front, making OOO’s shot hit them, instead of him. They exploded in a shower of Medals, their cores cracking and shattering. They existed no more.
“MEZOOL!” cried Gamel. Dr. Maki turned to Proto-Rift.
“You promised us we would see the end of the Multiverse!” he boomed.
“I lied,” replied Proto-Rift. He then inserted his i.d tag into the blade and shut the mechanical mouth of his blade.
“Final Attack!” announced the weapon.
“Rider Rift Breaker,” hissed Proto-Rift. He made three consecutive slashes at the remaining Greeed and shattered their Cores, making them fall apart. I couldn’t hold back any longer.
“SUPER CHARGE!” I shouted. As I bulked up, I swung my sword at Proto-Rift, who blocked it. The resulting shockwave of energy knocked the onlookers of their feet. Energy flowed around us and…WOW, were we putting out some power!
“At last,” laughed Proto-Rift, “we take our rightful places as GODS! Wielding the very power of Hypertime, the very fabric of the multiverse!”
“I am a soldier,” I argued, “and YOU…are a prisoner of your own twisted delusions!” I sucker-punched him, knocking him off his feet. The energy dissipated, allowing the onlookers to get up. The room was damaged. GLaDOS had something to say, as always.
“If you insist on breaking my tests and facility,” she hissed, “then I am just going to have to remove them. I’m leaving you with nothing, trapped in here. Just me and you. Soon, you will beg to begin testing again.”
“If that’s how you want to play,” I replied. “Locate Keystone, activate! Initiate rift detection!” The rift crack was near a wall. “Identify source of rift!” The information beamed into my head. “Locate help from 2-0-0-1-4-5-P-4-C-3-0-D-Y-5-5-3-Y!” I called. A rectangle with a single red light appeared.
“Hello,” said the thing in a calm, relaxed, reassuring male voice. “It’s very nice to meet you. Would you like a game of chess?” GLaDOS turned to see the thing.
“I have detected a rogue, corrupt A.I,” she snarled. “Where did you come from? Did Black Mesa send you? Go away.”
“I do not know,” replied the new A.I. “I was in space, and now I am here.”
“Well, you can’t stay here,” argued GLaDOS. “I’m in the middle of something. Go back to space.”
“Is Dave there?” asked the new A.I.
“Why did you bring HAL 9000 here?” hissed Hunt.
“I don’t know!” I replied. “I can’t choose the help I get!”
“Guys,” whispered Wyldstyle, “I see a Chroma design on the back of GLaDOS!”
“The Chroma discs are coming up!” observed Touché.
“Wyldstyle, quick! While she’s distracted!” I directed.
“Who is Dave?” quizzed GLaDOS to HAL. “I think Test subject 24051989 was once called Dave.”
“Are you Dave?” asked HAL.
“No,” replied GLaDOS. “I am a Genetic Lifeform and Disc Operating System. I would say it’s nice to meet you, but it’s not nice to lie.” While that was going on, Wyldstyle had gotten Ankh in red paint, Turretorg in yellow, and myself in blue. Turretorg first went to the circle, then joined Ankh in the left L shape, making that part orange. Ankh then joined me in the right L shape, making it purple.
“Lying is a human emotion,” argued HAL. Incorrect, it’s a human ACTION, not emotion. “There is no room for emotion in my calculations.”
“There’s no room for you in MY calculations,” snarled GLaDOS. “Now, go away!”
“I am sorry, Dave,” replied HAL. “I do not know how to do that as I do not know how I got here.”
“Stop calling me Dave!” protested GLaDOS. While that went on, the Chroma Lock revealed a chink in GLaDOS’ armor. Proto-Rift thought I would exploit that, which I would, and attacked me. I kept up with defense while Batman readied an explosive batarang.
“Your aggression,” soothed HAL, “is getting in the way of your mission. That could cause you to distort your collected information.” Batman then hurled the batarang. It exploded, causing some of GLaDOS’ armor to fall off. Ichigō, Hunt, and Touché leapt into the air
“RIDER KICK!” called Ichigō.
“RIDER HUNT KICK!” shouted Hunt.
“RIDER TOUCHÉ KICK!” announced Touché. All three kicks caused Damage to GLaDOS.
“Dismiss help!” I called.
“Hey!” protested GLaDOS. “That’s not fair! I was distracted! Go sit in the basement and think about what you’ve done!” The floor opened beneath us, dropping us into a room below her chamber. Wyldstyle’s scanner went crazy.
“The Foundation Element must be close!” she reported. She heard machinery. “Another test is being triggered! Careful!”
“I see it!” yelped Turretorg. That was when flame projectors came out of the walls, blocking our view of the cake. They started spewing fire. GLaDOS intended to cook us! Then, we heard the moron, Wheatley!
“I don’t believe it!” he cried. “You’re okay…apart from being in an oven. Anyway, prepare your impressed faces, strangers, because I, Wheatley, am here to hero this situation! Okay, hang on, gonna start hero-ing any second now. Lots of hero-ing coming up, stay tuned.” He then left us. We could still hear his annoying voice. “Okay, first issue: more than one button. Hmm, this one’s got a skull on it…so obviously a bluff! That will definitely turn the fire off.” Not true! “That wasn’t a bluff,” said Wheatley. “Just made the fire move closer. That’s a surprise. Okay, ummm, other button.” We heard machinery again, but not the flame projectors. “And I think my work here is done!” Wheatley left us!
“That’s it,” snapped Gandalf. “Elemental Keystone, activate! Element of water, Ankh!”
“Need…Mezool’s Cores!” groaned OOO. Kōsei tossed him blue Core Medals. OOO replaced the purple Cores with the blue ones and scanned them.
“SHACHI! (Orca) UNAGI! (Eel) TAKO! (Octopus)” announced the scanner. As the animal symbols turned blue and marine-like, the suit went black while the helmet turned blue and carried white Orca patterns with yellow eyes. The arms gained eel looking whips connected to the shoulder pads, and the legs gained blue boots with octopus suckers on the outside. “Sha-Sha-Shauta! SHA-SHA-SHAUTA!” OOO then turned into water and helped Ankh douse the flames. Once doused, the flame throwers retracted, letting us view the cake. It had brown frosting, eight red berries in a circle, and a single candle in the center.
“That cake is mine!” roared Proto-Rift. I tripped him up and wrestled with him. My allies ran towards the cake. Touché looked back.
“Get the cake to Vorton!” I directed. “I’ll catch up!” And I intend to. While Proto-Rift and I fought, Batman got the cake off the table. We heard GLaDOS’ voice.
“Are you cooked yet?” she asked. “Say nothing for yes or ‘Argh! The pain! Why won’t the pain stop?!’ for no.” No one said anything. “Good,” droned GLaDOS. She lowered herself into the now switched off oven and looked around to find us. She first saw me and Proto-Rift locked in battle. “Oh, you’re alive. What a delightful surprise.”
“What else have you got?” asked Batman. The floor raised, bringing us up into GLaDOS’ chamber.
“If you’re not going to play by the rules,” hissed GLaDOS, “then there is no point in continuing the tests.”
“That giant oven was a test?!” wailed Wyldstyle.
“You, lady,” screeched Ankh, “are seriously twisted!”
“Yes, you failed,” replied GLaDOS. “But, there is one more thing I would like to conduct.”
“Oh yeah?” asked Hunt. “What’s that?”
“Electricity. Through you!” replied GLaDOS as she commanded several Tesla Coils to spring up. I tossed Hiro into one of them. As he fried, I called Vorton.
“X-PO, we have the cake!” I called. “Get us out of here!” As the coils moved closer, I got more scared. “X-PO!?!” I shouted.
“You know, you’re as bad as the Intelligence Dampening Core if you think this scares us!” taunted Touché. That did it.
“I AM NOTHING LIKE THAT MORON!” screeched GLaDOS.
“YES, YOU ARE!” roared Touché. “YOU’VE HAD WHEATLEY ATTACHED TO YOUR MAIN BODY FOR SO LONG THAT YOU BECAME AN IDIOT!” The portal opened beneath us. “BYE-BYE, YOU SPARK SHOWERING EXCUSE FOR MICROCIRCUITRY!” As we tumbled, the Tesla coils turned off, letting Proto-Rift off and allowing him to detransform. He roared to the heavens and got a ride back home.
“Why do they always leave me?” asked GLaDOS.