Day 1: The Beaver tribe had just finished our training field and were given a new job to reinforce some buildings in the Lion Temple. This would definitely serve our purposes. “All right,” called Daisuke, “you want to be beast?”
“Yeah!” I shouted.
“Then we begin today!” declared Daisuke. “We start by running through that maze!” We got into position. “Go!” shouted Daisuke. We ran in and that’s when I got the full brunt of it. Balls on chains whacked into my sides, sending me into the air. When I landed, a bunch of arrows whizzed past, one of them sticking into my butt. As I ran, a wall popped up and I ran smack dab into it. I passed out. Later, I woke up at the start with Daisuke shaking his head. “We have lots work to do,” he muttered.
Day 4: I was doing some laps around the training field with Daisuke passing me a couple of times, but I was hardly sweating.
Day 6: Weight training was going miserably. Daisuke was lifting a quarter of a ton while I could barely lift 10 pounds.
Day 13: Chin-ups. My grip was so awful, I fell on my butt a lot.
Day 17: Swimming. This one went a little better. In fact, it seemed to make Daisuke change tactics. “You say Hiro tiger cyborg?” he asked.
“Yes,” I confirmed.
“Tigers good swimmers,” remembered Daisuke. “We going at this wrong way. We need to use tiger strengths, like swimming. Running also strength. We need to work on power in arms, tree climbing, and jumping.”
Day 25: Daisuke’s new Tiger regimen seems to be working. I was climbing trees rather well.
Day 28: I don’t know the full details of what happened, but I can tell you what went on in my mind. Daisuke and I were sparring, rather brutally, I might add. I was falling on the kicks and punches of traditional fighting, but Daisuke grew up in the wilds. He didn’t pull any punches. After a few minutes, he slashed across my face and something happened. For a while, my vision went red, and then I blacked out. I woke up looking at the ceiling of the healing hut next to the training field. “Wha…happen…?” I asked, groggily.
“We were hoping YOU could shed some light,” replied Batman. He brought out a camera, showing what happened. When Daisuke slashed across my face, I twitched for a while. My face seemed to contort into a primal rage. My eyes…were not human. If anything, they looked more beast like. All of a sudden, my mouth and nose elongated into a feline’s mouth. My ears sunk into my head while rounded ears sprouted from the top. My muscles were rewriting themselves and bulking out while hair was sprouting all over my body. The hair was taking an orange color and black stripes were coming out too. My fingers and toes then unsheathed claws as metal piping sprouted from my arms, legs, and back. Monster-me then unleashed a roar and went on a savage rampage, knocking Daisuke off his feet. At that point, he crouched and got into a defensive stance, getting his fingers in a claw fashion as he snarled. He then raised his hands up, then crossed them across his chest, then uncrossed and raised them again.
“A-MA-ZON!” he roared. His eyes turned a demonic red as his body changed. He turned into a lizard based Kamen Rider with a white scarf. “Amazon!” he announced. I presume this was the name Hiroki used for Daisuke’s rider form. We charged at each other and grappled. It seemed I was fighting blindly, and Amazon saw this. He got the upper hand quickly and delivered an uppercut. I was sent spinning as Amazon leapt at me. “Jaguar Shock!” he said before his helmet split apart enough for his teeth to sink into my arm. Apparently, that’s when I passed out again and he brought me to the healing hut. I saw my arm in bandages and my own form in the usual human one.
“Well, that could have gone better,” I sighed.
“No focus on bad,” encouraged Daisuke. “We need know why you went nuts.”
“It seems like a scratch did it,” I observed, “but why? I’ve been shot at, blown up, stabbed at, poisoned, and what have you. A simple scratch to my face shouldn’t have done that.”
“When you finished healing, we continue training,” declared Daisuke.
“Sensei,” (Teacher) I countered, “with all due respect, we need to finish training as quickly as possible.”
“Can’t do that when hurt,” replied Daisuke. “Rest. Nothing will…” Tanisha’s belt buzzed.
“Happen?” I said, completing Daisuke’s sentence. “Who is it? Vorton?” I asked Tanisha. Her eyes went wide.
“No, Vader. And he wants to meet in front of the Lion Temple,” she replied.
“Vader? You’re talking about Darth Vader, right?” I yelped. Tanisha nodded and I gulped.
“Who’s Vader?” asked Batman.
“A very dangerous man,” gulped Tonje. “Once known as a Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker, he was seduced by Darth Sidious to become his apprentice. One of the best pilots in the Galactic Empire and one of the most powerful Sith Lords, Vader is a very skilled cyborg.”
“Another cyborg?” hissed Batman. “Robin’s friend is one! That’s enough!”
“Regardless,” continued Tonje, “he also possesses a skill with something called the Force, that universe’s name for magic, if you will.”
“So, a dark wizard, then?” guessed Gandalf.
“A dark wizard/knight, yes,” I replied. “Am I good to move?”
“Megumi, you’re not about to agree to meet Darth Vader, are you?!” asked Tanisha.
“I want to see what he wants,” I declared. “I’m fully aware of his reputation in his native universe, but I want to hear him out, get a bead on who’s side he’s on and all that.”
“He’s probably on Vortech’s side!” argued Tanisha.
“But why would his master, Emperor Sheev Palpatine, bother?” asked Tonje.
“Sheev?” I muttered. “That’s his first name?”
“Think about it, you two,” continued Tonje. “Palpatine wouldn’t dare have anyone over him. He’s too power hungry for that.”
“True,” conceded Tanisha, “but who’s to say that he won’t bide his time like with the Republic?”
“Another point,” I muttered, “there IS the Rule of Two to consider.”
“Rule of Two?” asked Hongo.
“There’s always two in the Sith,” I explained, “a Master and an Apprentice. And the Apprentice must kill their Master to take their place.”
“You think this may be part of Vader’s plan to kill his master,” guessed Batman.
“Yes,” I confirmed. “We’re going to meet him.”
We arrived at the Lion Temple Entrance, where a vessel was waiting. The center cockpit was spherical and had connections to curved wings on the side. A hatch opened from the top, allowing a figure to jump out. There he crouched, with the Lions ready to strike at a moment’s notice. “Lower your weapons,” I called to the Lions. “He’s been expecting me.” The figure stood up. Standing at 6’7”, the figure was clad all in black. His helmet evoked that of the Samurai, minus the crest. A control panel was on his front. A black cape was held by his metallic shoulder pads and a silver tube was clipped to his side. His breathing was deep and clearly assisted by the machinery that makes up a good chunk of his body. Darth Vader stared right at me.
“You are wise to have them stand down, Your Highness,” he said in his familiar booming, deep voice, “In any case, I am NOT here to fight, but to give you this.” He held out a glowing orb.
“That’s a Chi Orb!” called a Lion.
“Fire Chi, if memory serves,” mused Tanisha. Wyldstyle’s scanner went crazy.
“It’s also putting out the same energy signature as the Foundation Elements,” she reported when she checked it. “We’re being gifted the Element of this universe!”
“And your loved ones, bar a Mr. Hayato Ichimonji, a Mr. Dick Grayson, a Mr. Frodo Baggins, and a Mr. MetalBeard, are in Crocodile Swamp, under the combined ‘benevolent’ care of Shocker Rift and Crooler,” boomed Vader.
“Then the ones you named are still on Foundation Prime,” guessed Batman.
“Correct,” confirmed Vader.
“In my universe, everything about you is detailed,” I commented. “I know you too well. What do you want in return?”
“A place in your organization,” replied Vader.
“Say what?” yelped Tonje.
“Vortech had attacked my universe and nearly destroyed my master,” explained Vader. “That kind of blood is reserved for the apprentice, so I want to show him the power of the Dark Side of the Force.”
“But we’re practically Jedi,” I argued. “Besides, you have an army. Why come to us?”
“Because this endeavor requires something beyond the scope of even the Emperor’s command,” replied Vader, “your power, the very power you’re attempting to tap into, Your Highness.”
“Then I see no reason to have a Sith Lord in my team,” I declared.
“On the contrary,” countered Vader. “You and Kamen Rider Apocalypse may be our only hope to defeat Vortech, but only I can provide you with troops.”
“You think our team is insufficient?” I asked.
“Do you really think guerilla tactics will stop someone like Vortech?” boomed Vader. “Like the Emperor, he doesn’t need to worry about every single detail. He has many soldiers at his beck and call.”
“You can provide us troops?” I ventured.
“If you let me join, I can give you the vast resources of the Empire,” offered Vader. It took a few seconds to consider.
“ABSOLUTELY NOT!” shouted Batman. “Dealing with a reformed witch and a living trashcan is bad enough but having an unrepentant villain in our ranks?! Besides, he’s working his own agenda!”
“One that’s being interfered with,” I countered. “Lord Vader, forgive my suspicion, but how long do you think our alliance will last?”
“As long as mutually beneficial,” replied Vader.
“And after we beat Vortech?” I continued.
“I will return to my universe to destroy my master,” declared Vader.
“Like with Starkiller?” I quizzed.
“Make no mistake,” growled Vader, “this time, I will require no such apprentice.” Judging by the tone, Vader needed my decision now.
“All right, you can join us,” I said.
“Megumi, what are you doing?!” yelped Tonje.
“Meg, NO!!” wailed Tanisha. Oh, how I hate that nickname. Everyone in the F.N.S knows that!
“We’re at war, right now,” I declared. “We need soldiers.” I then fired up my communicator. “X-PO, get me in contact with Hiroki and Emily.”
“What, no ‘Hello, X-PO, I have an update for you on my training’?” snarked X-PO.
“Just do it,” I hissed. X-PO grumbled, but I was soon connected. “Hey, guys,” I called. “How are you holding up?”
“Well, the Dinobots, Beast Wars Dinobot, and the Dinosaurs they’re based on are rampaging across the island to stop Igura, my childhood tormentor, and Beast Era Megatron in a techno-organic body from getting the Foundation Element,” reported Emily. “The Genetically modified Dinos haven’t been spotted, so I don’t think they’re joining in the fight. Oh, did I mention that we’re in Jurassic World?” She then blew a raspberry. “The first movie was enough.”
“Nothing exciting on my end,” commented Hiroki.
“Well, I’m about to send some your way,” I sighed. “Make all necessary preparations for Darth Vader’s arrival. He’s joining us in our war against Vortech.” There was a long silence. “…Guys?”
“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR TINY LITTLE MIND?!” shrieked Emily.
“That’s the second time that phrase was used towards me today,” I hissed. “Frankly, I’m getting annoyed.”
“Nee-san, you’re talking about letting Darth Vader, a Dark Lord of the Sith, join us!” yelped Hiroki.
“He gave us the Foundation Element of this universe, told us that our families are here, and can provide us troops,” I argued. “We need his help.”
“Oh, how considerate of him!” yelled Emily. “That will totally pardon his sins!”
“Look, I’m not thrilled about it either, but we need every advantage we can get!” I snapped. “Lord Vader, do you have Vorton’s coordinates?”
“I do, Your Highness,” confirmed Vader.
“Then Hiroki will receive you and whatever troops you decide to bring,” I replied. “And, Hiroki, Emily, Vader is to be treated with respect, is that clear?!” After a pause, I heard two people sigh.
“Crystal clear,” mumbled Hiroki.
“We understand,” muttered Emily.
“Good,” I declared. “I’ll stay behind to focus on a new development that happened to me. I’ll tell you all about it when I get back. Megumi Out.” I ended communications. “Lord Vader, forgive us if the welcome is…less than welcoming.”
“I understand,” replied Vader. “I shall see you on Vorton.” He entered his TIE fighter and took off. A rift opened for him and he went in.
“Megumi, I must continue to object,” hissed Tanisha.
“Noted, and I will deal with the consequences if it turns out to be a poor choice,” I commented. “For now, I need to control my animal side.”
“Not control,” argued Daisuke. “That always bad idea to try to control and suppress. Treat tiger side as partner, like you do with horse.” The thought never occurred to me. I considered my sensei’s words. In all honesty, it makes sense.
“When do we begin again?” I asked.
Five…weeks. …Five weeks since I came here, and only now does Hiro decide to move us. “Where are you taking us?” I demanded.
“That’s not your concern,” hissed Hiro. “What IS your concern is that you will bear witness to an experiment.”
“What experiment?” I asked.
“You’ll see,” said Hiro cryptically. We arrived at an intricate wooden structure. “Megumi! I’m calling you out!” That was when a rock knocked him flat.
“Go away, Hiro!” roared my daughter’s voice. “I’m busy doing much more important…”
“MEGUMI!” I shouted, hearing her. My daughter’s head then appeared. She saw us and jumped down.
“Let them go,” she threatened, “or I’ll…!”
“Begin the experiment,” ordered Hiro. A burbling sound was heard as a tiny bit of goo appeared behind her. Sludgiona then sprouted and grabbed Megumi from behind.
“LET HER GO!” demanded Fred. Hiro took out a ring and flung it at Megumi. It opened up and slapped around her neck. Sludgiona then released her as the collar started shocking her. After half a minute, her face went into a primal rage and my sweet, little girl turned into a cyborg Tiger monster! She gave off a roar before she seemed to calm down.
“YEE! YEE!” reported a Combatman.
“Excellent news!” chuckled Hiro. “The Neuro-collar works! Megumi is now under our control! I have the perfect test! Megumi, snap Haruna’s pitiful neck!” What happened next will always scare me. She moved slowly to obey!
“Megumi, please!” I begged, tears coming down. “I’m your mother! It’s me! Haruna Hishikawa! The one who saved you from his grasp once before!” She advanced on me. “Megumi! I beg you! Don’t do this!” She was right in front of me, her new form towering over me. Then, I heard a snap.
“YES! THE TEST IS SUCCESSFUL!” cheered Hiro. “I can’t believe it! I finally have my daughter under my control! We’ll conquer the multiverse in a flash! We’ll…! What do you want?!” he asked the Combatman that was tapping his shoulder. The Combatman pointed over to my location, where I was holding the crumbly remains of Okaa-san’s (mother) handcuffs.
“Hashire!” (Run!) I urged Okaa-san. When he saw Okaa-san run, Hiro goggled.
“Wha…?!” he spluttered. “What are you doing?! I said kill her!”
“Hiro-sama!” reported the Combatman. It seems us Shocker Cyborgs can understand what the Combatmen are saying when they say “YEE!” “The Neuro-collar is being rewritten!”
“Override!” ordered Hiro as he lined up his sights on my mother.
“I’m trying!” yelped the Combatman. “The transponder isn’t…!” I didn’t hear the rest of what he said as I ran towards Hiro, unsheathing my new claws.
“KON’ARO!” (shortened version of a phrase used when saying “You Bastard!”) I roared. Now, that phrase is one to avoid if you want to stay away from a fight in Japan. In this instance, I was aiming to start one. I swiped at Hiro so hard, he was sent spinning into a nearby pond. I took the liberty of destroying the collar. Okaa-san made it to safety as she turned to the enemy forces.
“It appears my daughter still has a will of her own,” she observed.
“MASAKA?!” (Are you kidding me?!) shouted Hiro as he got out, soaking wet. He turned to another Combatman. “Trace the problem to its source and fix it!”
“The problem is that you underestimated me again,” I declared. “Did you really think I wouldn’t try to use this form to my advantage?”
“You pest!” snarled Hiro. “You learned how to master it?!”
“I had help from Amazon,” I replied. Daisuke grinned. “He was getting me on the right track, but we had to deal with moments of uncontrollable rage. I blacked out during those events, but I took the time to meditate to try and understand that side. Now I know. It didn’t know what its prey was. Now, it has a clear picture of you.”
“Baka Ne!” (You dolt!) insulted Hiro as he changed into his Cyborg form. “I’ve been using this longer than you have!”
“Ikuze, Tora-otoko,” I challenged. We charged at each other and fought like animals. Meanwhile, Batman and the others fought off the enemy ranks to free the rest of the hostages. It took some time, but our families were freed!
“All right, that’s it!” swore Hiro as he loaded his i.d tag. “Henshin!” I got out my own.
“Henshin,” I whispered. We then formed our suits and clashed.
“I will enjoy ripping you in half!” declared Rogue.
“You can try,” I challenged. “You’ll fail, like always. Super Charge.”
“SUPER CHARGE!” roared Rogue. We ran at each other as we became more powerful and drew our respective blades. We kept striking until we entered a blade lock. “It doesn’t look like your belt hasn’t given you any more power!” laughed Proto-Rift.
“You rely too much on your tech,” I mused. “Besides, I can see freed hostages right now, one of my objectives is complete.” Proto-Rift whirled around to see Sheela’s parents being freed. The hostages were safe in the training field. Hongo then struck his henshin pose as Tanisha and Tonje took out their i.d tags.
“Rider…” began Hongo.
“Henshin!” announced my friends. The trio then transformed and attacked the rest.
“I’ve just about had it! Dai Super Charge!” shouted Proto-Rift. His bulky armor flew off and we ducked in time. Rift then charged our ranks, knocking me down in the process. “Your heart may be in the right place, Megumi,” he snarled before he kicked me in the chest. “But, you have much to learn before you can, ever again, hope to stand your ground against me. A moment, sadly, that will never come!” He raised his blade.
“A-MA-ZON!” roared Daisuke’s voice. Amazon then tackled Rift. “Jaguar Shock!” he announced before he clamped his jaws onto Rift’s arm.
“GET AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER!” shouted Okaa-san before she leapt onto Rift’s head and started slamming her fists down on his head. Rift then flung the two off him and grabbed their throats. At that time, my belt started glowing. I looked down, realizing what was going on.
“Are you…certain…I’m worthy of this power?” I asked.
“You have no idea,” assured Vortoranii. My belt then started compressing into its original shape, but it kept the cream and gold. While that was going on, Rift was talking to Amazon and Okaa-san.
“I never faced you before, wild-man,” he mused. “And you, lady, oh, I remember you! You ruined what would have been the greatest experiment ever. So, if you will both kindly die, I will…” His voice trailed off as Amazon looked behind him. Hiro turned to see me with the new belt. His helmet’s eyes showed his real ones went wide. He then tossed his captives to the ground and charged at me. I held my hands up in the air, like in my final Super Charge pose, rotated them down to cross in front of me, then moved my left fist to my hip and held my right hand out with my pinky and thumb down.
“Dai Super Charge!” I announced. I then got into a fighting stance as the bulk of my armor flew off. My power increased and the previous armor struck Rift, knocking him flat. He picked himself up as everyone saw what I looked like now. I couldn’t see, but I could feel the power radiating from me. “Batman, Ichigō, Wyldstyle, Gandalf, Hunt, Swing, Amazon-sensei, to me,” I declared. All the people I named ran right to me and formed up. “Minna, catchphrase time. I will finish this time.”
“Kamen Rider Swing!” began Swing. “I’ll be taking your legs!”
“Kamen Rider Hunt! I shall always get my prey!”
“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!”
“Kamen Rider Amazon!” called Amazon. “I show you who is true king of jungle!”
“Kamen Rider Vortex,” I declared. “Evil will ultimately bow to me.” Rift twitched before he called up someone on his communicator.
“Drop the mountain on them!” he ordered. We looked up to see a mountain falling towards us. I readied my blade, charged it with energy, and swung it. The energy slash cleaved the mountain in two and the halves fell away from us. Rift was trembling in rage. “Kamen Rider Rift!” he roared. “Stand and deliver!” He readied his blade, but we were too quick for him. Batman threw a batarang. Gandalf charged it with magic, thus it exploded on contact with Rift’s blade. Wyldstyle built a catapult, asked Amazon to step on, and launched him while Amazon readied himself for his finisher.
“DAI SETSUDAN!” he announced as he sliced into Rift. Ichigō, Hunt, Swing, and I leapt into the air for our kicks.
“RIDER HUNT KICK!”
“RIDER SWING KICK!”
“RIDER VORTEX KICK!” Our kicks hit their mark and we landed. Rift’s transformation was canceled and Hiro started sparking. I got up to see that a look of defeat was in his eyes. “Hiro-san,” I commented, “I know we’ve had our differences and tried to kill each other.”
“I’m not hearing this!” snapped Okaa-san.
“But, I’m not without mercy,” I assured. “Let us help you and I promise you WILL be safe from Vortech’s wrath.” I held out my hand. “What say you?” Hiro snarled.
“You…just want…information!” he spat. “And…even if you didn’t, I will never…accept help…from…you! You…robbed me…of my advantage! You robbed me…of any respect I’ve had within…Shocker Rift! You…disgraced me…in the eyes…of Igura! I have nothing! And…I will give you…nothing!” He stood up. “Shocker…Gundan……BANZAI!” (Long live the Shocker Army!). He exploded, leaving nothing but ash. The enemy retreated, taking Sludgiona with them.
“Stupid man!” shouted Hunt.
“Yes,” I muttered, “I was rather hoping he would accept.”
“What for?!” called Okaa-san.
“He was right,” I replied. “I needed information. I also wanted to show him that mercy isn’t weakness. It seems he didn’t accept that.”
“Vorton to Team Chima,” called X-PO’s voice. “We’re reading a massive power signature. What’s going on?”
“Megumi just became Kamen Rider Vortex,” reported Ichigō.
“And there was a hostage situation here in Chima,” I supplied. “Tell everyone that our loved ones are safe, but Ichimonji, Robin, MetalBeard, and Frodo are still in Vortech’s clutches.”
“And we’ve got the Foundation Element!” called Wyldstyle.
“I’ll open a rift!” cheered X-PO.
“Everyone!” roared a voice. Lagravis, Crominus, and Ewald came running up. Lagravis clapped eyes on me. “Who are you?” he asked.
“It’s me, Megumi, Your Majesty,” I assured as we cancelled our transformations.
“So, your training is over?” asked Ewald.
“Indeed, it is,” I confirmed. “We must be going now.” A portal opened for us.
“Will you stay with us?” Hongo asked Daisuke.
“I must go home,” replied Daisuke. “Call me if you need me.”
“We’ll get you home when we get to Vorton,” I promised.
“Before you go,” called Crominus as he drew out a bag, “my son found these. Please accept them as a gift for getting rid of Shocker Rift.” You guessed it. Studs.
“390,000 studs,” counted Vortoranii. “We’re at 2,004,000 now.” A rift opened for us.
“You have my thanks,” I said as I accepted the gift.
“And you have ours,” replied Lagravis. We bowed to each other before my team, our families, and I departed.