It didn’t take long to find the Quad, at least, if we’re going by time alone. Thanks to the help of the Ironside Dalek, the one that Battle decided to call Tetley, and the Special Weapons Dalek, who Rusty started calling Ab, for Abomination, we found it. By my view, on the other hand, it took an eternity. We found it in Ichigō’s universe. “Sento,” I said, “we’re going to need you.”
“Got it!” declared Sento as he equipped the Build Driver. He shook the Fullbottles and set them into the Driver.
“RABBIT! TANK! BEST MATCH!” He then turned the crank. “ARE YOU READY?!”
“Henshin!” said Sento. The suit then formed.
“HAGANE NO MOONSAULT! RABBITTANK! YAY!” Kamen Rider Build was ready.
“Let’s go!” I declared as I opened a rift beneath us. We traveled to the Kamen Rider universe to see the others already fighting the Quad.
“HEY! THERE YOU ARE!” shouted Den-O in his Climax Form. Kiva had the blue left arm, a green right arm, and a purple chest. Wizard was in his Flame Dragon Style. Ex-aid was piloting a giant mech that looked like his face. OOO was using the Tajador combo. Kabuto was in his slimmer state. Fourze’s suit was red and had a fire motif. Brave had armor over his usual suit that looked demonic. W was in FangJoker mode. Ghost’s suit was red and black. Para-DX was in his Puzzle Gamer state. Poppy was still Poppy. Drive was wearing armor that made him look like a Formula-1 race car. Bravo was still Bravo. Gaim looked a lot like a Shogun in complete armor, with twin sashimono with his symbol on them. Amazon was swiping at the Vortexons pooling at the Quad’s feet. Stronger was there too, sporting silver trim. Decade had a shoulder band of all the Kamen Ride cards in a row going across his shoulders, pink eyes, and his own Kamen Ride card on his head. The pink part of the Decadriver was at his right hip and in its original place was some sort of phone.
“You cannot defeat us!” declared the Quad. “We are too powerful!”
“Ichimonji, come to your senses!” Stronger yelled.
“He can’t hear you right now!” shouted Ichigō as we joined in the fray.
“Build,” I suggested, “now might be a good time to power up.”
“Excellent idea,” agreed Build as he pulled out a red device with some sort of clear lid covering a blue button. He opened the lid and pressed the button.
“MAX HAZARD ON!” it warned. He put it into the Build Driver and took out a long tube, gold and black on one end, silver and black on the other. He shook it and it mad jumping noises a few times. He then twisted the gold cap end as a red light flashed on the silver end. The twist revealed a rabbit’s head.
“RABBIT!” announced the tube in the Build Driver’s voice. He pulled the tube apart and joined it at the sides, putting it into the Build Driver. “RABBIT AND RABBIT!” said the tube before the Build Driver took over.
“BUILD UP!” it said. It then looped on “Don Ten Kan! Don Ten Kan!” onomatopoeia for heavy machinery starting up. Build then turned the crank and the belt looped on “Gata Gata Gotton! Zutan Zuttan!” onomatopoeia for heavy machinery really going to town. He then stopped as a red rabbit machine hopped into view and an injection molding template surrounded Build. “ARE YOU READY?!” said the belt.
“Build Up!” ordered Build. The template slammed onto him, then retracted back into the belt to reveal him in a black suit with only the RabbitTank eyes in color.
“OVERFLOW!” announced the Build Driver. The mechanical rabbit then split apart. Its front legs went onto Build’s forearms, its rear legs onto his lower legs, and the head and body formed chest armor while a faceplate came down his head, making the eyes both rabbit and having gold trim around them. “KURENAI NO SPEEDY JUMPER!” (The Crimson Speedy Jumper) the Build Driver said. “RABBITRABBIT! YABEI! HAEI!” (Look out! Too fast!) He then stretched his arm as he punched!
“What are you, Mr. Fantastic?!” yelped Guard.
“Can we focus already?!” I shouted. We continued fighting, soon thinning out the Vortexons, but the Quad had opened a rift beneath him. “AFTER HIM!” I ordered everyone. Even the Riders we met along the way had joined us. Our new destination was on the side of a building.
“This isn’t Gotham,” declared Batman.
“Nor is this Middle-Earth,” Gandalf pointed out, “unless they’ve redecorated.” Wyldstyle shook her head.
“It’s the Octan Tower,” she revealed. “Except gravity’s all wrong.” Benny the Spaceman came up.
“Gravity’s all wrong?” he asked. “I think I would have noticed something like that!” He was under an outcropping as a rift from above him sucked him in.
“That’s just…terrifying,” gulped Fourze.
“As I was saying,” Wyldstyle resumed, “we should be falling towards that!” She pointed to an energy vortex of darkness at the bottom of the tower. “I mean, I’m glad we’re not.”
“As am I!” assured Gaim.
“The Quad’s already altering this dimension,” said Batman. “Let’s move.” The Quad then appeared. It leveled its cannon arm at us and fired! We got out of the way and landed on the platforms that were just floating there. The Quad’s heads rotated towards each other, each shifting their attention to another, appearing to be in a debate, before it retreated.
“We control the elements!” it spoke. “We control ALL the gateways! Element of fire, the Quad!” Gandalf doubled over in pain as he gripped his Keystone gauntlet. The Quad was then surrounded in the aura that the fire element is associated with.
“It’s triggered a Keystone?” asked Wyldstyle.
“What other powers has Vortech given it?” wondered Decade.
“I don’t know,” I said, “but I don’t intend to find out!” The Quad set some areas on a platform, the one we were travelling towards, on fire.
“Two can play at that game!” declared Gandalf. “Elemental Keystone, activate! Element of earth, Batman!”
“Earth? Why?” asked OOO.
“Because we can use that seedling there!” Gandalf pointed out the seedling.
“One minute,” said Outback as he swapped i.d. tags.
“Batman Steel!” announced his belt. His armor changed and he fired a grapple gun at a bookcase, pulling it down. Batman then used his current earth powers to make the seedling grow into a vine bridge to the next platform. The Quad’s heads then turned to each other to debate, then agree on something.
“Anybody else see that?” asked Kämpfer.
“The Quad debating with itself?” I asked.
“That’s the one,” Kämpfer confirmed.
“It seems this abomination,” ruminated Batman, “has different personalities which can influence the world, just like the Keystones can.”
“That’s something to use to our advantage,” mused Clash. “Endless debate.”
“We’ve got more immediate concerns,” Wizard pointed out. “That fiery path there is also electrified!” He pointed out the path to the next platform.
“I got this,” assured Batman. He threw a batarang at a switch, making another one pop up.
“And I got THIS,” declared Den-O as he pulled the switch. The electricity switched off, so it was just fire. “Okay! Hit me!” demanded Den-O.
“But not an actual hit,” he then said in Urataros’ voice.
“THEY KNOW WHAT I MEANT!” shouted Momotaros’ voice.
“Element of water, Den-O!” declared Gandalf. Den-O led the way as he doused the flames. Wyldstyle then started twitching.
“Master Builder senses, tingling!” she said excitedly.
“Mind if I assist?” asked Zhànshì. He swapped i.d. tags.
“Wyldstyle Steel!” announced his belt. He and Wyldstyle then built a tightrope end out of a desk and some speakers. The rope was thrown near the Quad and we all rappelled down to it. Sadly, the Quad opened a rift before we could do anything and we went tumbling through the vortex. We managed to hit a few bits of rubble that tumbled with us. We soon landed in a pit, looking almost like a forge. A giant tree landed in the pit as Orcs came to chop it up.
“Up there!” yelped Battle. We looked up to see the Quad climbing Orthanc! We were in Middle-Earth again!
“As you can see,” said the Quad in its collective, monotonous voice, “nothing can stop us. Lord Vortech’s one, true dimension will be a reality!”
“I don’t believe it!” shouted Gandalf. “These Orc forges are below Isengard! I will not allow Middle-Earth to be destroyed!”
“Neither will we!” I declared. “Start climbing!” Ichigō then felt pain in his left arm.
“I think the Quad’s activated the Scale Keystone!” he gasped.
“We can use that to our advantage,” I mused as I saw a vent. “Ichigō-san, if you please?”
“Lessen scale of Royal!” Ichigō ordered his Keystone. I shrank and saw a push switch. I pushed it hard and a bucket was raised by a rope. I came out and Ichigō restored me to my normal height.
“My turn,” said Wizard. He flipped the WizarDriver’s levers and rotated the hand.
“Lupachi magic, touch to go!” it chanted before Wizard scanned a ring. “Levitate, please!” it said before Wizard made the bucket fly into the air and dump the contents. Gandalf used his own magic to assemble a ladder. When it was finished, a rift dumped a pair of clouds and a rainbow to make a path upwards.
“That’s a piece of Cloud Cuckoo Land!” gasped Wyldstyle.
“Okay,” I declared, “we have to stop this madness!” We climbed upwards to find another vent, a long one that wrapped around the top of another ledge. The Orcs had already broken the ladder, so Wyldstyle used a table to make another one.
“One of you, get on top!” ordered Ichigō. Claw went up top and dispatched the Orcs. “Is there a breach in the vent?!” asked Ichigō.
“Yes,” confirmed Claw. “A large one, big enough for two patches. I can see both of them here!”
“Enlarge scale of Claw!” Ichigō told his Keystone. She grew and applied the patches to the vents. “Lessen scale of Herald G and Herald Y!” Both Herald Riders shrunk and Herald Y went under the dangling piece. “Enlarge scale of Herald Y!” Herald Y grew and Herald G crawled into the vent, messing with the electronics. She then went to the upper ledge when she saw another dangling bit.
“Ichigō, I need to shrink!” requested Claw.
“Lessen scale of Claw!” Ichigō told the Keystone. Claw then went under the dangling bit.
“Okay, make me grow again!” she said.
“Enlarge scale of Claw!” Ichigō told his Keystone again. Claw grew and Herald G proceeded to mess with the electronics again. All of a sudden, a giant water wheel started moving. It led to a higher ledge.
“I think that did it!” said Wyldstyle. “Let’s get going!”
“Normalize scales of Claw, Herald G, and Herald Y!” Ichigō ordered his Keystone. We then traveled up the water wheel and fought our way through Orcs to get to an elevator. Once we got through, the elevator took us up to the base of Orthanc.
“Sorry, no admission!” declared the Quad.
“Something lies within the Tower of Orthanc,” guessed Gandalf, “it wishes to remain hidden.”
“Then let’s discover it!” I declared.
“YOU SHALL NOT PASS!” boomed the Quad.
“Plagiarist!” I responded.
“It’s one thing to deny us entry,” agreed Gandalf, “but quite another to steal a man’s words!”
“Guys! Look!” exclaimed Wyldstyle. She had pointed out a Chroma Lock design scattered across the Orc flags. An orange left L-shape, a purple right L-shape, and a blue circle.
“It looks like the Chroma Discs are up high,” said OOO. He was right. Two of them were in cages and one of them was on a platform.
“Get them down!” I ordered. Batman pulled one down while Gandalf magicked the other down.
“Chroma Keystone, activate!” Wyldstyle told her Keystone. “Chroma Lock, reveal! Chroma! Red! Brave! Chroma! Yellow! Den-O! Chroma! Blue! Fourze!” The three Riders jumped into the paint blobs and then arranged themselves into the Chroma Lock. Fourze landed in the blue circle, then joined Brave in the right L-shape, then Brave joined Den-O in the left L-shape. Orthanc’s doors then opened while the Quad fired on us. The tower was hiding another rift as it sucked us in. This time, the Quad followed us. We landed on a rooftop. Over in the sky, we saw the Bat signal!
“Gotham,” said Batman. “We’re in Gotham. I recognize this city anywhere.”
“The Quad was right behind us, right?” I inquired.
“Now that you mention it, yes,” confirmed Guard. “So, where is it?”
“Guys, over there!” yelped Touché. She pointed to three rifts in the sky with images in them. They were of Wyldstyle, Gandalf, and Ichigō’s worlds. They seemed to be bleeding into each other.
“That looks bad,” said Bravo.
“A by-product of Vortech’s tampering?” I wondered.
“Possibly,” said Build. As soon as he made the guess, four people arrived. One was a black man with most of his body in metal. The second was a green-skinned kid with pointy ears. The third was an orange-skinned girl with red hair, green eyes, and a purple skirt and top. The last was a young woman with ashen grey skin, purple and black hair, a navy cloak and hood, and a leotard with long sleeves.
“Titans, what are you doing here?!” demanded Batman.
“We had the Bat signal on for a week now, after this nonsense started!” explained the cyborg.
“So you thought it was a good idea to go into a battle zone without Robin,” snapped Batman. “Very good leadership, Cyborg. Didn’t any of you object?!”
“It didn’t seem right to object,” said the girl in the cloak.
“You, of all people, Raven?!” groaned Batman.
“After I felt Robin vanish,” explained Raven, “I knew something was up. We’ve searched for weeks, Beast Boy staying in animal forms for longer than ever.”
“It wasn’t exactly pleasant,” said the green kid.
“When this mess started,” began Cyborg, “and you weren’t here, I felt someone had to protect Gotham.”
“What about Jump City?” asked Batman.
“The League of Justice is doing the protecting of our home,” explained the orange girl. I think her name was Starfire, or something. I don’t know, the only heroes in the DC universe I know of are Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. In any event, the conversation was cut short. The bleeding rifts closed, allowing a clean one to open, deposit various items from the forges below Isengard, and letting the Quad land near us. It towered over the building, giving us a sense of insignificance.
“…Batman, we’re gonna need the Titans’ help,” I muttered.