It took an hour of deliberation for the Cendeberon jury before they returned with their decision. “Does the jury have a verdict?” asked Legowltor.
“We, the Jury,” answered one of the Cendeberons, “find the Defendant, the Experimental Portal Operator of Vorton, guilty of willfully endangering students of After Academy.”
“Then, as Judge presiding over this case,” boomed Legowltor, “I sentence X-PO to the maximum prison sentence. A full century in Multi-Max with no chance of parole.” The resounding bang of his gavel echoed throughout the courtroom, affirming his decision. “Court is adjourned.” The Bailiff disabled X-PO’s ability to move on his own and carried him off to Multi-Max, where the worst criminals of the multiverse were incarcerated. We filed out after him, our heads hanging low. Never had I felt so betrayed. Richard had his hands on my shoulders in reassurance. X-PO was taken into the police car and it sped off, disappearing into a portal. Legowltor then approached us. “I understand how hard it is,” he sighed. “His role in the Vortech Wars is known to me. I do regret what I had to do…”
“Like you said,” I mumbled, “you had to do it.”
“…Yes, I did,” confirmed Legowltor sadly.
“Oh, for the love of…!” groaned a voice. It was Edgeworth’s.
“Is there a problem?” asked Legowltor.
“My multiversal plane has been cancelled due to a convergence of two universes about to occur!” explained Edgeworth.
“Well, my ship can get you home safely,” I offered.
“Hold it!” called Edgeworth. “Does it have a cloaking device like a multiversal plane would?”
“Well, we haven’t installed one yet, but it WILL get you home,” I replied.
“Objection!” dismissed Edgeworth. “Any vessel outside of my native universe that has no means of getting me there discreetly is a no-go!”
“Objection overruled, Mr. Edgeworth,” I replied. “It’s better than the alternative.”
“I don’t see how,” remarked Edgeworth.
“Well, it involves this first class ticket on a plane that CAN get you home…” I began.
“Now that sounds delightful!” interrupted Edgeworth. “Why wouldn’t I want that?”
“Because you’d be sitting next to the person who bought it for the entire trip,” I answered.
“Edgy-poo, I’m here!” called a voice. “Come to Wendy!”
“Permission to come aboard!” decided Edgeworth.
“All traffic will end!” barked a Dalek’s voice. A couple of people were then shot with a Dalek gunstick! They fell as us Riders got ready.
“Rider…” began Hongo.
“HENSHIN!” we called. As we transformed, we dashed towards the source of the shots. There was a new Dalek themed Kamen Rider, but the belt looked different to Caan’s. It had a miniature version of a Dalek’s limbs that stuck to the side of a wheel while the Dalek Gaia Memory rested behind the wheel. I could guess who was wearing the suit.
“Metaltron, I presume,” I guessed.
“I am Kamen Rider Ex!” barked the Rider in a Dalek voice. “Multiversal traffic will cease unless you surrender the Experimental Portal Operator!”
“I hate to spoil your fun…actually, no, I don’t, X-PO’s on his way to Multi-Max,” I replied.
“Bring him to me!” commanded Metaltron, Kamen Rider Ex.
“Not a chance!” I declared. “He’s betrayed my trust in him, he’s going to suffer the consequences!”
“…Then you are of no use!” barked Ex as she leveled her new gun. Just then, she was tackled by Elkrandek! As she picked herself up, Elkrandek stood in defiance of her.
“Trying to get my former client under your wing?” he hissed. “I think not!”
“You are a Defense Attorney!” barked Ex. “Your duty is to your client, no matter its verdict!”
“My duty is to the truth!” argued Elkrandek. “Given what X-PO revealed about himself in court earlier today, I see no reason to continue this farce!” He took out a belt similar to Den-O’s and fastened it to his waist. Mountaineer music played as he held out his pass. “Henshin!” he called. He then swiped the pass.
“Rampage Form!” called the belt. His armor appeared and a moose traveled down the face before folding in such a way that the antlers became his eyes.
“The truth above all!” he declared. “You face Kamen Rider Stampede!”
“EXTERMINATE!” shouted Ex as she fired. We all got out of the way, then managed to get in close so she wouldn’t use that gun of hers. Elkrandek, Kamen Rider Stampede, swung a punch to her gut while Batman kicked her head. She was momentarily disoriented until she took her Gaia Memory out and inserted it into the gun.
“DALEK! MAXIMUM DRIVE!” called the gun. She pulled the trigger and a large blast of energy hit behind us, knocking us off our feet!
“This is getting us nowhere!” hissed Stampede.
“We have to keep her still!” I planned aloud. “Can you distract her?”
“Permit me!” called Legowltor’s voice. He charged in while his gavel grew and he slammed it into Ex.
“…That works,” I replied. “GUYS! NOW!” We activated our respective gimmicks while Ichigō leapt into the air.
“Final attack!” called the Vortex Drivers.
“Full Charge!” announced Stampede’s belt. Energy gathered around his foot as he ran towards Ex.
“RIDER ROYAL KICK!”
“RIDER GUARD KICK!”
“RIDER TOUCHÉ KICK!” Rusty fired a low yield blast from her gun, Gandalf fired a magic blast, Batman threw a batarang, Wyldstyle had built a large cannon and fired, Legowltor slammed his giant gavel onto the ground and created a shockwave, and we Riders kicked our target, causing Ex to explode and the Dalek Memory to fall out of the Driver, making her revert back into Metaltron. She grabbed the Memory again and took out a communicator.
“Requesting immediate retrieval!” she shouted into it. A portal then opened beneath her and she fell into it. We returned to our civilian forms and caught our breath.
“I must admit,” panted Legowltor, “that was exciting! I’ve never had a decent fight in ages, not since I came across a fair maiden. She was a human of Edgeworth’s universe, a beautiful girl by the name of Wendy.”
“Leggy?” asked a woman’s voice. We turned up to see an old woman in a security guard’s outfit in an embrace with Edgeworth who was trying to get away. This was Wendy Oldbag from the Ace Attorney franchise. Legowltor’s eyes went wide.
“Sweet Wendy?” he gasped. Wendy let Edgeworth go as she and Legowltor ran up to each other. They ran a hand down the other’s cheek before committing to a kiss. “Wendy, it’s really you!” cheered Legowltor.
“Oh, Legowltor, it’s been too long!” replied Wendy, the tears of happiness forming in her eyes. “I’m so sorry you have to see me like this, an old, grey woman.”
“Come now,” countered Legowltor. “You are as radiant as when we first met! That, I promise!” While they were catching up, we motioned for Edgeworth to join us. He had no objections to that.
“Oh, Leggy, why did you not come to see my folks that night?” asked Wendy.
“I went to Apartment 2B like you said,” replied Legowltor, “but you and your folks weren’t…”
“2B?!” yelped Wendy. “YOU DEAF IDIOT! I NEVER SAID 2B!”
“Oh, yes, you did!” insisted Legowltor. The argument continued long after we returned to the Virginia to take Edgeworth home. Elkrandek had decided to use the train he was living on.
No Sources, no new allies, no belt, no dead Vortex Riders, my situation was NOT good. The Daleks were getting angrier and angrier by the minute, the Combatmen’s morale was sub-par, and my fleet was still in the process of replenishing its numbers. To be frank, I just sat there in a stew. As I stared, my comms chimed. “Speak,” I grumbled.
“This is Igura,” replied a voice I loved hearing. “We have something for you in the Science Lab.”
“On my way,” I declared as I left my office. I strode through the corridors and passed by a couple of Combatmen.
“Hiro-sama,” said one. …What?
“You there!” I barked. The Combatman stopped and turned to face me. I noticed that his armor looked a lot more sturdy. “Did you say something?” I asked.
“I did,” replied the Combatman. “Igura-sama upgraded all of our vocalizers. Now we’re not stuck saying ‘YEE!’ all the time.”
“I take it she upgraded the armor?” I guessed.
“She did,” answered the Combatman.
“…Very well,” I finished. “Carry on.” Just a few more turns in the corridors and I arrived at the Science Lab where she and a few Scientist Daleks were working on something. Their blue casings gleamed in the lights of the Lab. I cleared my throat to announce my presence. Igura turned to face me. “I just spoke to an upgraded Combatman,” I revealed. “Concern for our numbers?”
“We can’t afford any more casualties,” explained Igura. “We need better armor until our numbers are at acceptable levels.”
“Understandable,” I mused. I then noticed what they were working on. “…That’s an Android Phone,” I observed.
“No, it’s your new Conquest Driver,” corrected Igura. “The a.i in the thing is limited, so no unhelpful commentary.”
“That’s a plus,” I replied. “So, how does it work?”
“Scientist 3387948,” called Igura to one of the Scientist Daleks, “activate the presentation.”
“I obey!” barked Scientist 3387948. It keyed in a command and a screen came down from the ceiling. It then started projecting how it works while Igura explained the pictures.
“First, slide back the panel on the phone’s back and insert your i.d. tag,” she instructed. “Next, key in the three-digit numeric passcode that you are going to set up when first activating the phone. Then, press the button on the bottom of the screen to have it summon your suit. It won’t put itself on until you say ‘Henshin!’ Once you say it, insert the phone onto the swivel and swing it down, then to the left until the phone clicks in the harness. The suit will then put itself onto you.”
“Is it ready for testing?” I asked.
“Whenever you are,” replied Igura as she handed me the belt with the phone harness for the buckle. My guns rested at their usual places. I set up the phone, inserted the i.d. tag into the back, typed in my new passcode (073), and pressed the button before thrusting it out in front of me.
“Henshin!” I called. I then put it onto the swivel and moved it until the phone’s screen was facing outwards. The suit then formed. “A perfect fit!” I praised. “And the Super Charge and Dai Super Charge sequences?”
“Press the button once for Super Charge,” explained Igura. “Press it again for Dai Super Charge. Press it twice in rapid succession while in your base form to immediately activate Dai Super Charge. Try it out.” I pressed the button twice as Igura instructed.
“Dai Super Charge!” I announced. My armor bulked up and exploded off of me to reveal my Kamen Rider Rift armor. “Perfect! You’ve done remarkably!” I then noticed a new device. “And what’s this, hm?”
“The Daleks had gotten schematics on that Sonic Screwdriver the Doctor uses,” replied Igura. “So, in the interests of science and our arsenal, I decided to make some for the troops. I’m just adding a few features the Doctor would never approve of.”
“Ah, so the troops are getting their own magic wands?” I mused.
“…Like I said, Sonic Screwdriver,” corrected Igura.
“Call it whatever you will,” I replied, “I say it’s a magical device that can perform a multitude of tasks with a simple spell, such as unlocking doors or acting as a crude laser. It’s a magic wand.”
“Well, what you’re holding,” grumbled Igura, “is one of our failed attempts. …Don’t give me that look! I tried studying Gallifreyan technology under the circumstances, but if it’s beyond the Daleks, it’s beyond us!”
“Nothing is beyond the…!” argued another Scientist Dalek.
“You, shut up!” ordered Igura. She turned back to me. “In any event,” she continued, “half of the circuitry inside a Sonic Screwdriver is actually bigger than the shell. Much like the TARDIS, it’s bigger on the inside and, while the Daleks HAVE dabbled in engineering dimensions, they’ve just been proceeding on what little bits they’ve taken from the Time Lords.”
“Yeah, the Time Lords don’t really share their scientific secrets,” I conceded. “Er, how do I…?” I gestured at the suit.
“Hold the button down for three seconds,” instructed Igura. “That’s standard for whatever form or Steel you’re in.” I did so and my suit disappeared.
“How are we doing on conventional weapons?” I asked.
“Much better in that area,” reported Igura. “If you would come with me to the firing range.” We went out of the Lab.
“Tell me, again, why we needed this place?!” I growled at Caan.
“Come now,” replied Caan, “don’t you want to turn your prison into a palace?” We had set up shop in the GeoComTex Vault, Van Statten’s base of operations. We had to exterminate anyone still dwelling there.
“What I want,” I argued, “is to return to my original form!”
“And you WILL,” assured Caan, “once we destroy Vortech.”
“We’ve lost our chance of having a portal operator to find him!” I hissed.
“Not really,” replied Caan. “There are OTHERS, others that I have contacted.”
“…Can we trust them?” I asked.
“We can trust them to do their job in finding Vortech,” answered Caan. “When the time is right, we will strike. Hopefully, they will stand with us and not against us.”
“Can we really trust that this…‘Convergence’ is going to happen?” I muttered.
“We can,” chuckled Caan. “On top of me seeing it, her future straight up confirmed it for us. I can still see it. She will be fighting Vortech with a childish red robot and a black kitsune.”
After Edgeworth was returned home, we had a celebration party on Vorton. At least, everyone else did. I just sat in my normal clothes and stared off into space on the upper level, the minor Gateways behind me. My mind was reeling from what happened after we retrieved the Sources the first time. Just then, a voice interrupted my thoughts, Alesandro’s voice, to be precise. “Megumi, what are you doing just sitting alone for?!” he asked. “We defeated Shocker Rift! That’s cause for celebration, ¿verdad?” (True?)
“I don’t feel like celebrating,” I mumbled.
“…¿Por qué?” (Why?) asked Alesandro.
“Alesandro, I hurt you in so many ways,” I replied.
“That was X-PO’s doing,” answered Alesandro. “We’ve all learned that.”
“I still acted against my conscience,” I countered. “I kept something from you new guys and it almost tore us apart. X-PO may have orchestrated it, but most of the time, I was the one who made the decision and I was the one who made you feel manipulated. X-PO saw us as the means to an end and I swore I would never view you guys as such. Now, here we are because I broke my vow.”
“You’re not X-PO,” replied Alesandro. “You’re not Hiro. You’re not Vortech. The best way to NOT be any of them is to wake up and hang out with your friends. Come on down and celebrate with us.” I considered, then grinned.
“Let me get dressed up,” I answered. I headed down to my old room during the Vortech Wars and got into my more regal dress. First came the top of the gown, then the skirts, then my sleeves, then my makeup, and finally the crown. I then joined everyone and danced the night away with Richard. He then pulled me to the center of the Gateway room.
“Everyone,” he began, “we’ve all had our ups and downs here. Together, we’ve persevered. However, Megumi and I can’t do this as we are.” Richard, what are you saying? “Not when we can take it a step further. Megumi, as you know, I’m terrible with fancy words. So, I’ll just ask plainly.” He then got down on one knee and pulled out a little box. My eyes went wide as I guessed what was going to happen next! He then slowly opened the box and revealed…a ring with a little diamond on it! “Hishikawa Megumi, will you be my wife?” The tears of joy came down my face as I held Richard in a tight embrace!
“YES! YES! A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!” I answered. I released him so he could put the ring on my finger. The crowd cheered and clapped at the scene before them. Kaitlyn, Kaede, hang on just a minute longer! Mommy and Daddy have a wedding to plan!