Kamen Rider Vortex Kamen Rider Vortex Chapters

Chapter 16

Back with the main baddies, Vortech was being shouted at from Hiro. “WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO DO?!” shouted Hiro. “You just rolled up and told the Daleks about the Scale Keystone in the hopes that they would join you, let it get caught by the Vortex Riders, and you’re doing NOTHING to stop them?! Vortech, you have lost your tiny little mind!!”

“What use is the Scale Keystone to those absurd little heroes?” asked Vortech. “All that Keystone can be is a plaything for children.”

“You seem to forget that children are trying to stop us!” protested Hiro. “They have Chen’s staff! A Foundation Element! Remember that you hired me to get such things so you can make universes collide?”

“We can retrieve it at our leisure,” dismissed Vortech. “If anything, you may be doubting Igura’s ability to get the Foundation Element from Dimension D-0-C-T-0-R-W-H-0.”

“It’s about time for the winning team to return,” chuckled Ambassador Hell. The portal opened and revealed Igura and her Shocker Nova team stepping through. “Wait, where’s my team?!” shrieked Ambassador Hell.

“They had encountered a race called the Cybermen,” explained Igura. “They tried to beat them but failed. A few were destroyed, most were converted. My team, on the other hand,” she produced a Dalek gunstick from behind her back, “had no casualties. One Foundation Element, as you requested.” A small, groaning noise escaped from Vortech while Ambassador Hell slapped his face.

“Subarashi!” (Awesome!) cheered Hiro. He turned to Vortech and Ambassador Hell. “You know the deal. Igura must choose what meal you two cook.”

“I’d like some Nikujaga,” ordered Igura. “And the meat must be sweet.”

“We’ll need some time to prepare,” muttered Ambassador Hell.

“We can wait two days, so you can get the meal right,” chuckled Igura. Vortech and Ambassador Hell stormed off.

“Well, that should give him something to chew on,” mused Hiro.

“Yee?” asked a Shocker Nova Combatman.

“Well,” explained Hiro, “Vortech’s been nonchalant about the fact that the self-proclaimed ‘Vortex Riders’ have a new size changing Keystone, calling it a toy.”

“Yee!” snapped the Combatman.

“I agree,” replied Igura. “Those Keystones have provided powers and they’ve proven proficient with those powers. Who’s to say they won’t use size-changing to their advantage?”

“There’s one last Keystone,” reported Hiro, “and our new Ring-bearer should be able to find it soon.”

“Speaking of which,” asked Igura, “you said that you had to bring his fortress there and put the Ring in that eye on top?”

“Exactly,” confirmed Hiro. “If necessary, we’ll have to send his forces along with him.”

“Let’s hope it works,” prayed Igura.

Back on Vorton, the TARDIS had arrived near the gateway. We had all explained who we are and what was going on to the Doctor. He was waving that wand of his, the sonic screwdriver, as he calls it, over Wyldstyle’s scanner as we walked out. Gandalf wanted to stay and explore more, but Batman and I got him out of there. “Okay,” finished the Doctor as he switched of the screwdriver, “I should be able to lock onto this, no problem.” He tossed it back to Wyldstyle and started examining the gateway. “Someone’s using this rift technology like a Gallifreyan Time Scoop. They’re pulling in monsters and madmen from everywhere.”

“We noticed,” muttered Batman.

“That doesn’t speak well of our security,” I mused. “If the enemy side can lock on to the gateway, it may know where we are.” The Doctor fiddled with the electronics inside the gateway and replaced the paneling once he was done.

“But THAT should stop whoever’s behind this tracking you from now on,” assured the Doctor. “No more rift loops. Speaking of which, I should go drop Mr. Kisaragi back in his own time and rescue the rest of you from one.” Batman took out one of the grapple guns he had and tossed it to the Doctor.

“You’ll need this,” he called. The Doctor looked uneasy as he held it.

“I usually take the stairs, but thanks,” muttered the Time Lord. “I’ll go finish up with the Daleks and their pals after I drop Gentarō off in his universe and time.”

“And we’ll deal with the rest,” assured Batman.

“Good,” confirmed the Doctor. He turned to Rusty and the Brigadier. “Are you sure you want to stay?”

“These people need additional technical support!” answered Rusty.

“Rusty’s right,” supported the Brigadier. “Having a witch work machinery doesn’t inspire confidence. It’s all taken care of. UNIT’s been notified.”

“Then see you lot later,” called the Doctor to us. “Or earlier.”

“Before you drop my past off in the Cyber-base with the rest of these guys,” stopped Gentarō, “give me this.” He handed the Fourze driver to the Doctor. “I don’t know where it came from as I destroyed it a while ago. Heinlein fans call it the bootstrap paradox, time travel theorists call it a causal loop, the Greeks call it begging the question, I call it a headache.”

“You googled the bootstrap paradox?” asked the Doctor as the space themed Kamen Rider stepped in.

“No, we all had a lecture by Michael,” explained Gentarō as the TARDIS started dematerializing. “And don’t listen to Kengo when he says I touch everything! That’s not true!” The TARDIS was gone, and so was its madman pilot.

“What an odd fellow,” mused Gandalf. He took out the Keystone to let it fly towards the gateway.

“The Scale Keystone!” cheered the voice “I’ll handle that.”

+GATEWAY 80% STABILIZED+ announced my belt

“Before you go, Mr. Gateway Guardian, we want answers!” I shouted to the sky. “Why is the enemy trying to get random objects? Why are our parents being held hostage? Why did the belts choose us to fight? And why are people from our fiction helping us?”

“And can the enemy be beaten?” asked Joshua.

“Only if Kamen Riders Apocalypse and Vortex can be found,” answered the voice. “Kamen Rider Apocalypse is supposed to be trained by all four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”

“Sounds like a team of Sauron’s forces,” gulped Gandalf.

“Nah, they’re nice Anthropomorphic personifications,” assured the voice. “They’re just really good at their jobs, especially Death. She’s actually very sociable.”

“Really?” I asked. I hadn’t expected the Grim Reaper to be friendly towards mortals. Then again, we all have an appointment with Death, so being friendly would ease their souls after Death makes a visit.

“And with Kamen Rider Vortex around,” continues the voice, “more dimensions can be visited.

“Who’s Vortex?” I asked.

“A Kamen Rider that can freely pass between dimensions,” explained the voice. “No need for a gateway. That Rider can even summon others to help from across the multiverse. It’s said that those with large amounts of imagination from a dimension where nothing super-powered exists can find this Rider. 16 fragments of a map were made and forged into belts.”

“Our Vortex Drivers,” guessed Joshua.

“You guys chose us because we were the most imaginative in our dimension?” asked Tanisha.


“But Batman’s real in his universe,” protested Xiomara.

+BUT NOT IN YOURS+ countered my belt.

“So, nerds are prized in the multiverse,” I mused. “We actually care about the fandoms we love. Whenever a change comes to a fandom and it changes the fandom for the worse, we try like Hell to protect the fandom’s integrity.”

“Like Sonic the Hedgehog and its changes,” supplied Emily. “That franchise became flawed during its run and fans try their best to get Sega to improve their mascot so the characters don’t fade in the background.”

“That’s why we’re chosen,” I guessed, “because, deep down, we’re fierce when it comes to our fandoms that we will fight to protect them, and the enemy just wants to slap us down, even going so far as to kidnap those that support us! They want us to just put our heads down like nerds were forced to do in the 80’s!”

“Well,” swore Hiroki, “all they’ve invited was defeat! If we’re the ones who’ve been asked to travel the multiverse to defeat our enemy, then we will!”

“That leaves those objects the enemy’s getting,” rasped Batman.

“They’re called Foundation Elements,” replied the voice. “They’re objects made to keep the multiverse stable.” It showed a set of images.

“Wait a minute, that’s kryptonite!” called Batman.

“That’s MetalBeard’s treasure!” yelped Wyldstyle.

“That’s Ichimonji’s Typhoon!” observed Hongo.

“That’s Mom’s necklace!” called Hiroki.

“Those are Dorothy’s ruby slippers!” shouted Emily.

“That’s the nuclear rod from Springfield Nuclear Power Plant!” called Richard.

“That’s Chen’s staff!” observed Michael.

“That’s a Dalek gun!” I yelped.

“More exist across the multiverse to keep each universe stable,” continued the voice.

“I don’t see the Ring,” realized Gandalf.


“We have to find the keystones and Kamen Rider Vortex,” I said. “If we’re the ones to stop the enemy, we’ll stop the enemy! Who’s with me!?!” We all gave a battle cry to show our unity, even the Brigadier and Rusty. Elphaba came up.

“What’s all that shouting?!” she snapped. “I’m trying to take a nap!”

“Come on, Elphaba,” I teased. “Haven’t you given a battle cry to give yourself energy to deal with a threat?”

“I never had many threats to my power,” responded Elphaba, “so, no, I haven’t.”

“We’re just shouting our cause to eliminate a long-term threat,” answered Emmanuel.

“There is an immediate threat that needs dealing with!” screeched Rusty. “The threat of gratitude! A reward will be dispensed on all of you so it can be neutralized!” Rusty opened his casing and, dear lord, Michael was not exaggerating on the gooey pilot inside the Dalek casing! Rusty’s innards were a tentacled blob of greenish, brown flesh with a single yellow eye, no visible mouth, and a smaller visible brain than the Emperor Dalek. It was practically strapped in with wires sticking into it. A longer tentacle hidden from the skirt section pulled a drawstring bag out and handed it to me. It was dripping with goo. I accepted it gingerly and opened it. More studs were inside.

“What’s the total number of studs we have now?” I asked my belt.

+STUDS IN BAG TOTAL 220,000+ replied my belt. +CURRENT CUMULATIVE STUD TOTAL IS NOW 600,000+

“Thank you,” I said to Rusty.

“You’re welcome!” responded Rusty as he closed his casing.

“Michael, why don’t you and Rusty tell me about the Daleks, in case we encounter them again,” suggested Batman.

“Very well!” replied Rusty. “The Daleks originally came from the planet, Skaro. We were once a race of humanoids called the Kaleds.”

“They were in a thousand-year nuclear war with the Thals,” continued Michael, “another race of humanoids that look a lot like Emmanuel, just without the dress and makeup.”

“They were tall and blonde?” asked Emmanuel.

“Yes,” confirmed Michael. “The resulting mutations from the fallout were accelerated by a disfigured Kaled scientist named Davros.”

“What he bred,” continued Rusty, “he placed into a travel machine designed for combat! He had removed all emotions and morals, except hatred!”

“And you’re one of the exceptions?” I asked Rusty.

“Only when the Doctor repaired me and linked my mind to his!” elaborated Rusty.

“Well now,” I mused, “interesting history of the Daleks.” My stomach growled.

“What was that?” yelped Rusty. “Was it a Dalek threat?!”

“No, just the threat of hunger,” I assured. “Who wants dinner?” Everyone, even Rusty and the Brigadier, said yes. “Wait, how can you guys eat?” I said to Rusty and the Brigadier.

“I can convert the food into an acceptable nutrient for Daleks!” replied Rusty. “Human food tastes better than the standard nutrients Daleks are given!”

“And Cybermen can eat when a recharge is insufficient,” continued the Brigadier, “but it requires the removal of the helmet and that can disrupt communication with other Cybermen. Now, I’m not going to be broken up about it, since I’m free.”

“Let’s get some grub then,” I suggested. We departed for the cafeteria.

War gasped for breath as she held her wound closed. “Never, in all of my existence,” she snarled as Death got bandages, “has a mortal ever beaten me!”

“Don’t talk,” whispered Death harshly as she started treating the wound. “The Daleks don’t exactly care that you’re immortal.”

“But the whole idea of an ant like him beating me!” roared War, angry as all Hell. “It’s infuriating! I didn’t spend my entire existence in battle just to be defeated by some idiot scientist who reverse engineered a transformation belt! A technology we entrusted to the Vortonians! I knew we should have kept it out of their reach! They should never have had that power! But no! No one listens to War, since she’s only a brute! Never mind the fact that she’s the most skilled in tactics and…!”

“Shut up!” hissed Death. “In case you forgot, I was in that fight too! The Vortonian military needed a final weapon to use so they could help the Tarlaxians.”

“Half of which are enslaved again!” snarled War. “Look at Turretorg! He was a very outspoken advocate for independence!”

“We’re not interrupting, are we?” wheezed a voice. War and Death turned to see a woman in full green plague doctor gear and a thin, yellow haired woman in baggy clothes constantly eating, but never gaining enough body mass to look healthy. They were Pestilence and Famine. All four horsemen had gathered. Pestilence knelt down to War’s wound. “Dear Lord, Death,” she wheezed. “You could have cleaned her wound! She may be immortal, but War isn’t immune to all diseases!”

“Why did you summon us?” mumbled Famine as she ate the candy bars she pulled out of her pockets.

“We need Kamen Rider Apocalypse NOW,” whispered Death.

“And you believe that to be Lacey?” grunted War. “She’s not from a null dimension like the Vortex Riders are! Who’s to say the Apocalypse Driver would accept her?”

“Doubtless, it could reject her if she’s untrained,” replied Famine as she swallowed, “but if we get her to the academy, it might help her in the long run.”

“I must agree with Famine,” wheezed Pestilence as she applied disinfectant to the wound. War tired her best not to wince from the disinfectant’s sting and Pestilence’s response.

“Don’t tell me you agree with Death!” she grunted.

“Only through the combined power of the Keystones and the two Savior Riders, Apocalypse and Vortex, will we finish Vortech!” argued Pestilence. “Lacey has proven herself to be open and understanding of us. She may be the best candidate for the mantle of Kamen Rider Apocalypse.”

“Besides,” mumbled Famine as she started scarfing down chicken nuggets, “she needs a better life. Her dad isn’t exactly supportive. You saw how he tried to destroy her death metal collection!” War considered for a moment as Pestilence wrapped her wound in gauze.

“Very well,” she finally grunted. “I’ll get her to our shared dimension.”

“No, you’re injured and need to rest,” whispered Death with a tone of finality. “Pestilence, you take War to the Healer. Famine, pick up Lacey. Take her to the academy, you have the necessary connections to get her registered.”

“What about the Vortex Riders?” asked War. “A shared dream haunts them.”

“Leave that to me,” answered Death. She mounted her horse. “Giddyap!” she said. The horse went through a portal she had made. Pestilence had War slung over her own horse as she rode while War’s horse ran after his rider. Famine mounted her gaunt looking horse and opened a portal to the Simpsons’ home world.

Kamen Rider Vortex Kamen Rider Vortex Chapters

Chapter 15

Dear Lord, can this day…no, shouldn’t even think that. The multiverse has creative ways of making it worse. First, we end up in a rift loop, then we get a headache from a lecture of the bootstrap paradox, then we end up in a base of more elegant looking Borg, and now we’re catching our breath in a graveyard, trying to pursue a giant head with an emotionless brain inside. Oh yeah, and one of the elegant Borg, the Cybermen, as they call themselves, helped us out and we met another Kamen Rider with a space shuttle motif. The Cyberman that helped us came to me. “Are you all right, young lady?” he asked in that same synthesized man’s voice that changed tone and showed emotion.

“Not really,” I answered. “I’m still reeling from that chase your people gave us. Why were they trying to kill you, anyways?”

“One,” argued the Cyberman, “they’re not my people, humanity is. Two, they don’t like individuals. You probably heard them say we’ll be like them.”

“I’d rather not,” muttered Gentarō.

“Do you have a name?” I asked.

“You might not know it, but I used to a part of the United Nations Intelligence Task force, UNIT for short,” explained the Cyberman. “Nowadays, in this time, the year 2487, I lead the Unified Nebular Intelligence Task force.”

“Ah, UNIT becomes a space army!” cheered Michael.

“It was around 2342,” continued the Cyberman. “They even let me keep my old title of Brigadier and my old codename of Greyhound One, head of my personal unit in UNIT, the Growling Greyhounds.”

“Wait,” interrupted Michael, “were you knighted for your service in the early 2000’s?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact,” confirmed the Cyberman. “Why? Do you know me?”

“In my world, you and your adventures with the Doctor were a work of fiction,” replied Michael.

“Then tell me, what was my wish and was it fulfilled?” asked the Cyberman.

“Your wish was to see your old friend and scientific advisor, the Doctor from Gallifrey, salute you,” explained Michael. “It was fulfilled as you took off to the skies into parts unknown. Your cybernization happened after you had died in bed. A female form of a rival of yours, the Master, now calling himself Missy and preferring female pronouns, had taken the dead of earth and made them into Cybermen. You had kept your emotions as well as a soldier called Danny Pink, who commanded the Cybermen there to self-destruct. You then saved the Doctor the trouble of shooting Missy by doing so yourself, although she survived.”

“What?!” snapped the Cyberman. “Even after she got rid of that absurd beard, she still slips away!”

“You can get her later,” assured Michael. He then turned to the rest of us. “Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.”

“I AM a Brigadier again,” explained Lethbridge-Stewart as he put on decorations signifying his rank, even a metal hat. “You can call me as such.” We then explained our backstories to the Brigadier. It took a while to take in for the man, but he got the idea of the situation.

“Very well, Brigadier,” answered Michael. “Shall we pursue the Cyber-King?”

“Yeah, pursue a head through a creepy graveyard,” I moaned.

“Let’s hope the dead do not rise on this surface,” muttered Gandalf. We got up and started opening a rusty gate. A Keystone transmitter was beyond the gate. The red chroma disc was also located, but we need to release it from its prison and find the others. As we approached an area that looked like a seed was coming out, a Cyberman stomped towards us. The Brigadier dispatched it easily. “My thanks,” reciprocated Gandalf. “Let’s see, Element of earth, Brigadier!” A green aura surrounded the Brigadier.

“What on Earth?” he yelped.

“Hold your hands together and point them at the seedling,” instructed Gandalf. The Brigadier stared at the wizard for a second, then he did as instructed. The seedling moved and sprouted two platforms and a mound of earth popped up with a boulder on top. “A curious arrangement,” mused Gandalf. He used his magic to jostle the boulder out of the mound, rather explosively. It sailed towards the crypt the Cyber-King was trying to hide on and chased it away to another base. Meanwhile, Gandalf had managed to calm the mini-volcano down and jumped on the next platform to the entrance of the crypt. The Brigadier followed. “Element of water, Gandalf!” called the wizard. As the blue aura surrounded him, Gandalf doused the flames to reveal a Chroma Lock design. The left L shape was blue, the circle was yellow, and the right L shape was red. Wyldstyle had managed to jimmy the lock surrounding the red chroma disc. A statue near us fell, revealing more Cybermen. Gandalf used his magic to throw rocks at their heads and knock them inoperable. He then started a search for the rest of the chroma discs.

“Gandalf, old chap,” called the Brigadier, “I believe what you’re looking for is under that grave.” Gandalf saw the grave Lethbridge-Stewart was talking about.

“I believe this will take more than an Elvish incantation to solve,” muttered the wizard.

“Let us help,” I answered. Lukas, Emily, and I got out our i.d tags.

“Henshin!” we announced. As we became our Rider selves, we swapped out our i.d tags for Gandalf’s.

“Gandalf Steel!” called our belts. Once the wardrobe dissolved, Lethbridge-Stewart rubbed his eyes.

“This is something the Doctor would appreciate,” mused the Brigadier. We then helped Gandalf with lifting the grave out and revealing the yellow chroma disc.

“Gandalf,” I called, “I believe that the statue the Cybermen knocked over could help us, if we can get it upright.”

“I do believe you’re right!” replied Gandalf. He, Kämpfer, Touché, and I got to work and set the statue upright. It was too high for us to reach, but Hongo and Wyldstyle got up easily. There was a dark area.

“Hongo, did you bring a flashlight?” asked Wyldstyle.

“I thought you did,” replied Hongo.

“Looks like we need to bring Gandalf up here,” muttered Wyldstyle.

“How?” asked Hongo.

“Let’s just say I can see a way,” answered Wyldstyle. She then used the debris where they were to build a small UFO. It hovered over Gandalf, brought him up using a tractor beam, set him down where Hongo and Wyldstyle were, and then whizzed off into a wall, exploding into a dozen or so pieces. Gandalf then lit up the dark area and brought out the blue chroma disc. “That’s all of them!” cheered Wyldstyle. “Chroma Keystone, activate! Chroma lock, reveal! Chroma! Blue! Gandalf!” Gandalf jumped into the blue paint and landed on the left L shape. “Chroma! Red! Royal!” I headed to the red paint, jumped in it, and landed in the shape next to Gandalf. “Chroma! Yellow! Brigadier!” The Brigadier jumped in as we did and landed in the circle. As the Brigadier admired his paint job, the lock design in the crypt made its surroundings shimmer and fade. The tombstones, the gate, the crypt, the creepy gate guarding the base on the other side of the graveyard, it all faded to reveal a hologram projector. “What?!” said Wyldstyle. “This whole thing was just a hologram?! I can’t help but notice that those statues are still here though.”

“Statues?” gulped Michael, a little worried.

“What, is there a…wait, Joshua, where are you?” I called. Our strong, silent Australian wasn’t with us. We started calling out his name. A horrible thought struck me. If we left him in the Cybermen’s base, oh please tell me that’s not true!

“Someone call?” shuddered a voice. The Australian accent made me breathe easy. We turned to see Joshua looking a little pale. I told everyone else to stay put as Emily and I ran up to him.

“Josh, are you alright?” Emily asked.

“Not particularly,” he answered. “Meg, Em, what are we doing?”

“I’m…not sure I understand,” I replied, flinching at being called ‘Meg’.

“What are we doing running around the dimensions?” asked Joshua. “We’re a pack of nerds! We’re activists of basic human rights, be they for gay rights, race rights, gender rights, or educational rights! We dress up for fun! We’re not warriors! We should be critiquing plot lines of our favorite shows, not be a part of one big plot that spans other universes! We don’t even know why we’re fighting Vortech! We don’t know how to beat him, much less stand against him! All we know is that he’s gathering artefacts to make universes collide! We don’t even know if there’s one of those artefacts in our universe and if our parents have it in their possession! I…” I noticed that his right hand was shaking. “This hand has been shaking ever since our belts came to our dimension. I’m scared and I hate myself for feeling it! Part of me is screaming that my routine has been irreparably disturbed, and routine is BIG for autistic people like myself! The other part is sure that even neurotypicals would feel the same! All parts are asking why we’re the ones who are saving the multiverse!” He then shook his head. “Sorry, I just feel…”

“No worries,” Emily assured him. “We’ve all had a long day.”

“If this is taking its toll on you,” I said softly, “you could return to our universe. We could have the gateway return you home and no one will think ill of you for it.”

“I can’t do that,” argued Joshua. “My dad needs help. When people need my help, I can’t just rest easy. I’ve only lasted so long because I’ve put my energy into trying to get some answers about this mess.”

“When we get back to Vorton,” I replied, “I promise we’ll get some answers. We may not get all the answers, but we can get some.”

“You promise?” asked Joshua.

“I promise on my honor as the reigning monarch of the Feudal Nerd Society,” I swore. Joshua smiled. When I make an oath like that, it means that I will see that oath through to the end. Josh looked at his hand. It stopped shaking.

“Thank you,” said Joshua, “for everything.” He got up. “Let’s go rejoin the others.” He walked to rejoin the rest with Emily and I high-fiving each other. Score one for the princess and medic. When we reunited, we headed to the other Cyber-base and opened the doors. Well, the Brigadier did. We couldn’t get the terminal that operates the door to work, so we needed a Cyberman’s key code

“So, Brigadier, what should we expect?” asked Michael.

“Nothing, if we’re lucky,” replied the Brigadier. “The Cybermen cleared this area out about five years ago. The team that was sent to retrieve any and all machinery that was labeled sensitive disappeared though. The three investigative teams did the same when they tried to retrieve the retrieval team, so the Cyber-King we’re after declared it unsafe and warned the rest of New Mondas to stay away.”

“Creepy,” gulped Sheela. Then our vision went dim with the lights.

“Hey, who turned out the lights?” called Batman.

“Everyone still alive?” asked Michael. We all responded with a confused tone. “Okay, no psycho Vashta Nerada, then.”

“Va-what?” I muttered.

“Microscopic organisms that live in the darkness,” explained Michael. “They’ve been given the name Piranhas of the Air. They tend to eat meat and will strip their prey down to the bone, literally.”

“And, there might be some here?” gulped Joshua.

“None of the psycho kind,” assured Michael. “They would have to be starving or driven mad before they attack humans.”

“And given that we’re all alive,” guessed Gandalf, “I’d say we’re safe from these beasts.”

“Exactly,” confirmed Michael.

“Even so,” rasped Batman, “given that danger could be in the next steps we take, anything could jump out of the shadows. Be on your guard.” We tensed up and got into defensive stances. What I saw were statues.

“More statues?” I quizzed. These statues looked like human-sized angels covering their faces as if they were crying. “They look kind of lonely.” I said, taking pity.

“If they’re alive,” gulped Michael, “then their title ‘The Lonely Assassins’ is apropos.”

“Michael, you’ve said nothing but doom and gloom since we got here!” I snapped. “What’s dangerous about a statue?”

Doctor Who has an innate ability of turning something as harmless as a window dummy into a killer!” protested Michael.

“Don’t remind me,” muttered the Brigadier.

“Evil shop dummies?” quizzed Gentarō. “That’s a new one.”

“Guys,” called Wyldstyle, “I think I see some batteries to help with the lights!” There were three on the floor and we could see the slots above us that they would fit in. Gandalf put one in. The lights flickered. When they came back on, the statues were looking at us!

“Michael,” I gulped, “what are these things?”

“They’re called the Weeping Angels!” explained Michael. “They’re a race of quantum locked humanoids that only move when no one, not even members of their own species, is looking at them! The only defense is not to blink! Once they touch you, you are sent into the past and will live out the rest of your life there, losing all motivation to get back! The Angels feed off the residual time energy the displacement causes!”

“Nobody blink!” I commanded. “Surround Gandalf as he puts the batteries in!” As Gandalf put the remaining batteries in, the lights flickered to reveal the expressions on the Angels change to a vicious roaring face with clawed fingers and sharp teeth. Gandalf had put the last battery in and the lights gained that much more power but were on a continual flicker loop!

“The statues are chasing us!” yelped Wyldstyle. “And the flickering lights aren’t helping!”

“Chaps,” called the Brigadier, “the doors here are magna-sealed! I can’t get them open!”

“That terminal looks like it powers the door,” observed Batman. “We need to charge it up with that battery near it.” It was a square like battery with wheels on the bottom.

“Problem, we need to charge it!” wailed Michael.

“Let me do that,” called Wyldstyle. “Bring it over here!”

“Surround the battery!” I ordered. “Keep an eye on the Angels!” We moved with the battery so the ones pushing it won’t get caught. The flickering lights made me nervous. While we were moving, Wyldstyle had built a charger and plugged it into the battery once it was finished. It didn’t take long to charge, but an Angel was about to grab my face when we started moving again! We got the battery to the terminal near the door. The Brigadier typed in a code and got it open.

“Quickly!” he shouted. “This way!” We got into the next room and shut the door.

“What did I tell you?” snapped Michael.

“If the Cybermen that were sent here to get sensitive equipment were taken into the past,” guessed the Brigadier, “then they may face a foe greater than the Doctor.”

“We need to go deeper into the base,” I muttered. “Wyldstyle, can you find the Keystone?”

“It’s past the doors in the next room,” reported Wyldstyle, “but we need to get past the security cameras. That panel over there should turn them off.”

“Allow me,” said Gentarō. He then took out the Fourze Driver and put it on. He swapped the Launcher switch with Switch number 21.

“Stealth!” called the Driver. He then flipped the tab switches and got into his Henshin pose. “Three! Two! One!”

“Henshin!” announced Gentarō. He pulled the lever and transformed into Fourze. “Uchū KITĀĀĀĀĀ!”

“Must you do that?” asked Hongo.

“If you don’t shout about things that are awesome,” quizzed Fourze, “how can you enjoy them?” He flipped the stealth switch on.

“Stealth on!” announced the Driver. A device appeared on Fourze’s right leg that was shaped like an F-117 Nighthawk. He stomped it and turned invisible. It took five seconds for him to run into the room and pull a lever on the terminal that deactivated the cameras and opened the door. Hongo shook his head.

“I swear, I’ll never understand the Heisei Riders,” he muttered.

“We got the door open,” I mused, “I see no reason to complain.” That soon changed when the door started shutting and opening on its own accord. Gandalf forced them open with his magic. “Thank you,” I said as I curtsied. We went into a hallway which had flickering lights and more Angels! Forget walking, we ran! As we approached an open door, we saw the Cyber-King scuttle off into another hallway. We shut the door. Sadly, there were Angels there as well. The lights were stable, thank goodness. We tried to open the door the Cyber-King had shut, but it was locked. I then saw a battery up on the ceiling. Fans were keeping it up there. I got an idea. “Find a Keystone transmitter!” I directed. “Batman can use it to warp someone up there!”

“Good idea!” responded Batman. We got to searching. As he searched, Richard had a bit of trouble.

“I can’t find it anywhere!” he snapped as he leaned on a control panel. It had a long lever that was pushed up when he leaned on it. It snapped. I just gave him a look. The lights flickered, letting the Angels move!

“Found it!” called Michael.

“Shift Keystone, activate!” announced Batman. “Magenta, near the battery on the ceiling! Yellow, in the control room on the ceiling! Cyan, near the transmitter!” The portals were placed. “Shift! Yellow! Hongo!” Hongo was to turn the fans when the battery approached them. “Shift! Fourze! Magenta!” Fourze pushed the battery towards the dock it needed to go into with Hongo helping him. You would think that the Angels would use this time to attack us, but they were looking up once the lights flickered again, looking confused. The next flicker, they started forming a ladder. Fourze inserted the battery into the slot, letting the door open. “Shift! Hongo! Fourze! Cyan!” They returned to normal ground. We escaped that place quickly. We entered a crossroads but found them blocked by Weeping Angels.

“Oh boy,” I gulped.

“What a way to go,” wailed Xiomara.

“Maybe not,” observed Batman. He pointed to a control panel and then pointed to the floor.

“You’re not suggesting dropping us through the floor, are you?!” asked Michael. Batman threw a batarang at the panel, opening the floor beneath us. The Angels were now frozen where they were, forever.

While we were falling, the Cyber-King was trying to get some machines to work. We ended up landing on top of the Cyber-King, taking it offline for a bit. We got up and investigated the machines. They looked like they traveled on some sort of bump studded skirt with a mid-section holding an egg whisk on its left and a toilet plunger on its right. It had a pair of lights on its dome as well as a spherical thing on a stick with discs behind the sphere. “Whoa,” quizzed Wyldstyle. “What are they?” She slammed her fist on one of the machines. It echoed.

“I don’t know,” answered Batman.

“At least they aren’t those statues,” mused Gandalf.

“No, they’re worse than the Weeping Angels,” moaned Michael.

“How bad are they?” I asked.

“Take any sort of hate group,” hissed Michael, “like the Klan, or the Nazis, or any such group, liquefy its flesh, remove all feelings except hatred for other life forms, and slap it into a tank!”

“That’s how bad they are?” I gulped.

“No, they’re a thousand times worse,” elaborated Michael.

“Guys,” called Fourze as he transformed back, “I think I found something!” he pointed to a terminal with a screen. I pressed a button to play some security footage. The image was of a bunch of soldiers, some in white conical hats while the others had the Swastika, burst into the room. The leaders stepped forward to one of the things.

“I am General Thomas of the Neo Klan,” introduced the person in the white conical hat. “This is General Richard of the Nova Nazis. We have reactivated you so you can help us clean our people.” The creature he was addressing just stared as its sphere illuminated blue, confirming that the sphere was some sort of camera for the thing inside. “We need your power,” elaborated Thomas. “You need our resources. Are you listening? Do you understand? Now that we have freed you, you must help us.”

“We do not take orders from inferior life forms!” screamed the creature in a grating, harsh, metallic tone that crescendoed. The lights on the dome flashed with each syllable. “You are impure! Exterminate!” The whisk turned out to be a laser gun as it fired blue bolts of energy at the soldiers, who turned into green x-rays before slumping over, dead.

“Good Grief!” swore the Brigadier as he watched the creatures slaughter the combined hate groups. “Even I wouldn’t wish such a fate on these chaps!”

“Given that the Ku Klux Klan has been the bane of Mom’s Southern roots,” hissed Emily, “I can’t find any sympathy.”

“Neither can I for the Nazis,” growled Lukas.

“What does that laser do?” I asked.

“Massive internal displacement,” muttered Michael.

“Meaning?” I quizzed.

“The insides are scrambled,” explained Michael. “Some would say it’s like being hit by lightning, while others say it’s like a burn, given that some victims were charred.”

“I set you free!” begged Thomas from the recording, the last survivor. “We planned this!”

“Your attempt at control is noted,” screeched the creature, “but humans cannot control the Daleks! You are nothing more than organic refuse! Exterminate!” He was gunned down and fell over the edge. The Dalek, as the creature called its species, then shut down.

“Reactivating! Reactivating!” rumbled a Dalek from behind us. It twitched as it examined us. “Hostiles located! Do not move!”

“Who, us?” asked Wyldstyle. “We’re not hostile, we’re friends of the Doctor!”

“WYLDSTYLE, THAT’S THE LAST THING YOU SHOULD SAY TO THEM!” yelled Michael. All Daleks then turned towards us.

“The Doctor must be exterminated!” screamed one Dalek.

“Well, more like acquaintances, really,” stammered Wyldstyle, digging us deeper. “I didn’t mean ‘friend’.”

“Wyldstyle, button it!” I demanded.

“Daleks conquer and destroy!” squawked another Dalek.

“You will be exterminated!” screeched a third.

“Obey the Daleks!”

“Locate the Doctor!”

“Exterminate! Annihilate! Destroy!”

“We are the supreme beings!”

“Enemies of the Daleks will be exterminated!”

“Do not move!”

“Silence,” boomed a deep Dalek voice. We all turned to see a giant Dalek dome with a tube of liquid holding a blob of flesh (Yuck!) with tentacles, a visible brain, and a single yellow eye, and giant panels extending from the tube hover in with red and black Daleks. Apparently, these things can fly. One of the brownish gray Daleks on the ground zoomed in, distracted in a rant.

“That is why I want to be a red Dalek…” its peers were looking at it, giving it the stink eye. “…Sorry,” it mumbled. Michael smirked. I guess Daleks don’t usually mumble.

“Am I addressing the Dalek Emperor?” asked the Brigadier to the giant Dalek as he put his arms behind his back.

“Correct, but you are not displaying usual Cyberman behavior,” observed the Dalek Emperor.

“I am Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart of the Unified Nebular Intelligence Task force!” snapped the Brigadier. “I demand to know why you are engaged with the Cybermen as they rebuild their home world! Be warned, for failure to comply will result in Alexandra Jones, card carrying Prime Minister of Nova Britain…”

“Yes, we know who Alexandra Jones is,” interrupted the Dalek Emperor. “Her ancestor, Harriet Jones, displayed such an annoyance when we took Earth into the Medusa Cascade. We will tell you nothing of our project. You, on the other hand, will tell us everything you know about the Doctor’s plans. You have been identified as one of the Doctor’s oldest ‘friends’, Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. We shall interrogate you first!”

“To be honest, we don’t really know anything,” replied Gandalf.

“Then you will be exterminated!” boomed the Emperor.

“Guys, look! A Keystone!” called Michael. The Emperor had a Keystone that had one small green circle on top of a large white one and both circles connected by two lines with broken sections in between.

“What can that thing do?” asked Wyldstyle.

“Initiating scaling stratagem!” called the Emperor.

“I think we’re about to find out,” guessed Batman.

“Enlarge scale of Dalek Lieutenant!” announced the Emperor. A Dalek became a giant at least half the size of the Emperor. “Protect the Keystone! Exterminate hostile life forms!”

“I obey!” obliged the giant Dalek.

“No!” countered a Dalek as it fired on the giant. The laser bounced off harmlessly, but the Emperor didn’t like that.

“Explain! Explain!! EXPLAIN!!!” it shouted at the traitor.

“All Daleks must be exterminated!” replied the renegade Dalek.

“Rusty, old chap!” cheered the Brigadier.

“Rusty? The one that the Doctor converted to the side of the humans?” called Michael, grinning.

“Correct!” confirmed Rusty. “Initiating anti-weapons field!” A dome of light surrounded us. “You may transform without the risk of extermination!”

“Very kind of you, Rusty-san,” I replied. “Arigatou.” (short thank you)

“Dōitashimashite,” (you’re welcome) responded Rusty. I grinned as the Vortex riders took out our i.d tags, Gentarō took out the Fourze Driver, and Hongo struck his pose. Gentarō then flipped the tab switches and struck his pose.

“Three! Two! One!” counted the Fourze Driver.

“Rider…” began Hongo.

“Henshin!” we shouted. We transformed into our Rider forms.

“Uchū KITĀĀĀĀĀ!” said Fourze.

“Explain this behavior!” said the Emperor.

“Kamen Rider Outback! Better watch your backs, mates!”

“Kamen Rider Claw! My weapons shall turn you into ribbons!”

“Kamen Rider Swing! I’ll be taking your legs!”

“Kamen Rider Hunt! I shall always get my prey!”

“Kamen Rider Clash! A duel with me shall end in your defeat!”

“Kamen Rider Climb! Mountains are a warrior’s best friend!”

“Kamen Rider Gallop! My riding skills are unmatched!”

“Kamen Rider Sengoku! You shall get a taste of Feudal Japan!”

“Kamen Rider Royal! Evil will ultimately bow to me!”

“Kamen Rider Guard! None shall harm my friends, family, and lady!”

“Kamen Rider Touché! En Garde, thing of evil!”

“Kamen Rider Zhànshì! Try and stop my quest!”

“Kamen Rider Arch! My skills outdo Robin Hood!”

“Kamen Rider Kämpfer! Your defeat will be certain at my hands!”

“Kamen Rider Seeker! It’s not gold I seek, but your end!”

“Kamen Rider Battle! For friends and family, I shall be victorious!”

“Kamen Rider Fourze! Taiman harasete morau ze!”

“I am Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart! For the sake of humanity, I shall bring the whole of UNIT down on your heads!”

“I am Rusty the Dalek, head of UNIT’s Extraterrestrial Branches! All evil will fall at my manipulator arm!”

“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!”

“EXTERMINATE THEM!” bellowed the Emperor. The giant Dalek hovered over us with its gunstick trained on us.

“Maximum extermination!” it announced. We dodged its laser blasts. The Emperor decided to talk at that time.

“You will tell us the location of the Doctor, or you will be destroyed!” it ordered. “You are no match for the power of the Daleks! Cease your attempts to stop us!”

“You know, The Power of the Daleks was what we call the adventure the second Doctor had when you lot tried to fool a human colony so you could destroy it,” called Battle. The laser blasts the giant Dalek had fired had exposed some machinery.

“You will bear witness to our true power as the supreme beings!” boomed the Emperor.

“Daleks may conquer and destroy,” intoned Rusty, “but I conquer and destroy the Daleks!”

“Guys, keep me covered!” called Wyldstyle. She’s got a Master Build up her sleeves, I just know it! Fourze then swapped out the Drill switch with switch number 19.

“Gatling!” announced the driver. Fourze then flipped the switch on. “Gatling on!” A Gatling gun appeared on his left leg as he fired 10 rounds per second at the Dalek. The rounds bounced off.

“Eh?” yelped Fourze. “It usually pierces concrete!”

“Dalekanium is 10 times stronger than steel!” explained Battle.

“‘Dalekanium’?” I said. I’d laugh if the situation wasn’t tense. Wyldstyle, meanwhile, had constructed a giant remote controller with two joysticks.

“Gandalf, lift it up and move the joysticks!” directed Wyldstyle.

“At once!” called Gandalf. The Vortex riders converted their weapons to ranged mode and gave the wizard covering fire. Wyldstyle had programmed it to mess with the giant Dalek!

“My controls are being overridden! Weapons malfunction?! HELP MEEEEEE!” it shouted. Gandalf sent the giant Dalek into the Emperor. It started changing size rapidly.

“Alert! Alert! I am under attack!” it yelled. As the Emperor changed size, we just shrank! “Keystone malfunctioning! HELP MEEEEEE!” squawked the Emperor.

“System malfunction!” screamed a Dalek. “Critical damage detected!”

“Fourze, the eyestalk is the weak point!” called Battle. “Do you have something to damage it?”

“Not at this size, but the pen switch may cover it,” replied Fourze.

“Pen switch?” I asked.

“When it’s on,” replied Sengoku, “Fourze can use the pen module that attaches to his right leg to draw things that solidify into pure carbon.”

“Then use it to blind a Dalek!” called Battle.

“Got it!” confirmed Fourze. He swapped out the stealth switch for switch 25.

“Pen!” announced the Driver. Switch on! “Pen on!” Fourze jumped up and used a booster pack on his back to reach the eyestalk. He quickly coated the blue light until it was completely black.

“My vision is impaired! I cannot see!” squawked the Dalek. It started freaking out and fired on other Daleks. Rusty shot the Dalek’s undercarriage and blew it up. Soon, everything went back to its normal size.

“Hostility will not be tolerated!” boomed the Emperor. “Enlarge scale of Dalek Supreme!” A black Dalek grew. “Exterminate!” ordered the Emperor.

“I obey!” confirmed the giant Dalek Supreme. It hovered over us and spoke as it fired. “The Keystone will demonstrate the might of the Dalek race!”

Might of the Daleks,” muttered Outback as he dodged a shot. “The BBC should use that!”

“No!” argued Battle as he plunged his blade into a normal sized Dalek. “Any episode title with the structure of Thingy of the Wossname is a bad episode!”

“Even Resurrection of the Daleks?” countered Outback.

“Can we talk about this later?!” I interrupted. The shot I dodged had revealed an electric coil.

“You are prisoners of the Daleks now!” boasted the Emperor. “You will obey or you will be exterminated!”

“Would you actually try!” I taunted. Wyldstyle built a radio with the electric coil attached.

“Daleks do not take orders from lower life forms!” boomed the Emperor. “The Doctor’s associates will be exterminated!”

“Guys, where’s the Keystone transmitter?” asked Touché.

“Oh dear,” gulped Gandalf. “I can’t give anyone lighting powers without it!”

“If it’s electricity you want,” replied Fourze, “I have a switch for that!” He took out both magnet switches and inserted switch 10 where the N magnet was and switch 11 where the S magnet was.

“Elec!” announced the Driver for switch 10. “Scissors!” it said for switch 11. He switched Elec on. “Elec on!” Yellow lightning surrounded Fourze while metal circles with black rubber appeared. The circles attached to Fourze’s chest while his whole body gained a yellow and black lightning motif. His eyes turned blue and a stun rod with three plug sockets on the cross guard and a cord with a plug at the bottom of the handle appeared in his hand.

“Fourze Elec states!” called Sengoku. “And the form’s main weapon, the Elec Module Billy the Rod!”

“Billy the Rod?!” I snickered, holding back laughter. Fourze then plugged the plug into the top socket. He then took out the Elec switch and put it into the rod’s base.

“Limit break!” called the weapon.

“Rider Ten Billion Volt Shoot!” announced Fourze. He slashed at the air which caused an arc of electricity to rush towards the coil. The radio soon got enough charge to play some strange music. It sounded alien, like it was played in the 60’s for an old show for a while. The giant Dalek Supreme then started losing control.

“What is this noise?!” it screamed. “Make it stop! MAKE IT STOOOOPPPPPPPPP!”

“The first Doctor’s theme!” cheered Battle. “The radio is playing the first iteration of the Doctor Who theme that played on November 22nd, 1963!”

“The day Kennedy was assassinated!” remembered Guard.

“Looks like these hateful things don’t like good music!” quipped Battle. The Giant Dalek Supreme crashed into the Emperor.

“Under attack! Under attack!!” it squawked as it started shifting size again. This time, we grew! We stomped around, crushing Daleks without any fancy moves.

“Whoever uses this thing is gonna enjoy this!” I cheered. I then inspected the bottom of my boots. “Ew! I think there’s something in these things!” I whined as I wiped bits of something gooey off the boots.

“That would be the organic occupants of these things,” explained Battle as he kicked a few away.

“Disgusting!” I groaned.

“No!” shouted the Emperor. “This cannot be!! THIS CANNOT BE!! EXPLAIIN! EXPLLAAAAAIIIIN!!!”

“Classic villain trope!” I laughed. “Next thing you know, you’ll be saying that you’re immortal!”

“Its predecessor already did!” called Battle. Then the Emperor regained control over the Keystone.

“Bring forth more Daleks!” it ordered. A new Dalek came up. It had just a dome and a giant cannon on the front.

“A Special Weapons Dalek?!” yelped Battle.

“Enlarge scale of Special Weapons Dalek!” ordered the Emperor. It swiveled its dome around to address the rest of the Daleks. “My brethren, you must exterminate these intruders!” The giant Special Weapons Dalek fired on us. Its shots were even more devastating than the normal Daleks’ guns.

“We have to get the Keystone away from the Emperor!” called Rusty.

“The Keystone belongs to us!” boomed the Emperor. Burning debris fell as the Special Weapons Dalek fired. Another shot revealed the Keystone transmitter.

“Gandalf, I think I should be using water since Fourze is in a form that doesn’t really work well with water,” I called.

“Elemental Keystone, activate! Element of water, Royal!” announced Gandalf. As I doused the debris, the Emperor spoke.

“Secure the unlimited rice pudding!” Wait, what? The Emperor realized what it had said. “Alert! Alert! Vocabulary bank malfunction!”

“You need to update your anti-virus software!” observed Rusty. His plunger arm was in a terminal that connected to the Emperor. Wyldstyle got an idea. She constructed a bomb launcher and made a special connection for Rusty.

“Rusty, want to fire a catapult at a Dalek?” she asked.

“With pleasure!” cheered Rusty as he saw the payload. He connected and calculated the arc the bomb needed to go to hit the Special Weapons Dalek. “Initiating launch!” The catapult launched the bomb at the Special Weapons Dalek. The bomb attached and made warning noises.

“Emergency! Emergency!” yelped the Special Weapons Dalek. It exploded.

“What is the meaning of this?!” demanded the Emperor. “Failure is not in Dalek nature!!”

“Oh, yes, it is!” said the Brigadier. He and Wyldstyle used the remains of the Special Weapons Dalek, bar the gooey bits, to construct a cannon. The Brigadier fired it at the Emperor.

“What is happening to me!” it screamed as it started rapidly shifting size again. Wyldstyle took advantage to construct something that looked like an old telephone.

“Gandalf, raise the top part!” called Wyldstyle. “Rusty, connect with the phone and dial this number! We need his help!”

“At once!” confirmed Gandalf.

“I obey!” obliged Rusty. Gandalf lifted the giant handset while Rusty plugged in and dialed the number Wyldstyle had given him. The dial flashed the numbers Rusty put in. A Dalek voice came out of the receiver as it transmitted.

“Calling…The Doctor!” it droned. “Ring Ring! …Ring Ring! Is anybody there?” The ringtone sounded again. Another Special Weapons Dalek appeared. This one brought its gun to bear on us. Ichigō, Fourze, and Outback leapt into the air. Fourze swapped out the Elec and Gatling switches out and put in the Rocket and Drill switches.

“Rocket! Drill!” announced the driver. He switched them on. “Rocket on! Drill on!” A drill appeared on the left foot and a rocket attached to his right arm. He then used his left hand to pull the lever on the side. “Rocket! Drill! Limit break!”

“RIDER KICK!” shouted Ichigō.

“RIDER OUTBACK KICK!” announced Outback.

“RIDER ROCKET DRILL KICK!” called Fourze. They tore into the Special Weapons Dalek and made it explode. We were getting tired.

“I think our time is at an end,” gulped Gandalf as more Daleks surrounded us.

“Yeah, I don’t think the Doctor’s making house calls today!” observed Wyldstyle.

“Come on…!” urged Batman. The Emperor was about to use the Keystone it had when we heard a familiar Vworp! The TARDIS spun around and reflected the shrink ray the Keystone fired. It shrunk the enemy Daleks and the Emperor! Batman caught the new Keystone as it fell from the Emperor. The TARDIS then landed on one of the tiny Daleks. The doors opened and the Doctor came out with a big fat grin! The now tiny Emperor Dalek floated towards the Doctor.

“Doctor!” it screeched in a tiny voice. The Doctor showed no sympathy to the Emperor.

“Look,” he taunted, “before you start on me,” he bopped the Emperor with that wand of his, “if you WILL fire a shrink ray at a dimensionally transcendental time-machine, these accidents are going to happen.” Gandalf took the time to whack the Emperor with his staff.

“Exterminate him!” ordered the Emperor to his tiny forces. The tiny Daleks opened fire. All they did was give the Doctor tiny zaps.

“Hey, sorry about the shrinking,” said the Doctor, “but YOU called ME, remember?”

“About time, Doctor,” hissed Batman.

“Cutting it a bit close, weren’t you?” quizzed Fourze as all riders cancelled their transformations.

“What?!” yelped the Doctor. “Wait, do I know you?”

“Yes and no,” answered Wyldstyle. “I’m Wyldstyle. We’re the ones who called you.”

“Not the Daleks?” asked the Doctor. “Ah, that explains why they’re so tetchy. All right, get in.” The Brigadier and Rusty were about to go first. “Hold on, not you!” snapped the Doctor.

“Oh, come now, Doctor,” chuckled the Brigadier, “surely you wouldn’t deny an old friend a trip?”

“Old friend?” asked the Doctor. “Wait, you’re not speaking in a monotone. …Sir Alistair?”

“Back to Brigadier now, old chap,” answered the Brigadier. “You’re still in the UNIT files as Chief Scientific Advisor. If you need proof, I remember your salute on Earth in the 21st century.”

“You were responsible for giving me a new perspective on the Daleks,” replied Rusty. “I believe I said that I am not a good Dalek, YOU are a good Dalek.”

“Rusty?” quizzed the Doctor.

“You called the Doctor a Dalek?” the Brigadier asked Rusty.

“I let him look into my mind, but apparently, my hatred of the Daleks made him start to hate Daleks,” muttered the Doctor, sadly. “All I did was give him hatred. He joined the humans, but at a cost.”

“That IS a rather Dalek way of thinking, focusing on hatred towards a species, Doctor,” observed the Brigadier.

“We can point the finger later,” I interjected. “Let’s just get out of here. We’ve got a tale to tell.” We all boarded the TARDIS.

“You will pay for this, Doctor!” promised the Emperor. The Doctor couldn’t resist.

“Don’t worry,” he taunted. “You’ll be fine! Just eat plenty of vegetables! Excellent for growth!”

“Speaking of excellent,” observed the Brigadier, “Cyber-King head in-bound!” The Doctor closed the doors as the Cyber-King tackled the tiny Dalek Emperor. They engaged in a fight that consisted of bumps and sideswipes.

“Right,” called the Doctor as he shut the doors and worked the console, “one of you, start talking! And you can start with why that one’s got pointy ears!” He was talking about Batman as the TARDIS dematerialized and went through the rift.

Kamen Rider Vortex Kamen Rider Vortex Chapters

Chapter 14

I had the same dream again, my friends’ corpses accusing me of failing them, Richard’s hand making contact and decaying me, and the dream ending when the decay reaches my jaw. I woke up again. This is absurd, I thought talking to Gandalf would help! I did my usual dress routine and headed to the gateway. I saw Gandalf and Wyldstyle talking to each other over tea. Gandalf was talking about the time a friend of his, Radagast the Brown, outran a pack of Orcs on dog-like creatures called Wargs while Radagast was on a sled pulled by rabbits. “I had never known Rhosgobel Rabbits to outrun Gundabad Wargs!” laughed Gandalf. “In hindsight, it was rather funny!”

“This was the guy that lived in a crooked house?” asked Wyldstyle in a tone asking for confirmation.

“Well, he’s odd, I grant you,” admitted Gandalf. “He’s led a solitary life.”

“I hate to interrupt,” I called, surprising the two, “but sleep won’t come to me. I had a horrible dream.”

“Was it a dream where our corpses were accusing you of failing us and Richard grabbing you and infecting you with decay, but the dream ends with the decay reaching your eyes before you wake up?” asked Wyldstyle. I arched an eyebrow.

“Yes, except change that to the decay reaching my jaw,” I replied.

“I woke up when the decay reached your neck,” answered Gandalf. Okay, this can NOT be coincidence.

“Was that true when your corpses were accusing me of failing you?” I asked.

“Not remotely,” assured Gandalf.

“You haven’t failed us by any stretch,” confirmed Wyldstyle.

“Well, there’s that bit of ammo if I dream that dream again,” I mused. “May I join you? I don’t think there’ll be sleep for me tonight.”

“Go ahead,” invited Wyldstyle. I sat down and poured some tea as we sat on the gateway pad.

“So,” I began, “I know of Batman and Hongo-san’s backstories when they couldn’t sleep…”

“Why do you say Hongo-san?” asked Gandalf.

“San is an honorific like the English Mr. or Mrs.,” I explained. Gandalf understood. “In any case, why don’t you tell us your tale? What made you use magic?”

“Actually,” began Gandalf, “I’ve had magic my entire life. I am a Maia spirit, the plural of which being Maiar, sent to Middle-Earth, by the Valar of Valinor, to keep watch over the free peoples that live there and aid them where possible against Sauron, a fallen Maia. We were an order of five called the Istari. Although Sauron’s power was great, the Valar had already seen the tragic consequences of direct interference at the end of the First Age when they brought their total strength against Morgoth, known also by his first name as Melkor and as Sauron’s former master, resulting in the destruction of a country touching the sea called Beleriand and reshaping the world. The Valar also knew of the corruption and lust for power from even the Maiar’s use of magic as evidenced by Sauron. So, the Valar sent us, the Istari, to help Middle-Earth, but were forbidden from using our full power or attacking Sauron directly. Thus, we take the form of old men so we could speak to both elves and Men as equals to win their trust. Our leader was known as Curumo and was sent by a Vala known as Aulë. He was a wise and respected figure in Middle-Earth and was declared the leader of the White Council, a group of Elves and Wizards to combat the threat of Sauron. I was called Olórin in my younger days and was sent by my teachers Manwë, Varda, Nienna, and Irmo. I had originally considered myself too weak and frightened to be of any use in the fight against Sauron, but my teacher saw potential in me and ordered me to go. There was one that was originally not considered to go with the Istari, but joined us at the insistence of his teacher, Yavanna. He was known as Aiwendil, but later called himself Radagast the Brown. He spends his days looking after the plants and animals of Middle-Earth. The last two were a pair of blue wizards called Alatar and Pallando. Only Alatar was asked to go, but his friendship with Pallando allowed them both to go and renaming themselves Morinehtar and Rómestámo. I believe they were responsible for starting a magic cult or two in Middle-Earth.” Gandalf lit his pipe while Wyldstyle and I processed the info.

“That’s…quite a lot,” I gulped. “I wish I had met Curumo. He sounds like a nice guy.”

“He was,” answered Gandalf, “but power corrupted him. You’ve already met him, but he called himself something else.” He faced us. “He rode atop a giant snake in the previous dimension we were in.”

“Saruman?!” I yelped. “Never mind.” I turned to Wyldstyle. “What about you? What’s your story?”

“Not really as elaborate as Gandalf’s,” replied Wyldstyle. “I was 9 when things went sour for Master Builders. I said to my mom that I could see numbers and had an urge to build every single day. The robot Mom had bought heard that and tried to take me to jail when Mom intervened. My dad, an alcoholic, had left us, so we couldn’t depend on him to help us. Mom told me to run. I hesitated, but Mom ordered me to run again and I did. The robots surrounding my home leveled it and took my mom to jail. From what I heard, she never told Lord Business what happened to me and so suffered. I don’t know how. I suffered from insecurity and changed my name a lot. A man named Vitruvius helped me master my Master Builder powers and helped me start the resistance movement against Lord Business. From there, I discovered Emmet, dragged him along for the ride when he found the Piece of Resistance, and helped him discover his Master Builder powers to fight Lord Business and stop his Kragle plan.”

“Kragle?” asked Gandalf.

“A substance that freezes you in place,” I explained.

“Interesting backstories,” rasped a voice. We jumped to see Batman standing with the rest of our group.

“How long have you guys been there?” I asked.

“Long enough,” replied Hongo.

“Is it morning already?” quizzed Gandalf.

“It would appear so,” I replied. “Breakfast, everyone?” They all agreed. We had pancakes this time. After breakfast, we mounted our vehicles. “All set?” I asked. Everyone confirmed. “CHARGE!” I shouted. The portal opened and we all went through.

We travelled through the vortex a bit. A bit longer…longer……longer……… “Shouldn’t we have arrived by now?!” asked Wyldstyle.

“Yes,” answered Batman. “Something’s up.”

“Wyldstyle, check your relic scanner,” I said. Wyldstyle pulled out the scanner and took a reading.

“Uh, not good!” she gulped. Our hearts sank.

“So, what do we do?” asked Gandalf.

“Well, I suggest you mind your heads!” called a voice with a Scottish accent. That’s when something whizzed over our heads. What was it? You’re not gonna believe this, but it was a blue box. I kid you not! It read “Police Public Call Box” on the top on all four sides, had a light on the top, which was blinking in rhythm to the noise it made. At best, I could say the noise was a Vworp or a whoosh. The box had two windows on each side, with the front having two signs. One of them read “Police Telephone. Free for Use of Public. Advice and Assistance Obtainable Immediately. Officers and Cars Respond to Urgent Calls. Pull to Open,” and was square shaped while the circle sign read “St John Ambulance.” While the doors told the person outside to pull to open, judging by the way the doors were pulled open from the inside, I’d say the outside person had to push to open. The person was an old man with short, wavy hair, the fiercest expression I’ve ever seen, eyebrows that could tell stories without a mouth, and a set of navy blue clothes with black clothes. “Hold on a sec!” called the man. He shut the doors and we heard his voice from the box. “Not that you have a choice in the matter. You’re stuck in a rift loop!” The box matched our speed but stayed ahead of us. The doors opened again and the man fired a grapple gun, specifically Batman’s! “Grab on!” encouraged the man. Was he gonna pull all 20 of us into that tiny box?!

“There’s no room!” I shouted.

“Oh yes, there is!” cheered Michael as he grabbed the line. I saw that and thought him mad!

“Are you out of your mind?!” I shouted.

“Just trust me!” called Michael. “We’re about to go on an adventure through time and space!” I blinked. Off his rocker, but I grabbed on and ordered everyone to do the same. Our horses grabbed on with their mouths, Hongo passed the line through the spokes of his bike and Batman hooked the end of the line to the Batmobile’s front. We were all pulled inside. When I got my bearings, I couldn’t believe what was inside! You would think that being a small box, it would have a small inside! What I saw was some sort of large interior with a set of panels done in a hexagonal shape with a central cylinder going up to the ceiling and some sort of mechanism going up and down inside!

“Er, what happened to three-dimensional Euclidian geometry?!” yelped Lukas.

“The Time Lords tore it up, threw it in the air, and snogged it to death!” cheered Michael. “Thus, a human’s entire understanding of physical space is transformed by Time Lord transportation! Our grasp of the universal constants of physical reality is now changed…forever!”

“Okay, you’re impressed by my home, thank you!” snapped the man in a dismissive tone. “Come on! Don’t just sit there! You’ve got a bunch of monsters to meet!”

“Who are you?” demanded Batman. “What did you do to us?”

“Is he always like this, Megumi?” asked the man. Wait, what?! “I assumed I just caught him at a bad time before.”

“Uh, what?!” stammered Wyldstyle. The man took the relic scanner and waved some sort of wand with a green light on the end over the thing. He put the wand away, earning a groan of disappointment from Michael.

“I’m the Doctor,” introduced the man. “I locked on to your scanner. Remember that.”

“Before?” I asked.

“You said before,” observed Batman.

“Is this some sort of time mess?” asked Hongo. “There IS a Kamen Rider that can help in that regard.”

“Well spotted, Batman, Megumi, and Hongo. Go to the head of the class!” commented the Doctor. “This is the TARDIS.”

“Short for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space!” cheered Michael. The Doctor blinked, then continued.

“It travels in time,” he went on. “We’ve met you lot before, but you haven’t met us yet. That’s time travel for you.” While the Doctor was explaining, Gandalf touched a panel, got a shock, briefly turning him into Gandalf the White, before he returned to being grey.

“You’re lying!” accused Batman.

“No, here’s your grapple gun,” explained the Doctor as he tossed the instrument to Batman.

“Clearly a copy,” dismissed Batman as he pulled out his own grapple gun.

“Again, no,” hissed the Doctor, a little irritated. “Like I say, time machine! Not a 3-D printer! Just give me your grapple gun later.”

“Doctor,” I said, “you said ‘We’ve met you before’ as if there’s another person.”

“Doctor, can I release the button now?” asked a voice. It came from a Japanese man in a teacher’s suit. He had a pompadour hairstyle, not usual to anyone from Japan. Hiroki arched an eyebrow.

“Kisaragi Gentarō?” he quizzed in Japanese name order. “What are you doing here?”

“The Doctor said I was needed to help some people,” explained Gentarō. “He said that holding this button down would help the TARDIS get into the rift loop you guys were stuck in, otherwise the harmonics core would implode.”

“That was an act,” muttered the Doctor. “There’s no such thing as a harmonics core, at least, not yet. You said you couldn’t understand gobbledygook, so I had you do something to keep you occupied.”

“You could have said for me to not touch anything!” protested Gentarō as he released the button.

“Given what Kengo said about you,” argued the Doctor, “I couldn’t take any chances, even after you told me not to listen to him. Pretty feeble attempt to change history. You’ve only ensured that events in your timeline will happen.”

“But…I never did that…” muttered Gentarō.

“Again, time travel,” said the Doctor as he tossed a device to Gentarō. The device had four slots in different shapes, had red tab switches under the slots, and had a handle on the right side. Gentarō’s eyes went wide.

“But…this thing was destroyed!” he yelped. “I threw it into molten steel!”

“You gave it to me earlier, after I first met you,” explained the Doctor.

“Where did my future self get it?” asked Gentarō.

“He just got it when you caught it,” commented the Doctor.

“Ah, a causal loop!” called Michael. The Doctor got up from the console.

“So, you know about the bootstrap paradox?” he asked. “Go ahead, share it with the class.”

“With pleasure!” cheered Michael as he grabbed a chalkboard and a piece of chalk. He drew a stick figure and made a curved line downwards and writes 1700’s. “So, the situation is this: a time traveler that loves Johann Sebastian Bach decides to meet his musical hero and so goes to the point when Toccata and Fugue is first composed. When he asks around, he realizes that there’s no one by the name of Bach.

“The time traveler is distraught and decides to copy the music FOR Bach. History goes on with barely a quiver. He returns to his time,” he draws another curved line going up back to the stick figure, “and is left with a conundrum. Someone is going to be inspired enough to travel back in time to hear Toccata and Fugue but will be distraught and so copy down all of Bach’s music.” He picked up an electric guitar.

“So, where did Toccata and Fugue come from?” he asked. He strummed the opening notes of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. “This is an example of a causal loop, or bootstrap paradox, named after Heinlein’s book, By his Bootstraps which demonstrates this rather well in terms of a book. The time traveler is inspired by the music and ends up ‘writing’ the music.

“In effect, the time traveler inspired himself. He copied ‘Bach’, who copied the time traveler, who copied ‘Bach’, who copied the time traveler, and so on and so forth ad infinitum, without a beginning.” Emily raised her hand and Michael pointed to her.

“Won’t that mean that the results fade, in this instance, the music?” asked Emily.

“Not at all,” explained Michael. “Aristotle once said that you don’t have to prove ‘immediate knowledge’, so Bach’s Toccata and Fugue must have been written in order to exist. As demonstrated by this figure here,” he pointed to the drawing, “the reason that the music exists is why the traveler went on this journey. To him, it’s a straight line. To time, on the other hand, he went in a circle.

“Now, of course, a bootstrap paradox is not particularly useful, it simply IS. We’ve side stepped the question of ‘who wrote the music?’ by rendering the concept of beginnings moot. We are given a totally different sort of answer, which is the same as not answering.

“Such an answer makes me miss my companions of old,” mused the Doctor. “It holds together, but it’s also infuriating.” I raised my hand and Michael called on me.

“I hate to muddy the waters,” I asked, “but what about alternate timelines?”

“Essentially, the theory goes,” explained our teacher, Michael, “that there MUST have been a sequence of events in which Bach, or some other third party, let’s not make this more complicated than it is, wrote the music. However, that timeline was derailed by something that didn’t happen in the original history of events and so the time traveler is forced to intervene. So, what changed in the original timeline?

“Maybe the arrival of the time traveler himself? Perhaps Bach was too busy throwing his wig at the Doctor when he tried to explain the bootstrap paradox to the composer. Maybe meeting a fanboy put him off music all together. Whatever the reason, the time traveler must intervene.

“But, what happens in the new timeline, when someone decides to meet his hero, Bach? And in the timeline that follows that one? And so on and so forth? Time changes from a line stretching to infinity to a branching tree stretching to infinity.” Richard raised his hand and was called on.

“Doesn’t that imply that the theory begins with the assumption of an original composer and that composer is Bach?” asked Richard.

“Yes indeed,” confirmed Michael. “Which is what we’re trying to prove. The Greeks call it ‘begging the question’.”

“They can call it what they like,” exclaimed Gentarō as he rubbed his head, “I’m calling it a massive headache!”

“So, class,” asked Michael, “what did we learn?”

“Paradoxes, in general, can keep someone awake,” I muttered.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor is an awesome tune,” said Emily.

“Time travel and logic are not friends,” commented Lukas.

“To use my words,” supplied the Doctor, “it’s all wibbly wobbly, timey wimey, stuff.”

“Well, whatever happened,” mused Gentarō, “I’m glad my old friend, the Fourze Driver, came back for now.”

“Fourze Driver?” I asked. “Are you a Kamen Rider?”

“I sure am!” cheered Gentarō. “I’m the Rider who will befriend everyone I meet!”

“That may prove challenging if you meet people that hate me,” remarked the Doctor. The TARDIS’ noises became louder until I heard a thud. “Ah, we’ve landed. Okay, out you go.” We were shoved out of the TARDIS. We had landed in a control room of some sorts. Batman looked out the window to see a probe float by.

“Where are we?” he asked.

“Does it matter?” replied the Doctor. “Call it, I don’t know, ‘Dave’!” Batman shook his head as the Doctor handed a piece of paper to Wyldstyle. “This is my phone number, you’ll call it when you get into trouble and I’ll help you out. I’m nice like that.” Wyldstyle felt creeped out when the Doctor winked.

“Aren’t you coming with us?” asked Gentarō.

“Look, normally I’d come along with you,” explained the Doctor, “but if I cross my own time-stream here, it’ll rip a hole in the universe so big you could drive his ego through it.” He pointed to Batman who snarled at that comment. “Anyway, good luck.” He scurried into the TARDIS and took off by fading away with what Michael called a Vworp. I checked over my team and saw Gandalf just staring at where the TARDIS was. Poor guy, he was out of his element. The wizard blinked a few times before speaking.

“Can someone explain to me what’s going on, please?” he had asked. Wyldstyle’s scanner started blinking.

“Not really, no,” she replied, “but, I think another Keystone’s here.” I yelped.

“I forgot to ask who controls the Elemental Keystone!” I cried.

“Be at peace, my lady,” assured Gandalf as he held up his left hand as it wore a Keystone Gauntlet. “Wyldstyle helped me puzzle this thing out.” Judging by his expression, I’d say Gandalf had found some familiar ground to work with.

“Guys,” called Emily, “the transmitter’s in that tube.”

“Blast,” hissed Gandalf. “It’s blocking out the Keystone. I cannot use it.”

“And there’s ice everywhere,” muttered Hiroki as he shivered. “Some of it is blocking out a grapple hook.”

“We’ll have to get the transmitter out,” declared Batman. Gandalf looked around.

“This place is unlike anywhere I’ve ever seen,” he mused. “Let us hurry and find the Keystone.”

“Search for the controls to open the tube,” I said. We started looking around, but most of the controls were dead. I heard something metal falling. It turned out to be Wyldstyle and Hongo bringing a ladder down. “Let’s hope any controls up there will prove functional,” I said.

“Maybe we don’t need to use buttons,” observed Wyldstyle. She pointed to a piece of machinery on top of the transmitter’s prison that could be knocked loose.

“I think one batarang should do it,” rasped Batman. He threw one and it knocked the tube open, allowing the transmitter to be blown out.

“Allow me to handle this,” called Gandalf. “Elemental Keystone, activate!” He was surrounded in a light that shifted from blue, to cyan, to red, to green, to blue again, and so on. “Let’s see,” muttered Gandalf, “let’s have you try fire on the ice, Sir Richard. Element of fire, Richard!” Richard was surrounded in a red light.

“Now this is interesting,” he chuckled. He then summoned a fireball. When his face lit up, he put his hands together and fired a torrent of flames at the ice, melting it quickly. The ice exposed the grapple hook and wires that needed to be connected. Richard grabbed his i.d tag while I grabbed mine.

“Henshin!” we announced. After the transformation sequence, Gentarō gawked.

“You guys are Kamen Riders?!” he gawked.

“We sure are!” confirmed Guard. He then swapped out his i.d tag for the Batman one.

“Batman Steel!” announced his belt. I swapped mine out for the Gandalf one.

“Gandalf Steel!” called my belt. As we settled into our new armor, Batman and Guard got the grapple hook to come loose while Gandalf and I got the wires connected. Batman and Guard’s part caught fire while Gandalf and I had no mishap.

“Element of water, Batman!” announced Gandalf. A blue aura surrounded Batman. He summoned a water ball, then put his hands together and doused the flames. Wyldstyle took the pieces and made an electrical coil. “Hm,” mused Gandalf, “most of us are used to a Keystone’s power except Gentarō. Would you like to try?”

“Sure!” confirmed Gentarō. “Since I don’t have my switches on me now, I’ll go with the Keystone, whatever it is.”

“Element of lightning, Gentarō!” announced Gandalf. Gentarō was surrounded by a cyan aura, generated lightning from his fingers, and zapped the coil.

“Elec on,” he joked. The door opened and revealed a humanoid, silver creature walking towards us with an arm outstretched. It had silver handles going up from where ears would be to the top of the head, a slight “tear-drop” design to the holes that work as eyes, and a blue light in the center. Iron Man should sue. It stomped forward for a bit, then slowed down, then fell. I cancelled my transformation to roll him over. The light in the chest had gone out.

“Well,” I jested, “low batteries?”

“We should move,” gulped Michael, looking a little scared. I arched an eyebrow but got everyone to move. We arrived in a room that had a hidden alcove in the wall, frozen over. A Keystone transmitter was being guarded and I could see security cameras around that area. Richard was still in Batman Steel, so he turned invisible and headed to the transmitter. He managed to lower the guard and turn off the cameras.

“Elemental Keystone, activate!” announced Gandalf. “Element of fire, Gentarō!”

“Fire on!” called Gentarō. I had no idea why he was doing that, but, oh well. He melted the ice on the alcove doors. It seemed to be missing a design.

“Hey, this image looks like that space man robot we saw!” observed Wyldstyle. “It looks incomplete, though. Maybe completing it is the key.”

“I think I can help in that regard,” replied Gandalf as he used his magic to complete the image. The alcove opened to deposit machinery at our feet. I heard stomping and saw one of the strange robots fire at some debris blocking the way with a concealed laser weapon, then stomping back to a window. Wyldstyle saw some cables on the ground and got an idea.

“Loose cables everywhere?” she muttered. “If we can create a generator, we can power up the base.”

“If this isn’t their base,” gulped Michael, indicating the robots.

“What are you so afraid of?” I asked as we helped Wyldstyle gather materials. “They’re robots. We can take them if they’re hostile!”

“If they were just robots,” replied Michael, “I wouldn’t be so worried.”

“Element of water, Gandalf!” announced Gandalf. He was surrounded in a blue aura and doused the fire on the stairway the robot shot at. He climbed up with Wyldstyle as she opened the windows to reveal a barren, star studded landscape. The surface almost looked lunar. There was a probe next to a platform. Gandalf was about to go outside when I told him that that area had no air. There were areas with an atmosphere, according to the computer terminals I had read, but the area we could immediately see was not one of them. Gandalf had then used his magic to move the probe onto the platform, which moved on tracks to bring the probe inside. Wyldstyle needed it near the alcove, so Gandalf had a solution. “Element of lightning, Richard!” Richard was surrounded by a cyan aura and moved towards an electric coil to bring the probe down. We cannibalized the parts to make a generator and two backups with the cables used to send power.

“Job done,” called Batman. “Now, let’s power this place up!” He flicked a switch on the main generator. An unearthly hum indicated that it was working but needed a little more juice. I saw an electric coil in the alcove and requested the use of lightning from Gandalf.

“Element of lightning, Megumi!” announced Gandalf. I felt a buzz as the cyan aura flowed over me. I fired a lightning bolt at the coil. It fell off a giant version of the full torso unit of those robots. Arms were attached by machines and legs came up from panels in the floor. They attached to the hips. A light in the center came on, showing blue. Again, Stark, sue! A giant head with the same teardrop eyes, single mouth slit, and handles from the ears to the scalp came crawling in on cables that held it up. The cables buried themselves into the neck, completing a giant version of those robots we saw. The eyes and mouth flashed orange and the eyes stayed on. The mouth switched off and only turned on when it spoke in a robotic monotone.

“Upgrade complete,” it boomed. It turned down to look at us. “Organic lifeforms detected,” it observed. The robots then stopped stumbling. They straightened themselves so that the chests were held high and the arms were out, poised and ready for action at a moment’s notice. The feet were shoulder width apart and they stomped with the left foot leading and the knees bending at a 45-degree angle. They marched with purpose until they took their positions. Two of them flanked the doors of the alcove. Two of them guarded a door to a hallway above the alcove. One of them was at an airlock leading to the outside where the probe was. There were two at the door we came through to get here and one at each of the five computer terminals. Two of the robots at the terminals had black handles. The two flanking the giant’s alcove had…an organic brain?! Are these guys just brains in humanoid jars!?

“Hey, check this out!” called Gentarō. He pointed to a tube that suspended 40 switches. A robot at a computer terminal with black handles flicked a switch and opened the tube. The switches were deposited into a black box with an image of their head on it.

“These devices are called Astro-switches,” reported the robot to the giant. “They harness an unknown energy called Cosmic Energy to summon equipment. We can manufacture such a device.”

“Excellent, Cyber-Leader 449,” praised the giant. “And what of the final experiment on the new rebreathers?”

“It is initiating now,” replied the robot that reported, Cyber-Leader 449. At that point, I saw two astronauts stomp outside. What were they doing? They started undoing the locks to their helmets while in an airless environment! I rushed for the airlock, but the robot guarding it stopped me. All Vortex Riders rushed for the airlock but were halted as two robots fired a warning shot.

“Now look,” I hissed to the robot that stopped me, “I don’t know what you’re planning, but those people need to get inside!”

“They will not return inside,” boomed the giant. We all asked various versions of the phrase “why not?” “They are performing the final test for new rebreathers so we can breathe in any environment, even in the vacuum of space,” replied the giant.

“But we have to get them in!” I insisted. I tried to get around the airlock’s guard, but it grabbed my shoulder. They’ve got quite the grip.

“There is really no point,” droned the airlock guard. “The doors will not open until the test is complete.”

“But, don’t you care about those people?!” I shouted.

“‘Care’? No,” replied the giant. “Why should we ‘care’?”

“Because they’re people!” Hongo shouted, “and they’re going to die!”

“I do not understand,” quizzed the giant. “There are people dying all over the universe, yet you do not ‘care’ for them.”

“Test complete,” reported the second Cyber-Leader. We turned to the window to see the astronauts with their helmets off. They had the handles of these robots.

“Bring them inside,” boomed the giant. The airlock guard then released me, turned to the keypad, typed a code at a very fast pace, and opened the outer door. The astronauts marched like the robots into the airlock. The doors then shut to let the inner doors open. They marched inside.

“Upgrade successful,” reported one of the astronauts to the giant.

“Report for complete conversion,” ordered the giant. The astronauts marched to another room. I tried to stop them, but the airlock guard held me back. “You are wondering where you are,” observed the giant. “From the fragments of security footage our cameras picked up, you were left here by the Time Lord known as the Doctor and he did not tell you where you are, is that so?”

“Yes,” I hissed, not even bothering to disguise the newfound contempt I had for these creatures.

“You are one of many fragments of our ancestral home world,” replied the giant. “It is called…”

“Ancestral home-world?” interrupted Michael. “You mean Mondas?!”

“Correct,” confirmed the giant. “You were under the impression that Mondas had vaporized?”

“Yes, that’s what the UNIT files left by the Doctor said,” lied Michael. Good thing he didn’t reveal we were from a different dimension.

“The Doctor is incorrect,” replied the giant. “Mondas simply exploded.”

“What was Mondas like before you came to power?” I asked.

“Eons ago, Mondas was Earth’s twin planet,” relayed the giant. “But the arrival of a new celestial object that became Earth’s moon interfered with the orbit, thus making us drift to the far reaches of space. We had returned to Earth’s orbit to drain its energy, but that was when the Doctor first interfered, thus making our planet explode. Now, we are gathering the fragments of our home and using artificial materials to make a new world. We are 45% completed but will require more fragments to complete the equator and southern hemisphere. If needed, we will extract parts of Earth and take its population to increase our numbers. However, another race is interfering and will stop at nothing to destroy us. We had met a version of our kind from another universe where they came from Earth to become the next level of humanity. They had crossed into our universe and we upgraded each other to take the shape you see before you. That has doubled our efforts, but the work still goes slowly.”

“That still doesn’t answer who or what you are!” cried Sheela.

“They’re called the Cybermen,” explained Michael.

“Cybermen?” I asked.

“Correct,” confirmed the giant Cyberman. “I am one of currently 16 Cyber-Kings. We answer to the Cyber-Planner. These Cyber-Controllers,” he indicated the Cybermen with exposed brains, “answer to me as other Cyber-Controllers answer to the other Cyber-Kings. The Cyber-Leaders answer to the Cyber-Controllers. The Cyber-Deputies answer to the Cyber-Leaders. The rest answer to the Cyber-Deputies. We were like you once, but our scientists realized that our race was getting weak.”

“Weak? How?” asked Gentarō.

“Our life span was getting shorter,” elaborated the Cyber-King. “So, our scientists and doctors created spare parts for us until we could be almost completely replaced.”

“But…that means you’re not even like me!” shouted Hongo. “You’re practically robots!”

“We are cyborgs like yourself,” argued the Cyber-Kings. He must have taken a scan of us. “We just do not have genetic modification. As the Cyber-Controllers can clearly show you, our brains are like yours, except certain weaknesses have been removed.”

“What weaknesses?” asked Irina.

“You don’t consider emotions a weakness, do you?” Mikhail quizzed.

“Emotions are a weakness that must be removed,” replied the Cyber-King. “We are doing organic life a favor by doing so.”

“That’s awful!” I shouted. “You mean, you wouldn’t care if someone was in pain?!”

“There would be no need,” answered the Cyber-King. “We do not feel pain.”

“We do!” I yelled.

“That will be changed when you are converted,” boomed the Cyber-King. “You will become like us.” That concluded negotiations as I grabbed a pole and drove it into the head of a Cyber-Controller. It fell with a loud death rattle.

“Judging by her actions,” said Batman, “I don’t think so.”

“Hostility detected,” answered the Cyber-King. “Failure to comply with upgrading is not an option.”

“It is for us!” called Gentarō as he put the Fourze Driver to his waist. It formed a belt strap on its own. Gentarō then split the case in half and attached each half to the sides of his belt. He pulled out four Astro-switches. They were of different colors and numbers. Number 1 was orange, number 2 was blue, number 3 was yellow, and number 4 was black. Gentarō inserted the switches right to left from 1 to 4 as the belt announced what the switches were.

“Rocket! Launcher! Drill! Radar!” announced the Driver. He then flicked the tab switches down. Hongo struck his initial henshin pose as we got out our i.d tags. “3! 2! 1!” said an electronic countdown from Gentarō’s belt. While that went on, he struck a pose that had his left foot forward, his left hand across his front, and his right hand on the handle.

“Rider…!” began Hongo.

“Henshin!” we all shouted We all transformed and got ready for battle. Gentarō’s Rider form looked like it was made from the material needed for an astronaut’s suit and had a conical helmet with a black diamond in the middle with orange insect eyes and a pair of small antennae. He had gauntlets around his wrists and ankles. The right arm had an orange circle on its gauntlet, the right leg had a blue X shape on its gauntlet, the left leg had a yellow triangle on its gauntlet, and the left arm had a black square on its gauntlet. He looked almost like a space shuttle. Gentarō crouched down.

“Uchū…” he began before popping back up and spreading his limbs out, “KITĀĀĀĀĀ!” (Space is here!)

“Fourze kitā!” (Fourze is here!) cheered Sengoku.

“Fourze?” I asked. I turned to the new Rider. “That’s your Rider name? Fourze?”

“That’s right!” confirmed Fourze. He turned to the Cyber-King “Kamen Rider Fourze! Taiman harasete morau ze!” (Let’s settle this man-to-man!)

“You will not escape,” boomed The Cyber-King as more Cybermen entered the room. “We knew that somebody like you would come here. Now you must be upgraded.” We started attacking the Cybermen, but they anticipated our moves. I then decided to slap my Cyberman. It titled its head as if it were trying to process what I was trying to accomplish.

“There is no logic in your actions,” it observed. “We can introduce that into your brain when you are upgraded.”

“Oh, but there IS logic to that slap,” I argued. I held up the new i.d tag. “Check this out!” I did the i.d swap and summoned the wardrobe.

“Cyberman Steel!” announced my belt. Apropos, given what it was made of. The new armor had the handles of the Cyberman’s head. I had the blaster out and had the boots on as well as the chest unit. Tony, I take it back, don’t sue! I fired on my Cyberman right in the chest unit.

“Cyberman firepower is being used against us!” reported a Cyber-Leader. “Unable to upgrade!” The rest of my people go the idea and activated their own Cyberman Steel. That was the final straw as the number of Cybermen went down.

“They are incompatible!” boomed the Cyber-King. “Delete! Delete! Delete!”

“What does that mean?!” quizzed Fourze.

“It means they’re going to kill us instead of upgrade us!” yelped Battle.

“You know,” mused Fourze, “I think I have an idea!” He took out the Rocket and Radar switches and took a cellphone out with a red front with an N and a blue bottom with an S. Both ends had a switch on each end. Fourze opened the phone and split it in half. He inserted the red switch into the right arm slot.

“N Magnet!” announced the belt. Fourze then put the blue end into the left arm slot. “S Magnet!” He then pressed a button on the switches where the phone halves were. “N/S! Magnet on!” called the belt. Machinery appeared, resting on Fourze’s shoulders. It had a twin barreled gun on the back and a helmet that went over the head with Fourze’s antennae and eyes on it.

“Fourze, Magnet states!” announced Fourze. He grabbed the phone halves and pressed concealed buttons on them, firing magnetic bursts at the Cybermen.

“Alert! Alert! Cannot upgrade! Cannot Upgrade!” cried a Cyberman.

“Let’s see,” muttered Fourze, “let’s have you guys on your king’s arm!” He moved the Cybermen and magnetized them to the left arm of the Cyber-King. The weight brought it down to our level. We soon used the strength of our Cyberman Steel and ripped the arm off.

“What is the meaning of this?!” boomed the Cyber-King. “Your species belongs to us! Your species will become like us!” More Cybermen marched in. “Delete! Delete! Hostiles will be deleted! Delete the rogue elements! Delete!”

“We get it!” called Fourze. “You want to kill us!”

“Those who are not compatible for upgrade will be deleted,” droned a Cyberman before Fourze tried the same trick again.

“You are incompatible! Delete! Delete!” boomed the Cyber-King.

“Would you just shut up!” I shouted as I touched Fourze, gaining his i.d tag and swapping it out with the one I was using. I selected the magnet states.

“Fourze Magnet States Steel!” announced my belt.

“N/S Magnet on!” called the voice of Fourze’s belt. I had gained the same magnetic shooter backpack and almost fell over.

“How do you walk around in this thing?!” I yelped.

“It’s meant to be stationary,” explained Fourze. I then regained balance and helped Fourze as I mimed pulling the triggers on the handles. We sent the Cybermen onto the Cyber-King’s remaining arm. We then tore that thing apart!

“NO!” it defied. “You will perish under maximum deletion!” It started sparking. “Upgrade process is…FAILING?! What have you done?! This is not possible! The Cybermen are superior! We are the Cybermen, and you are inferior!”

“We have it on the ropes!” I called.

“Allow me!” replied Fourze. He pulled the handle on the side of his belt. Three klaxon alarms sounded.

“Limit Break!” announced the belt.

“Rider Super Electromagnetic Bomber!” shouted Fourze. He flipped the cover off the red phone half and pressed the button. The guns on the back came off and united in front of him in the shape of a u-shaped magnet. The new weapon fired as a railgun would and destroyed the torso and legs. All that was left was the head. It removed itself from the remains and scurried up the stairs into the hallway above its alcove. The vortex riders returned to their original form, while Fourze returned to Gentarō. We pursued it with Cybermen coming out of the walls, literally! The Cyber-King’s entered a room then shut the door as it entered a hallway. We couldn’t near enough to the keypad as the Cybermen swarmed us. We were starting to tire out!

“Anyone have a plan?!” I asked. Then I noticed one of the enemy’s numbers waved at us. “What the?” A Cyberman caught it.

“Explain your actions,” it quizzed. “It does nothing to delete these rogue elements.”

“What, myself included?” it asked in a synthesized man’s voice. Wait, what?!

“What is the meaning of this?!” asked a Cyber-Leader.

“Sorry, old chaps,” replied the rogue Cyberman, “but these people must pursue the Cyber-King.” It then fired on the rest of the Cybermen!

“Rogue unit detected!” reported the Cyber-Leader. “Delete! Delete!”

“Quickly!” called the rogue Cyberman as it opened the door. “Through here!” We entered the door with the Cyberman behind us. We escaped and got out into an area with air. We released our transformations and started catching our breath. This dimension had a lot of running involved.