“WHAT ARE YOU TWO DOING IN MY CLOSET?!” roared Hiro.
“Conducting official alliance business,” replied Dr. Borg.
“In my closet?!” snarled Hiro as he holstered his gun.
“I didn’t want Sauron to be stressed out even further,” explained Megatron.
“…Why mention Sauron?” gulped Hiro.
“Don’t even attempt to play innocent with us!” hissed Megatron. “Soundwave had the pair of us listen in on your conversation with Sauron about a number of elite soldiers flying the coop. Nine, to be exact.”
“Sauron gave the Nazgûl no such orders to leave!” protested Igura. “His troops were getting bored! I only found out about it when Sauron told me about it five hours ago!”
“The Nine are YOUR soldiers too,” observed Dr. Borg, “and that makes you and your husband responsible for them! Right now, they’re starting to corrupt the very foundation of our alliance by distracting us from Caan and taking Vorton!”
“I can see them now,” rasped Megatron, “whining to Sauron about letting off steam! Perverting his loyalties to you! I tell you, Hiro, if we don’t put the brakes on the Nazgûl’s activities right now, we’re going to see rebellions all over the alliance! If I had my way, I’d light them on fire for DARING to disobey orders! But, that is not my place. We need to bring the Nazgûl back under control, but we must do it carefully, privately, …quietly.”
“So, what are you going to do?” asked Hiro.
“I’m not doing anything,” replied Megatron.
“Neither will I,” supplied Dr. Borg. “You, on the other hand, will tell Sauron to never mind wiping the Nazgûl’s memories and stick to a beating.”
“Why shouldn’t he wipe their minds?” asked Igura. “He’s done it before when he turned them into what they are now.”
“He needs them to understand,” explained Dr. Borg, “that insubordination will NOT be tolerated, not even from his favorite soldiers.”
“And they can’t really learn,” supplied Megatron, “if they’re functioning on false memories.”
“Why should I listen to you?” demanded Hiro. “You’ve always been against my decisions from the start.”
“I can get you a Decepticon soldier that will be a perfect yes-man,” offered Megatron.
“Well then, you’ve got a deal,” agreed Hiro as he held out his hand. Megatron took the hand and they shook on the deal.
“Now, where would they go?” asked Megatron.
Optimus was at the firing range practicing his shooting. He was using a rifle instead of his usual magic gun as he felt there would come a time where he wouldn’t have it on hand. After his time with it was up, he set it down and reactivated his audio receivers. He then heard someone clearing their throat and turned to see Richard. “Target practice?” guessed Richard.
“Making sure I’m not subpar with other weapons,” elaborated Optimus. “What’s up?”
“We’ve finished our sensor sweep of Chun-nan,” replied Richard as he handed Optimus a human-sized pad. Optimus activated a connector within his hand and read the data, frowning in the process.
“Oh, fascinating,” he grumbled. “Nothing indicating a Temporal Stop from the Ark, nothing indicating a Temporal Stop from the ARK, nothing indicating a Temporal Stop from the Blue Typhoon, and nothing indicating a Temporal Stop from the Fang. Well, we’re getting closer to reuniting you with your wife on ‘Vorton’ at a rapid pace.” He handed Richard the pad back after disconnecting from it.
“Optimus, why DON’T you believe in Vorton?” asked Richard.
“Let’s just say, I have all the proof I need to believe you’re from another universe,” answered Optimus, “I’m just lacking in solid proof that Vorton exists. There are MANY legends about Vorton, most of them being bedtime stories Ironhide and Mom told me before I became Prime. Some have said it’s the center of a vast empire while others say it’s nothing but atoms now.”
“It ain’t atoms, I can assure you,” replied Richard. Just then, the comms rang.
“Go ahead,” directed Optimus.
“We’re getting some readings of conflict between MECH and nine motorcycle riders in black,” reported Teletraan.
“A biker gang?” asked Optimus.
“Who’s MECH?” asked Richard.
“Mechanically Efficient Champions of Humanity,” answered Optimus. “A human-only terrorist group that hates Mobians for…” he almost choked on finishing the explanation “‘daring to rob humans of their technological dominance.’ Primus, I almost barfed at saying that!”
“I wasn’t exactly feeling steady on my feet at hearing it,” groaned Richard. “How can a terrorist group lose against a nine-man biker gang?”
“Well, I’m willing to find out,” declared Optimus. “Wanna come with?”
“Sure,” replied Richard as he fastened his belt.
“Vortex Driver!” it announced.
“Let me just get changed first,” continued Richard as he inserted his i.d. tag. “I foresee gunfire in the future. Henshin!” He spun the wheel and became Kamen Rider Guard. “Let’s go!” Optimus and Guard headed off to the Ground Bridge and saw Swalmu and Twaldar waiting there.
“Might I ask what you’re doing?” asked Optimus.
“Helping to earn our keep,” explained Swalmu.
“We’ve been sitting on our rears since we got here,” continued Twaldar. “Frankly, as someone who’s been fighting all his life, I’m antsy when I don’t exercise my combat skills.”
“And I have been occasionally checking on Ms. Barmek and her prisoners,” supplied Swalmu. “That’s all very well and good, but I need to defend the Queen on occasion, even if she’s not one of my Queens specifically.”
“One of your…never mind,” declared Optimus. “If you guys are sure, then let’s get moving. Teletraan, the Ground Bridge.”
“One Ground Bridge to MECH territory, coming up,” announced Teletraan. The Ground Bridge opened and Optimus transformed. His holo-form opened the cockpit.
“Hop in!” he called. Guard and Swalmu sat in the seats on each side while Twaldar sat behind Swalmu. The cockpit closed and Optimus sped off through the Ground Bridge. They arrived in Central Spagonia, Stuttgart, Germany, to use our old maps. Everyone climbed out of the cockpit and took cover when they heard gunfire. There were, indeed, nine motorcycle riders. They had long left their bikes and were attacking masked soldiers with a metal M on their shoulders surrounded by the teeth of a gear. “There’s MECH!” hissed Optimus.
“I feel an older gentleman among the crowd,” remarked Swalmu.
“Must be the current Silas, the Ex-Commander of G.U.N, Abraham Tower,” growled Optimus.
“How could you ‘feel’ an older man there?” asked Guard.
“This cloud is more than a mere dress,” explained Swalmu. “I’ll tell you all about our creation myth later. Right now, there’s something puzzling about the riders.”
“A sense of nothingness within the suits and helmets?” asked Twaldar.
“Exactly,” replied Swalmu.
“…It can’t be,” muttered Guard. Just then, they saw the leader of the MECH battalion, Tower in his Silas persona, stab the leader of the riders. The rider stopped his punch and looked down.
“Take that, you animal lover,” growled Silas. Then…it happened. The leader of the nine riders…laughed!
“Old fool!” rasped the rider. “This is my hour. Do you not know death when you see it?” He slammed his fist into Silas’ gut and winded him as he took the knife out of his body and drew his own. “I suppose we could use a lesser Wraith,” declared the rider as he raised the knife.
“A Morgul blade!” yelped Guard. “It’s the Nazgûl!”
“But, the Nine usually wear robes and ride horses! Not motorcycles!” gulped Optimus.
“It looks like things have changed,” declared Swalmu as he opened his fan and gathered wind about it. “Twamal!” he shouted as he sliced the air with the fan and sent the wind at the Witch-king, knocking him off his feet before the Morgul-blade pierced Silas. The Witch-king’s compatriots saw this and shrieked before drawing their swords.
“You should have stayed dead!” snarled Guard as he drew his sword. The Witch-king recovered and attacked. Unfortunately, he drew his massive mace and swung it into Guard. Swalmu then took folded his fan and extended a short blade from it. “Swalmu, no!” warned Guard. “No living man can kill him!”
“I think my dress can fool him!” replied Swalmu as he stabbed the Witch-king.
“…You should have listened to him!” hissed the Witch-king. He then grabbed Swalmu by the neck and threw him aside. Optimus fired on the rest of the Nazgûl as Twaldar used a strength-enhancing spell to hurl a massive boulder towards the Witch-king.
“Forgive me, Silas,” called a MECH soldier, “but I believe it to be wise for you to remove your august presence from the battlefield!”
“Retreat, you mean!” snarled Silas.
“I hope I’m not out of line for suggesting such a thing!” replied the MECH soldier.
“…WITHDRAW!” ordered Silas. MECH then moved from the battlefield. Regretfully, it didn’t escape the Nazgûl’s notice.
“Slay them!” ordered the Witch-king.
“Back off, Witchy!” shouted Richard as he blocked the Nazgûl’s pursuit.
“Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey!” warned the Witch-king. “Or he will not slay thee in thy turn! He will bear thee away to the Houses of Lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured…”
“… ‘and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye,’ I’ve read that passage and watched the cartoon version of that speech!” snapped Guard. “That’s just after a woman stabs you in the head!”
“Hiro predicted that would happen,” remarked the Witch-king, “thus advised Sauron to upgrade my armor in that regard.”
“So, you’re protected against women, I see,” muttered Guard. “I had some women that could really give you a headache.”
“Perhaps, you can still get them,” called a voice. Everyone turned to see Woz approach them. “So, this is the moment where you begin to return to your wife as predicted.”
“I’m sorry, who are you?” asked the Witch-king.
“Just a humble prophet sent by the Queen from 45 years into the future to give Swalmu and Twaldar these,” replied Woz as he produced a pillow with a pair of Chronicle Drivers on them.
“Us?!” yelped Twaldar. “You want us to be Kamen Riders?!”
“I’m ensuring the timeline is on its correct course,” answered Woz. “The question is, will you accept?”
“Swalmu, Twaldar, I beg you,” advised Guard, “consider what you’re doing!”
“…I’m in!” declared Swalmu as he took one.
“As am I!” announced Twaldar as he took the other. They then fastened the belts to their waists.
“Chronicle Driver!” they announced. They then took out Armor Auto-bios and inserted them into the shelves.
“Henshin!” they called before pressing the shelves into the buckles.
“Open! Turn! Imagine!” proclaimed the belts.
“The Fan of Nimbus!”
“The Morningstar of Terra!” Swalmu’s armor had a distinct cloudy feel to it and Twaldar’s armor was based off of ancient Elf armor.
“Kamen Rider Nimbus!” called Swalmu. “There’s a storm of defeat heading your way!”
“Kamen Rider Terra!” announced Twaldar. “The earth shall swallow you whole!” Swalmu, now Nimbus, summoned a fan and opened it, revealing blades, and slashing it across the Witch-king’s front. Twaldar, now Terra, summoned a Morningstar and bashed it atop the Witch-king’s head. The Witch-king massaged his scalp in an attempt to clear the dizziness from his head.
“I’d like to see you try that again!” snarled the Easterling Nazgûl. They did exactly that to him. “By the Ring, they did it,” slurred the Easterling.
“IWAE!” (Rejoice!) called Woz. “The new Chronicle Riders who shall make the Feudal Nerd Society stronger! The Riders from a world once remote! And their names are Kamen Rider Nimbus and Kamen Rider Terra! This is the moment where the Nazgûl are driven back!”
“There aren’t any women to do so!” snarled the Witch-king once he recovered.
“What about me?” rasped a voice. For once, the Nazgûl quaked in their boots.
“Why, Master Sauron!” squeaked the Witch-king. “What a surprise!”
“Don’t even attempt to suck up to me!” growled Sauron. “You were given strict instructions to remain in Minas Morgul! What are you even wearing?!”
“It’s, er, leather, Master,” gulped the Witch-king. “You see, most metal, wheeled, horse-riders of many universes wear such material to…”
“I don’t want to hear it!” roared Sauron. “Return to Minas Morgul at once and await my command!”
“Yes, My Dread Sauron!” whimpered the Witch-king. A rift opened for everyone and Sauron looked back at the Kamen Riders and their Prime ally.
“As for you,” he warned, “I will see you again when this truce between us and your wife is over!” He followed the Nazgûl into the rift and it closed.
“…Er, can anyone tell me what just happened?” asked Guard.
“I believe the Enemy has disciplined his forces,” remarked Nimbus.
“They will remain in Minas Morgul to contemplate their failure in obeying my orders to remain!” Sauron reported to Hiro.
“Good to know,” replied Hiro. “Keep me posted. Hiro out.” He ended the call. “Well, that was a tense moment.”
“That is how one disciplines their troops,” remarked Megatron.
“Yeah, well, it doesn’t speak well of…” Hiro trailed off as he heard a noise. He and Megatron then followed the noise and saw Rumble fighting a Shocker Rift Combatman and Jansha! The two commanders then intervened and physically restrained their respective soldiers. Dr. Borg came in and then held Jansha back before she could strike her restrained opponents.
“ENOUGH!” roared Megatron. “ANYONE DECIDES TO THROW ANOTHER PUNCH, THEY WILL ANSWER TO ME! WHO STARTED THIS?!”
“…I did,” replied Rumble as he stopped struggling in Megatron’s fist.
“I came in second,” continued Jansha.
“And I came last,” finished the Combatman.
“You?” hissed Hiro. “You knew my orders!”
“I offer no excuses,” gulped the Combatman. Hiro then got behind him and leveled his gun at the back of the poor Combatman’s head. “Shocker gundan banzai!” (Long live the Shocker Army!) gulped the Combatman before Hiro pulled the trigger. The Combatman fell dead once the shot rang out. Hiro then turned to Megatron and Dr. Borg, their jaws open at the stark barbarism they had witnessed.
“Well?” asked Hiro. “Kill them and be done with it!”
“…Rumble, when not on duty,” ordered Megatron, “you are confined to quarters until the true with Megumi is finished.”
“The same applies to you,” Dr. Borg told Jansha.
“Yes, Lord Megatron,” gulped Rumble as he was let down.
“Understood, Mother,” mumbled Jansha as she and Rumble left for their quarters. Dr. Borg then looked at the crowd.
“Let’s break this up,” she hissed. “Everyone, to your quarters or duty stations, it makes little difference to me. Either way, this room WILL be cleared! …NOW!” The crowd dispersed, leaving only Hiro, Megatron, and Dr. Borg.
“Do you two honestly call that discipline?” asked Hiro.
“A dead soldier does not learn from their mistakes,” remarked Megatron. “I don’t take pleasure in killing, like you do.”
“You believe I enjoyed that?” argued Hiro. “Tadashi was Commander of the Black Battalion. He served me for five years. I valued him.”
“You have an…interesting way of showing that,” muttered Dr. Borg.
“I did what needed to be done, what ANY commander would do!” insisted Hiro. “I placed the good of my empire above my personal feelings. Any soldier that doesn’t follow orders is a danger to the empire and must be removed and replaced.”
“Starscream is the most dangerous to my command,” mused Megatron, “but if I killed him over a simple breach of discipline like this, then I would be a danger to my own command. My soldiers would stop trusting me and, quite frankly, a good commander cannot fault them for that.”
“You are weak,” remarked Hiro. “You should have died in his place. When all this is over, I will see that you do.” He left the room, thus leaving Megatron and Dr. Borg feeling very threatened.
“…One of us will betray the other two,” hypothesized Dr. Borg.
“Perhaps,” remarked Megatron.