Vorton was taking a pounding from the combined might of Megatron, Dr. Borg, and Hiro’s forces. Hiroki was trying to thin out the forces with the Virginia. It made various passes at the Nemesis, but couldn’t reasonably scratch its shields. Still, Megatron saw it as an annoyance that needed immediate attention. “How effective will our weapons be on that ship?” he asked Thundercracker at Tactical.
“Theoretically, we would obliterate it,” replied Thundercracker, “but there’s one flaw that ship is taking advantage of; it’s too small for us to get a decent target-lock on it.”
“Dr. Borg is hailing us,” called Soundwave.
“Put it through,” ordered Megatron. Dr. Borg came on screen.
“I’m having Attack Wings 2 through 4 deal with that gnat buzzing around you,” she answered.
“Excellent,” praised Megatron. “Anything I can do for you?”
“There IS the matter of a shield generator that’s exposed on the front-most ring of asteroids,” mused Dr. Borg.
“Got that thing in our sights!” called Thundercracker.
“Then, by all means,” declared Megatron. “Fire.” Thundercracker unleashed a torpedo and reduced the shield generator to dust.
“…How is that possible?” quizzed Dr. Borg.
“Sir,” called Thundercracker, “enemy shield integrity has not made any significant decrease.”
“Optimus’ doing, most likely,” mused Megatron.
“Nice tweaking of the shield generator code, Prime,” praised Megumi.
“Well, I WAS a data clerk before I got the Matrix,” replied Optimus. “I’d be a fool if I didn’t practice my skills.”
“Shields are holding,” reported Rusty. “…Wait…we’re being probed inside!”
“What?!” yelped Megumi. Just then, an old Cyber-mite self-destructed. “Hiro must have left that when we had that exchange!” growled Megumi.
“Shield frequency retrieved!” called the Communications Officer on the Dominus.
“Alter our weapons to match that frequency!” ordered Hiro.
“Weapons adjusted!” reported Tactical.
“Fire!” shouted Hiro. The enemy fleet fired on Vorton and managed to damage it.
“They’ve figured out our shield frequency!” called Rusty.
“We’re being boarded!” reported the Brigadier. “Shocker Rift, the Seekers, and Jansha are flooding the Promenade!”
“Oh boy, this isn’t as rosy as I remember,” gulped a voice. Megumi turned to see…70-year-old Megumi!
“Mirai-Megumi!” she breathed.
“I take it she’s from your future?” guessed Optimus.
“She is,” replied Megumi. “She’s me.”
“And I need to find Henry Zhou,” explained Mirai-Megumi. “Where is he?”
“Medical ward,” replied Megumi. Mirai-Megumi then looked around.
“I’m near enough to it,” she declared before running off.
“Wait, aren’t you going to help?!” called Arsha.
“No, but I can get you one who can,” replied Mirai-Megumi as she left.
“…Not Dr. Zhou!” groaned Megumi.
“Well, I must say,” gulped Jandro as he looked around the medical ward while Vorton shook from the weapons fire, “I never expected to be at the center of a war zone again!”
“Any that I’ve read about?” asked Swalmu.
“The Battle of Broken Tears,” replied Jandro.
“I was there as well!” called Twaldar.
“The final battle of the War of Stars, ending the First Age of Unity,” mused Swalmu.
“Could we save the nostalgia for later?!” protested Agus. “We need to take command of the situation!”
“Well, we ARE Kamen Riders now!” suggested Wilson.
“A capital idea, in my humble opinion!” replied Jandro as they pulled out their Chronicle Drivers and fastened them to their waists. “Dr. Zhou, I trust you can heal us if things go awry?”
“That’s what I’m here for,” answered Henry.
“Ah, there you are!” called a voice. It was Mirai-Megumi. The men gawked at her.
“I knew humans age,” gulped Twaldar, “but not that fast!”
“I’m not the Megumi from now,” explained Mirai-Megumi. “I’m her at age 70.”
“…The future?!” protested Twaldar.
“Yep!” confirmed Mirai-Megumi.
“First we’re crossing dimensions, now we’re crossing timelines!” snarled Agus.
“Just ensuring the future plays out as it should,” elaborated Mirai-Megumi as she pulled out a Chronicle Driver. “Let’s see,” she mused. “Ah, yes, Sento-san gave Jandro, Agus, and Wilson theirs; Woz gave Swalmu and Twaldar theirs, so all that’s left is you, Dr. Zhou.”
“…Oh no, you don’t!” argued Henry. “I’m already tied up in medical duties!”
“Shocker Rift has Daleks with them right now!” replied Mirai-Megumi. “They’re not too choosy about who they kill!”
“I hardly think that they’ll bother killing us all if they need workers!” countered Henry. “Besides, my place is in an examination room, tending to patients!”
“You won’t get that chance if you don’t fight!” insisted Mirai Megumi.
“I’m a doctor, not a commando!” declared Henry.
“Emily’s a doctor,” Mirai-Megumi pointed out. “So are Marshii and Ratchet. I see them on the battlefield right now.” Henry looked outside and could, indeed, see Emily as Touché with Ratchet and Marshii holding off a boarding party making its way to the medical ward.
“…I’m going to hate myself in the morning!” groaned Henry as he took the belt.
“I knew you’d make the right choice!” cheered Mirai-Megumi. “Well, sayonara, Minna-san!” She then left the area through a time portal. When it shut, Henry fastened the belt to his waist.
“Chronicle Driver!” it announced.
“Just follow our lead,” advised Jandro as everyone took out their Armor Auto-bios.
“Henshin!” they all called. They inserted their trinkets into the shelves and pressed them down into the Chronicle Drivers.
“Open! Turn! Imagine!” the belts called.
“The Shroud of Cloak!”
“The Venom of Tox!”
“The Tail of Lash!”
“The Fan of Nimbus!”
“The Morningstar of Terra!”
“The Grip of Canopy!”
“The What of What?!” called Henry in confusion. His armor was simple in design and had a blue medical cross between the helmet’s antennae.
“I guess you are Kamen Rider Canopy,” mused Cloak.
“…I guess it makes sense,” mused Henry, Canopy.
“EXTERMINATE!” called a familiar harsh, grating, metallic tone.
“A Droknar?” asked Nimbus. “I thought…” What Nimbus thought was one of his world’s sci-fi monsters rounded the corner and revealed itself to be the Dalek that gave the usual battle cry. “Okay, that’s not a Droknar,” remarked Nimbus.
“We can discuss that later!” declared Terra as he summoned his Morningstar.
“EXTERMIN…!” The Dalek didn’t get far as the Morningstar slammed into its casing and caved its side it, causing it to scream before dying.
“Okay, brutal,” gulped Canopy.
“Over there!” called a voice. Shocker Rift Combatmen swarmed the medical ward.
“Do you have an appointment?” asked Canopy.
“Get them!” called the Combatman leader. The Combatmen then swarmed the medical ward and attacked, knocking over various tools in the process.
“Okay, no, destruction of a place of healing is NOT a thing I’m putting up with today!” snarled Canopy as he summoned a staff looking like Hermes’ Caduceus staff and swung it onto the Combatmen. He then discovered how to convert it into a crossbow and fired.
“Damn spider-monkey!” shouted a Combatman.
“I’m a Snub-nosed monkey!” snapped Canopy.
“What do you call yourself?” taunted another Combatman. “Kamen Rider Flea-picker?”
“Kamen Rider Canopy, actually,” corrected Canopy. “I’ve got plenty of monkey business for you!”
Megumi had already changed into Royal and was helping in trying to clear the Gateway Room. Optimus and Arsha were involved as well. “I must admit,” called Optimus as he fired on the Daleks, “I never thought I’d believe in Vorton, much less fight for its freedom!”
“I never thought I’d be in another world outside my own!” replied Arsha as she tossed a Combatman aside.
“Focus on the fight, you two!” advised Royal. “If the shields around the Gateway Room fail…” A Dalek shot a console. It exploded and the sound of shields being lowered echoed throughout the room. “Oh no!” groaned Royal.
“The shields around the Gateway Room have lowered!” called Dr. Borg.
“That’s our que to take the stage!” declared Hiro.
“You heard him!” Megatron boomed at his troops. “Beam us over!”
“Royal!” warned Rusty as Megatron, Dr. Borg, and Hiro were beamed right into the Gateway Room. Megatron charged at Optimus and they got into a grapping match. Dr. Borg took to the air and fired magic blasts at Arsha. Hiro got out his phone, put his i.d. tag into it, keyed in a code, then thrust it in front of him.
“Henshin!” he called. He then set it into the buckle and became Kamen Rider Rogue. “Kamen Rider Rogue! Stand and deliver!” he announced as he drew his guns and converted them into shōtō mode.
“Megumi, we’re being overrun!” reported POmega as Royal and Rogue engaged in a sword duel.
“Orders, Ma’am?!” called the Brigadier. Royal looked around after shoving Rogue back.
“…Computer, this is Megumi Hishikawa,” she finally announced. “Initiate Program: Hishikawa 1 Niner Alpha.”
“Program cannot be completed unless Richard Saunders authorizes the concurrence program,” reported the computer.
“What are you doing?!” snarled Rogue.
“Richard-chan,” Royal called on the comms.
“Guard here,” replied Richard’s voice. From his response, he was Kamen Rider Guard again. “Did I hear that right? You authorized half the…?”
“Authorize the other half,” ordered Megumi. “If they want Vorton so bad, they can have it!”
“…Computer,” sighed Guard, “this is Richard Saunders. Initiate Program: Saunders 1 Niner Alpha.”
“Program completed and engaged,” reported the computer. “Evacuate Vorton immediately. All computer systems aside from life-support will self-destruct upon all members evacuating.”
“WHAT?!” roared Rogue.
“You’re having Vorton, not our intelligence!” snarled Royal as the evacuation alarm sounded. Rogue charged wildly at her and attempted to take her head, but Royal blocked every blow. Just then, a red tendril intercepted a blow. Reb Rojam was on Vorton!
“How did YOU get here?!” demanded Optimus.
“Hiro sprung me and my DARLING hubby!” replied Reb as she joined the fray. “Arsha, so DELIGHTFUL to see you again!”
“I wish I could say the feeling’s mutual!” hissed Arsha. The three leaders held off the invaders as everyone evacuated through the Gateway.
“All members and allies are evacuated aside from three,” reported the computer after five minutes had passed.
“Prime, Arsha, you two first,” directed Royal.
“What about you?!” protested Optimus.
“I’ll be all right! Go!” urged Megumi.
“Prime, I don’t think she’ll brook any arguments!” insisted Arsha as she made her way to the Gateway. Optimus rolled his optics before he followed Arsha. Royal then managed to cancel her transformation and threw her crown into a console before leaving. The portal in the Gateway shut itself and electricity coursed through the machinery, leaving only life-support online. Rogue roared in frustration as the Decepticons activated lights hidden within their helmets.
“It looks like Program: 1 Niner Alpha was very thorough,” mused Megatron.
“And a very smart move on her part,” praised Dr. Borg. “She had no intention of letting any of her group’s intelligence fall into her enemy’s hands. In all honesty, I’d be a little disappointed if she didn’t attempt to destroy her plans.”
“Yes, very well and good,” interjected Reb, “but the fact is remains, our SACRED bargain is complete. You told me to help you take Vorton and my hubby and I did. Now, I need a way back to my crew, so FRAUGHT with worry.”
“…A deal’s a deal,” sighed Megatron.
“Hold on, we need her!” argued Rogue.
“We really don’t right now,” dismissed Megatron. He turned to a Dalek. “Does our backup rift generator still work?”
“It is still operational!” replied the Dalek.
“Send Reb and her husband home,” ordered Megatron.
“I obey!” replied the Dalek. As the Dalek scuttled off, Megatron knelt down and picked the crown out of the console.
“As if the message couldn’t be any clearer,” he chuckled.
“What message?” hissed Rogue as he canceled his transformation.
“Megumi declared her intention to return,” explained Dr. Borg.
“…Get weapons power online!” barked Hiro to a Combatman. “Return shield power! I want our prize fortified!”
The people that evacuated had arrived at the new Castle Nerd Skull. They were catching their breath as the Riders powered down. Emily then got a notification on her phone. She looked it up and sighed happily. “The Virginia’s in Castle Nerd Skull’s new hangar,” she reported.
“Excellent,” replied Megumi. “And our backup systems?”
“All correct,” replied Lukas.
“Megumi, your crown!” yelped Richard.
“I left it behind on purpose, I promise you,” assured Megumi.
“The question remains, what now?” asked Optimus.
“We throw the Ring into Mt. Doom, first,” declared Megumi.
“Sauron wasn’t on Vorton, though,” remarked Richard.
“Ring?” asked Jandro.
“When the first Dark Lord, Morgoth, fell,” explained Gandalf, “Sauron, his lieutenant, took his place and then disguised himself as Annatar, the Lord of Gifts. With his knowledge of craftsmanship, he counseled Elf smiths in creating Rings of Power. Three were given to the Elves, seven to the Dwarves, and nine were given to Men. In secret, he forged a master ring, the One Ring, and poured his very soul into it.”
“Only a last alliance of Elves and Men stopped him in his home of Mordor,” continued Batman. “Then-Prince Isildur then took up his father’s broken sword and used it to get the Ring away from Sauron. It all could have been avoided if he threw it into Mt. Doom, but he didn’t and it eventually was lost until Gollum picked it up, then lost it, then a Hobbit named Bilbo got it before, reluctantly, passing it on to Frodo at Gandalf’s urging.”
“I take it, you did your research in your universe,” mused Gandalf. “Then, I presume you know how our story was supposed to go.”
“You were supposed to die during the battle with the Balrog,” began Batman, “then Boromir should have died by Uruk Hai arrows while defending Frodo, then Frodo and Sam were supposed to reach Mordor alone while guided by Gollum while Merry and Pippen were taken by Saruman’s forces. They then meet you resurrected in white robes, taking Saruman’s place as you do now. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas pursued the Uruk Hai forces and found their bodies after men from Rohan killed them. Then they met you and you all went to Edoras to free King Théoden from Saruman’s control. You all then went to Helm’s Deep and defended it while Fangorn Forest took care of the rest of the Isengard forces. While that happened, Saruman was held under siege at Orthanc from the Ents and Merry and Pippen. Both groups then reunited and then Pippen looked in the Palantír, seeing Gondor burning. You and Pippen then headed to Gondor to try and raise the defenses while Sauron sent his forces to siege it. Rohan was then convinced to aid Gondor and both armies drove back Mordor’s soldiers while Sam and Frodo went deeper into Mordor. The armies of Men then marched onto Mordor to distract Sauron while Frodo destroyed the Ring and, as an accident, Gollum.”
“Well, Boromir died of three slashes from Kamen Rider Kiri,” explained Gandalf. “Théoden is freed from Saruman’s control and Merry and Pippen have, indeed, encouraged the Ents to take Isengard. The reason I did not die is because you and our friends first met me as Durin’s Bane and I fell in Moria. The rest, I presume, everyone knows.”
“We all told our stories,” replied Batman as he idly flicked a ring of gold into the air. “The chance to permanently finish Sauron’s is right here.” Everyone’s eyes turned to the ring. Batman, satisfied that he got everyone’s attention, held a lighter to the Ring and bathed it in the small flame for a few seconds before shutting the lighter off and letting the ring drop to the floor. It didn’t even bounce, just landed with a thud. Megumi knelt down and picked up the ring. Fiery writing then appeared and Megumi’s eyes went wider still.
“One ring to rule them all, One ring to find them, One ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them!” she gasped. There, in her hands, was Sauron’s greatest strength and weakness, the One Ring! “Sauron WAS on Vorton?! How did you get this off his finger?!”
“Wyldstyle built a sword based off of me,” explained Batman. “I used it to do as Isildur did. His armor collapsed, empty of anything or anyone.”
“Then we have a chance to destroy it!” declared Megumi. “With the destruction of the Ring, Mordor will fall! With Mordor gone, Hiro’s forces are reduced to two-thirds of their original might!”
“He’s also getting help from my home,” supplied Batman.
“And he’s got Lord Business’s robots online as well,” reported Wyldstyle.
“And he’s using monsters that I’ve defeated,” finished Hongo.
“Then those are our goals!” affirmed Megumi.
“What about the 3V2R?” asked Optimus.
“Prime’s right,” agreed Arsha. “We DO have that to consider.”
“Once we take care of Mordor,” replied Megumi, “then we take back Vorton, then we plan for the 3V2R!”
“Sounds like a plan,” chuckled Optimus.
“Then the first step is intel gathering,” declared Arsha.
“Actually, that’s the second step,” countered Megumi.
“…Then what’s step one?” asked Arsha.
“To ask a question to the new Chronicle Riders,” replied Megumi. She then turned to the new guys. “Jandro, Henry, Twaldar, Wilson, Swalmu, Agus, you are under no obligation to fight with us.”
“With respect, yes we are,” countered Jandro. “We’ve had a little chat while you were making plans. I have nothing left for me at home, since my clan was exterminated.”
“I’m very interested in After Academy and seeing other universes,” supplied Swalmu.
“I’m interested in seeing other Elves,” continued Twaldar.
“And what good is biological immortality,” interjected Jandro, “if you don’t keep learning?”
“After Academy sounds excellent to fill any empty void people like me and Jandro feel without giving up our immortality,” supplied Twaldar.
“I’ve learned that combat is, sometimes, necessary,” proclaimed Henry. “Besides, I want to learn more about medicine and After Academy will fill that nicely.”
“I’m very interested in the artwork produced there,” offered Wilson.
“And while I may have a good pay at G.U.N,” finished Agus, “I sometimes feel forgotten and don’t contribute much. Here, I felt like I contributed more than I did in my life and I feel so fulfilled!”
“Wait, wait, hold up,” called Optimus. “Does this mean you’re not coming home?”
“No, Mr. Prime,” confirmed Jandro. “We want to stay at After Academy and, if Megumi will have us, become members of her group of Kamen Riders.”
“…Jandro Dormu, Swalmu Damfel, Twaldar Endri, Wilson Andrews, Henry Zhou, Agus Atmadja, kneel,” declared Megumi. They all knelt and Megumi summoned got her sword and tapped each shoulder. “Now rise, Duke Jandro Dormu, Lord Swalmu Damfel, Sir Twaldar Endri, Sir Wilson Andrews, Duke Henry Zhou, and Duke Agus Atmadja! Welcome to the Feudal Nerd Society and Vortex Alliance!” They all rose and bowed.
“Congratulations, all of you!” praised Arsha.
“Well, with all that,” declared Megumi, “it’s time for me!”
“Time for you?” asked Richard. “Time for you to what?”
“Given that I’ve got new friends with me and new members of the F.N.S as Chronicle Riders,” replied Megumi, “maybe it’s time…for a change!” She then ducked into a dressing room and went behind a screen. She stayed there for a good hour before coming out in a fluffy dress with shades of blue and white, a large boa of the same color scheme as her dress, a long dress train, a hairpiece adorning the left of her head, and blue eyeshadow and lipstick. “Now, we start planning how to destroy the Ring!” proclaimed Megumi.