Tuesday, February 9, 2010

LKSH1/W00 Episode 2

Snake, this is a stealth henshin. Your presence in this rubbersuit is already a violation of international law.

[On the computer in Marion’s lab…]

              “Well, it looks like we’ve survived the test market phase intact.” Suzuka closed the current browser tab. “Then again, we’ve currently only posted the fic to places where the hits aren’t counted.”
              “Aww, and I wanted to tear apart some trolls, too.”
              “You’ll get your chance soon enough, Kaguya. They’re only resting ‘cause there’s spambots to pick up the slack. In the meantime, you want to do the disclaimer?”
              “Eh, as long as I’m down here…” Kaguya cleared her throat. “Super Robot Wars/Taisen and Endless Frontier are TM and © Banpresto, Namco Bandai, and/or Monolith Soft as appropriate, and licensed to Atlus USA accordingly. Kamen Rider and Sailor Moon are TM and © Toei, though the latter technically belongs to Toei Animation instead. Ranma ½ is TM and © Shogakukan and VIZ Media. Metal Gear is TM and © Kojima Productions and Konami. Rights of scenario based on unholy, not-for-profit combinations of any or all of the above (and/or other trademarks featured but not attributed), including this very document, are reserved to Team Phantom Tiger where appropriate.”
              “Well, what just God would-“
              “Let’s save the religious soapboxing for the author’s personal correspondence, OK?”

Lewd Kamen Senshi Haken 1/W00
An Endless Frontier-flavored multi-fandom blender by /m/’s Haken Browning

Episode 2: Commence Virtuous Henshin! Kamen Rider TheSnake!

[In the Zeit Krokodil’s briefing room…]

              “Captain, I know you’ve been given to some…irregular behaviors as of late,” Lee Ly’s fur bristled as the memories of Haken’s first day as a girl refreshed themselves in his mind. “But this has to take the cake!”
              “Strategizing is an irregular behavior now?” Guy!Haken continued poring over the maps of Trodel Stadt’s metropolitan sectors, O’Malley perched on his shoulder. “You’ll be thanking me when the ladies and I can throw off this Neo-Youma crowd with a single-digit casualty rate. As it stands now, however, we’re dangerously lacking in three things: the ability to detect Youma before or right after they strike, a quick way to get civilians out of the way of Youma, and – most importantly – a way to get the Frontier Senshi quickly INTO the way of Youma.”
              “’Tis a real shame, lad,” O’Malley piped up. “The Mugen Amulets were forged in a time when a city center needed only a thousand people at a time to be ‘bustling’ rather than ten thousand – and apparently, t’were forged FOR such a time as well.”
              Lee bared his fangs before rejoining the discussion. “I’m fairly confident Marion can cook up a rapid insertion system given a week or so and things readily available to the Zeit, but those other two problems are largely people issues. And you know who you’d have to talk with to get those resolved.”
              Haken winced. “Don’t remind me – John Moses has seen it all, but he doesn’t take lightly to weirdness within his own family.”
              “Och, even if ye WEREN’T lily-livered ‘bout revealing your ‘feminine side’, it’s not like ye could just pop into City Hall and say ‘Hey, Pops! I’m in cahoots with a magical vigilante team and we’d like to set up a hotline and an emergency exit system,’ right?”
              The strains of “Another Time Diver” suddenly filled the room. “Hang on, that’s me.” Lee withdrew his cell phone from his vest and answered it. “Lee speaking…Yeah, we’re actually shooting the breeze right now, wanna talk to him? …In person? I’ll let him know. …All right, I’ll pass that along too. Talk to you later, sir.” The were-tiger ended the call and turned to the cowboy and his Mutant Eye pet/advisor. “It looks like you may have a chance to talk business after all. Pops says he needs you in his office ASAP…and he says it’s got something to do with monster attacks.”
              O’Malley had to jump off Haken’s shoulder to avoid freezing his paws amid the ensuing shivers.

[Trodel Stadt City Hall – Elevator going up…]

              Haken exhaled what had to be his 20th or 30th deep breath since entering the city’s administration building. OK, just like the gang said…Let’s just treat this like any other bounty call. No need to spill the beans about the Jusyenko thing unless he asks…
              The elevator reached its destination, a sparsely furnished antechamber whose only other outlet was the door to John Moses’ office. Haken planted a thumb on the intercom button. “Hey, Dad, it’s me. Lee said you had a monster problem?”
              “Yeah, I see you in today’s Guestbook now. Door’s open.” The right-side door automatically unlatched, allowing Haken to push his way inside.
              John glanced up from the computer, gesturing for his son to take one of the seats. “I take it you’re familiar with the latest monster attack in this city?”
              “Last night’s Oro Sushi incident? I heard that one was taken care of with minimal damage.”
              “Not that. There was another one about two hours afterward on the other side of the city – and you’ll have to forgive me, but I was asking a trick question. No one’s been told of THIS one yet, because it concerns state secrets. At 12:05 this morning, the City Guard’s Special Mechanical Division apprehended a two-meter-tall humanoid with no known equivalent in any of Lost Herencia’s various rogue camps and monster packs.”
              “One of the ancient dimension-jumping ships’ mutant contingent, then?”
              “It wasn’t one of those, either. The SMD would know, being made of repurposed WR-series androids found inside those vessels. What makes this monster unique is how tough it was to bring down – despite its bulk, it was able to dodge gunfire from multiple simultaneous trajectories and STILL have room to counter anything that tried getting into melee. 20 of our tin cans eventually had to form a suicide gatling circle to trap this creature on two axes.”
              “SMD’s involvement has to be the reason behind your media blackout…but what makes you think I can do what 20 robots had to kill themselves to do AND come out alive in the process?”
              Funny story about that…Apparently, this guy had a partner who struck Formido Heim about two months ago and they’d been developing a new system to match or neutralize whatever was granting those superhuman reaction times ever since. They’ve dubbed this sort of thing ‘Alert Phase’ – a phenomenon that raises the monster’s spatial awareness far beyond the average humanoid’s.”
              “And you want to trust me with that system?”
              “Bingo. Ezel liquidated one of his prototypes after he’d miniaturized the system enough to make it Orchestral Army standard issue. These creatures ‘Infiltrajin’, the Formido intelligence has dubbed them – are likely moving from one city to another across the Endless Frontier, hitting whoever can’t stop them. What purpose they’d have in doing so besides exploiting that weakness, though, I have no idea.”
              “Do you think they’re working with the Yo-with the monster behind the Oro Sushi attack?”
              “They’re a hell of a lot less vocal than the Youma. If the two are working together, they sure don’t let it on – given the eyewitness accounts from Oro, we’re looking at two entirely different MOs and skill sets. Infiltrajin strike one at a time, Youma bring a party of lackeys. But both of them being immune or nigh-immune to bullets like this is not helping my case in the political arena.” John withdrew two things from under his desk: a silver attaché case which he pushed towards Haken, and a flask of whiskey which he took a swig from. “I’ve already got lobbyists on my ass wanting private gun ownership razed in order to expand the City Guard’s role in protecting Herencia… Most of ‘em are your idiot art-major types from Elfetale or Amahara, but calling them out on it would be about as useful as taking garden shears to my balls.”
              “So you want me to take whatever’s in this case, use it to kick monster ass, and hopefully be done with it by the next election.”
              “That’s about the gist of it.”
              “…You utter bastard. I fight for my share of selfish reasons, but votes aren’t one of them.”
              “You’d gamble the safety of half a million people in this city on that kind of holier-than-thou rationale? Maybe hanging out with two princesses is starting to get to your head. I’ve got half a mind to call up Kaguya’s father and have him cut her pilgrimage short agai-“
              “Whoa, whoa, let’s not get hasty here, Dad. I said that I wouldn’t fight for votes…not that I didn’t have my OWN selfish reasons to bother fighting.” Haken unlatched the attaché. “Nor did I even say that I wouldn’t take you up on your offer.”
              “…You got me there. Well then, you’re already halfway into opening the package, let’s see how well it goes with the rest of your gear.” Haken lifted the attaché lid, twisting the case to allow both him and John to see…
              “…It’s a belt.”
              “How the hell am I supposed to fend off superhuman creatures with a BELT? And don’t say anything about it unlocking the true power of my pants. I know full well what’s going on THERE.”
              “…I’m not even going to dignify that with a response. The belt syncs to you, you use it to transform into a high-performance warrior equipped with bleeding-edge, magic-augmented digital technology, and then you use the cards from the hip pouch to blow the enemy to smithereens.”
              “Ah, I get it. Just like one of my Amahara moon toons.”
              “That’s what I first thought. Makes you wonder who the Orchestral Army tapped for its design te-“ John was interrupted by a shrill alarm emanating from his computer. “Oh, hell, I was hoping you’d get a chance to read the manual first.”
              “An attack on City Hall?”
              “Luckily, no. But apparently our Infiltrajin guest has found a way out of confinement. You’ll need to put him down for good before he escapes the basement jail.”
              “…31 floors. That’s about a minute’s handicap on both sides.” Grabbing the belt and clipping it around his waist, Haken bolted for the elevator.
              …Going for the cold opening, huh? Once again, all I can do is pray you know what you’re doing… John took another swig of his whiskey.

[Trodel Stadt City Hall – Elevator going down…]

              The doors opened to the basement just as Haken pocketed the belt’s manual. “All right, where is this big lug?” A green blur whizzing down the far hallway answered that question. “Ugh, super speed. If Dad wanted to say these Infiltrajin had THAT, he could’ve just said so.”
              A shrill “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” echoed from the Infiltrajin’s current position, followed by the grating of mangled metal. Apparently he had to stop to kill. That guardbot must have not detected him until it was too late. I was hoping to be a little flashier about this, but I might not have much of a choice… “…Solid On.
              The belt materialized around Haken’s waist, card pouch attached to right hip and buckle signaling ready status. Now then… ball left fist at the waist and extend right chop hand forward, hold one, then rapid switch to right grasping pouch dial and left arm crossed over chest chopping. “…Wait, what the hell am I thinking? This is a Sneaking Henshin!” Skipping the hand gesture brouhaha, he clicked the hip pouch’s dial one setting forward, sending the belt beeping and blinking to life.
              [GEAR UP: NAKED NORMAL]
              A warmth not unlike that of the transformation into Sailor W00 coursed through Haken’s body as the belt’s systems transformed his cowboy getup into a concrete gray suit of armor. Were he pressed against the right wall, the only things that could give away his position would be his helmet’s forest green eyes and the bandanna straps extending from the back of his head like a samurai’s topknot.
              A buzzing in the side of the helmet prompted Haken to press against the wall. “I take it you’ve got transforming down pat.”
              “Yeah. I’m keeping tabs on the basement map right now, trying to guess the Infiltrajin’s movement as it takes out our guards.” Another “EEEEEEEEEEEEE!” rang out in the distance as John continued. I just lost #28’s signal. He’s moving toward the east parking garage!”
              Haken darted eastward. “So we have an idea how to find him, now how the heck do I actually fight?”
              “Kamen Rider TheSnake’s powers are encoded on the cards inside your hip pouch. There’s all sorts of weapons and gadgets that can be added to your armor just by swiping the appropriate card through the belt buckle. Try it out right now using the ‘Mei Ling’ card – it’ll give your helmet a radar readout that’ll show you what I’m seeing.”
              “’Mei Ling’? You couldn’t have just named it a Radar card or whatever?”
              “It’s half-magic. The cards are tied to a variety of arcane themes whose names, meanings, and important figures aren’t fully understood yet.”
              “Marketing backdoor. Got it.”
              “What? This has nothing to do with marketi-“
              “Can’t hear you, Dad, I’m busy giving the kids at home something to drool over for Christmas!” Haken withdrew the appropriate card and swiped it through the buckle.
              [SKILL RIDE: MEI LING]
              “…Wild dreams of commercialism aside, it looks like the card data transferred successfully. You ought to see a bare-bones overhead map of the jail in part of your right eye.”
              “Yellow dot in the middle is me, I guess?”
              “You got it. The guard robots should be reporting as red dots with cones sticking out that denote their field of vision. Our unknown is beginning to register thermally, so you’ll have to watch out for a red dot without a cone moving really fast. Once you make contact, be prepared to use the ‘Roy Campbell’ card to nullify his Alert Phase.”
              *clonk* “Sorry, I didn’t get that last part. I was busy making contact.” The Infiltrajin had apparently been running from the North at breakneck pace toward Haken’s position…and collided with his outstretched left fist in cartoony fashion.
              “The ‘Roy Campbell’ card! Quick, before he recovers!”
              “How’s that going to shut off his super-reflexes?”
              “You’ll see.” Haken hastily swiped the card.
              Explosions sparked around the creature from thin air, producing small showers of sparks and the occasional cloud of what appeared to be green pixels blurring together before fading away.
              “Yes! You’ve compromised his Alert Phase aura! Now, use the ‘Solid Snake’ card and wrap this thing up!”
              “I swear you’re trying to sell these to the kiddies. Why else would the most powerful card be named after the belt?”
              “Just kill the thing so you can go back to…whatever it is you do between bounties.
              [FINAL ATTACK RIDE: T-T-T-TheSnake]
              One last “EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” escaped the Infiltrajin’s mandibles as TheSnake’s hands and feet started glowing red. “RIDER PUNCH!” The left fist went into the gut, knocking the monster’s last wind out of its sails. Instead of going for the kick, though, Haken slipped around to its back.
              “Haken, what the hell?”
              “No room to kick him. Gotta do the next best thing.” And then his right arm tightened around the Infiltrajin’s neck. “RIDER CHOKE!” A single jerking motion tore through the connections between the green creature’s head and body with an audible crack. Once the body stopped twitching, Haken dropped it and backed away before it inexplicably combusted.
              “…What. The. FUCK.”
              “It’s called Kamen Rider TheSnake, right? Then I ought to be able to fight like a snake does – sneak by a foe, outwit it, maybe poison it a little, then get a good enough grip around them and snap! – things get disconnected that shouldn’t be disconnected.”
              “Yeah, well, for all that crazy talk you were spouting about ‘selling to the kiddies’, you sure just went and made it FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE to market to the TV-Y7FV crowd. We can’t have little kids playing pretend and snapping each other’s necks!”
              “Look, if you’re really that upset about this sort of thing, then I promise I won’t Rider Choke anything that attacks in public. Right now, though, we’re in a contained environment that no small child has any business in, so nyeh.”
              “…I can’t see you raspberrying me over the Codec, dumbass.”
              “Hell, my tongue can’t even extend all the way for it. Stupid mouthguard.”

[Back at the Zeit…]

              One Solid Off and a debriefing later, Haken was greeted at the Zeit Krokodil’s loading ramp by the whole gang, including a Lee and O’Malley obviously trying to hold back some laughter. “…All right, what’s the big idea?”
              “Oh, we were just thinking…if you had to tell your father about the curse, he’d be all ‘you better be telling the truth, this is far too stupid to work as a lie…’ And then we remembered John’s appetite for ‘escorts,’ and O’Malley put two and two together and-“ Lee burst into laughter at the ensuing images of Girl!Haken doing…things for ‘her’ adoptive father.
              “You may as well wipe that grin off your face; we never got to discuss the whole Youma encounter streamlining plan. In fact, I’m starting to entertain the possibility that Dad actually already knows and is just screwing with me.”
              “On what grounds, lad?”
              “Well, I thought two secret identities would be crazy enough to juggle, but…” Haken willed the TheSnake belt into view. “…Now he’s gone and thrown me a third chainsaw.”
              Suzuka was the quickest to go wide-eyed. “Uhh…Did I ever compute the spread for ‘Haken goes to discuss superpowers, comes back with MORE superpowers’?”
              “I think my bet’s the closest one for this situation.” Dr. Marion Sumii’s face erupted with a beaming grin. “Now then, that was 30 bucks on ‘Haken goes off and comes back with cool techno thing’…”
              “You’re just saying that because you want the 20:1 payout!”
              “Now, now, let’s all just be glad the boys lost.” Kaguya pulled Suzuka back before she could throttle the elven scientist. “Though I don’t think I’d mind seeing ‘Haken-chan’ in a maid outfit anytime soon…”
              Haken facepalmed as he trudged up the ramp. The last thing he needed to deal with in this transgendered superheroic debacle was Kaguya trying to make a kink out of every possible outcome.

[Episode 2 END]

[Next Episode Preview]

              Aschen: I know it’s only been two episodes, Captain, but you’ve already had an inordinate amount of screen time.
              Haken: I know that, so I’m leaving the focus of the next episode up to you. Close your eyes and grab an M&M out of the hat. Whoever’s color is picked gets to be the next episode’s star.
              Aschen: …The bias is painfully obvious, Captain. Blue, green, white…these are all MY colors!
              Haken: Well, I felt that the sooner we dealt with you being stuck in a meatbag body as Sailor W07, the better. Therefore, On the next LKSH1/W00, Episode 3: Aschen’s Path Of Heaven! Tiger Clock Up!
              Kaguya: How did Haken get ahold of white M&Ms?
              Suzuka: These aren’t M&Ms, they’re York Peppermint Pieces!
              O’Malley: He’s messin’ with the natural order, lassies! Head for the hills!

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