Saturday, March 13, 2010

LKSH1/W00 Episode 5

In which I break out a plot twist I intended to happen about 20 episodes later, but couldn't 'cause I suck at filler.

[Cold Disclaimer]

              Super Robot Wars/Taisen, Endless Frontier, and related properties TM and © Banpresto, Namco Bandai, and Monolith Soft (as appropriate), and licensed to Atlus USA, Ltd.
              Plot Enablers for this chapter/series borrowed from Konami and Kojima Productions (Metal Gear), Toei and Toei Animation (Kamen Rider and Sailor Moon), Shogakukan and VIZ Media (Ranma ½), and Square Enix, Ltd. (Parasite Eve).
              No permission has been asked or granted for the use of any or all of the above, and this work uses these elements under the express provision that no profit is made from its distribution.

[On the last episode…]

              Girl!Haken: “I still don’t entirely get it…why the opera?”
              Kaguya: “Regular theatre just won’t cut it.”
              (Eva goes into the high notes of her aria, setting things on fire.)
              O’Malley (VO): “…Do I smell something burning?”
              Marisa: “Aaaah! Get away!” (runs off)
              Kaguya: “Someone REALLY doesn’t want us seeing what’s behind this door.”
              Girl!Haken: “I got a lockpick.”
              (Rehearsal Room door is busted open.)
              Girl!Haken (VO): “PHANTOM PLASMA STAKE!
              Marisa: “She says…with you here…it’s time for me to let go…”
              (Marisa slumps onto the keyboard.)
              Girl!Haken: “So wait, she wasn’t possessed by the Youma…”
              Kaguya: “…But was a Youma born into deep cover as a human?”
              Marisa/Lilith: “I am Lilith Barshem, destined princess of the Neo-Youma Empire…and your executioner.”

[Back to Live Action…]

              A sphere of light formed in Lilith’s hand as she aimed an outstretched arm at the Frontier Senshi.
              “DUCK!” The four dove for the floor at Aschen/Sailor W07’s command, narrowly avoiding being singed by the laser the light sphere coalesced into a split second later.
              “…It appears I’ll have to work for this victory…” Lilith retracted her arm, concentrating as the crystals within her skin began to shine with the same energy buildup. “…No matter. I mean, you’ve had your share of one-sided victories against our forces, right?”
              “You kept sending us arrogant little schmucks,” Girl!Haken/Sailor W00 retorted. “I’m not sure they count.”
              “Me?” The energy in Lilith’s limbs exploded into an all-range laser burst, sending the Senshi tumbling once more. “I’ve been too busy getting Marisa to reassert me to order the riffraff to arms…and I’ll make sure you don’t live long enough to learn who’s calling the shots.”
              A hand whose fingernails had mutated into piercing talons dove toward Haken, only to be caught by Kaguya/Sailor Nanbu’s sword. “Sorry to disappoint, but we’re a bit more interested in smashing up your chain of command than learning about it!”
              “Besides which…” Lilith’s head turned backwards, only to stare down Suzuka/Sailor GUN-Oh and the wrist gatling she pointed at her. “…We came here to see an opera, not a laser show!”
              Kaguya used Suzuka’s bluff to break the clash as Haken advanced on Lilith’s front. “It’s a little late for us to get a refund, so I hope you don’t mind if we take it out of your hide instead!”
              “Ugh, petty humans…always thinking of things in terms of some sort of points…”
              “Excuse me?” Aschen’s foot slammed into the small of Lilith’s back. “I’m a robot and she’s some sort of narwhal-eel-demon.” She cocked a thumb at Suzuka. “Your argument is invalid.”
              “Grrr…” Lilith gathered energy for another laser blast as she stumbled to her feet. “…Damn the lot of you and your penchant for semantics!” The Senshi braced for another shot…
              …only for the light to keep building up around Lilith.
              Kaguya took a defensive stance. “You think she’s shielding herself?”
              “If she is…” Haken willed the stake attachment to ‘her’ arm. “…it’ll be THAT much more fun.”
              The light around Lilith dissipated, revealing that she had replaced herself with a hole in the floor.
              “Aw, dammit, she ran AGAIN!”

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

Episode 5: Resonance of a Man’s Anger! TheSnake’s True Enemy!

[Cargo Hall Rehearsal Room – near the hole in the floor…]

              Suzuka peered into the gap. “Well, this doesn’t look like a particularly elegant escape…”
              “Yeah, especially since she called herself a princess. You’d think she’d take the time to cut a nice, clean path down…”
              “You’re one to talk, Haken.” Aschen shoved the part-time girl aside and examined the hole. “It’s a 25-foot drop, right into the sewers of Trodel Stadt. Our Sailor powers and natural acrobatics ought to take care of the fall, but we don’t have a reliable way to track our quarry.”
              “What about Kaguya?”
              “No go on that, unless she’s bothered learning to actively sense magic disturbances.”
              “And I haven’t.” Kaguya blushed. “Sorry, everyone…”
              “It’s OK, we’ll just play it by ear.”
              “Play it by…Captain, are you suggesting what I think you’re suggesting?”
              “That we jump into a sewer willy-nilly, hunt down a Youma with no reliable tracking method, defeat said Youma, AND find our own way back to the surface?”
              Aschen sighed. “…Exactly.”
              “Hell yeah, I’m suggesting it!”
              “…Fine. But you go first.”
              “Figured you’d say that.” Bending down, Haken dangled both ‘her’ legs into the hole before following after with the rest of ‘her’ body.

[Sewers – Just below Cargo Hall…]

              *splooosh* *crackle* *bzzt* “Argh, son of a BITCH!”
              “What is it?”
              “C’mon down, see for yourself!”
              The remaining three Senshi dropped down into the aqueduct, finding themselves face-to-face with Guy!Haken…in the cocktail dress Kaguya had picked out for his female half earlier that evening. “Not even gonna ask how the water here got warm enough to boot me out of Girl Mode…”
              Kaguya held back a giggle. “Oh come on, you don’t look THAT bad…”
              “Really, I’m more concerned that I wound up having to de-morph as well…this means once we find Lilith, one of you will have to hotwire your powers like Aschen did.
              “Well, first we’ve got to, y’know, find Lilith. And I’ve already told you what we were up against in that regard.”
              “I think we have a good idea which way we need to go…” Haken pointed up, waving his finger along the stretch of the wall.
              “Back up top? Idiot.”
              “No, still down here…but think about what’s on the wall.”
              “I’d rather not.” Suzuka was already analyzing the graffiti. “I think I might have actually stumbled upon that stronger-than-the-F-bomb word you were asking for earlier…”
              “Not THAT, Suzuka, the lights.” Haken’s finger jabbed at a fluorescent service light. “The lights are only on going one way from here. Unless Lilith had some sort of night vision, she’d have only two options for navigating the dark part of the sewer: stumble blindly, or constantly fire beams to illuminate the path. Either way, she’d alert us to her position.”
              “And what if she HAS night vision?”
              “…Aschen, every second you spend being a spoilsport is one more second the trail goes cold. Humor me a little, OK?”
              “Oh, for…fine. But if she’s already beat us back to the surface, it’s on your head.”

[A few yards down the sewer…]

              “Hmm?” Suzuka bent down to examine what her foot had just slammed into. “Wonder how THIS got down here…”
              “You don’t know where that’s been, Suzuka, just skip it.”
              “Actually, I’m wondering just that.” She picked up the medium-sized metal box and caught up with the others. “Can’t exactly flush something this big down, can you?”
              “Open it then,” Aschen grumbled.
              “Gee, you’re worked up tonight. Must be the meatbag hormones.”
              I’m familiar with the chemicals…the mixtures just feel all wrong.”
              “You’ll get used to it after a while…well, at least as much as Haken must be used to that dress.” Suzuka propped open the box’s lid. “Heeeey, it’s a gun!”
              “Lemme see!” Suzuka passed the box to the dress-clad cowboy. “Tch, it’s a semi-auto. Could never get used to handling the kick on these one-handed.”
              “And yet, the Night Fowl,” Kaguya chimed in.
              “Yeah, Captain, that’s one-handed full-auto recoil. You’re telling me you can’t handle the median between THAT and two-handed revolver kickback?”
              “The Night Fowl’s different! I keep it suppressed so it feels like a gentle buzz.”
              “Oh, we KNOW you’ve developed an appetite for gentle buzzes lately, Haken-‘sama’.” Suzuka punctuated the honorific with finger quotes as she, Aschen, and Kaguya broke into laughter.
              “…Shut up.”
              “Oh? I wasn’t aware you were THAT adventurous!”
              “That was an entirely un-gentle buzz! But that sensation coming from…oh no.”
              “Oh no what?”
              “I don’t think Lilith’s the only thing we’ve got to worry about down here. Solid On.” The TheSnake belt formed around Haken’s waist, buckle already flashing to life with the readout from a digital display towards the top of the face.
              “Hmm?” Kaguya glanced at the belt readout. “What’s this ‘Alert Phase’ and why is it ticking down?”
              “Alert Phase is some sort of energy that allows Infiltrajin to do their super-speed thing. Of course, it’d be useless with the wake trail they’d make in here, so I guess whatever’s down here is just shedding it like crazy.”
              “Now what? We’ve got two things to pursue down here…”
              “…And only one we’ve got a definite lock on. Better the devil we know – c’mon!” Carefully advancing to increase the Alert Phase reading on his belt, Haken turned down a corridor, the girls following afterward.


              “Damn, dead end…but for some reason, the Alert meter’s holding steady.”
              “Look, Captain, beyond that sluice gate!”
              Haken turned in the direction of Aschen’s pointer finger. “…They were waiting for us.”
              “They as in the Infiltragic-whatever?”
              “They as in that AND Lilith. I’d recognize those arm-bulbs anywhere.”
              “That makes OUR job a hell of a lot easier.” Suzuka threw the switch on the sluice gate, raising the bars a scant second before the others rushed into the barricaded section of sewer.
              “…Took you long enough.” The Senshi and Haken screeched to a halt. “Sorry to say I’m not in the mood for another round…I’m still getting over the disappointing results of my experiment.” The water next to Lilith rippled slightly, then churned violently before erupting into a gator-like bipedal creature. “It seems I forgot that these beasts can’t hold a Youma’s aura THAT well…but I guess it won’t be a COMPLETE failure if my pet manages to devour you.”
              “So…Alert Phase is actually…” Haken’s surprise condensed into a devilish grin. “…Looks like I’m not as out of the running as I expected.” His right hand extended forward in a monk-like chop as his left balled against his waist. “Henshin!” Dropping his right arm down, Haken crossed his left over his chest as he thumbed the dial on the TheSnake belt’s hip pouch.
              [GEAR UP: SOLID NORMAL]
              The concrete gray armor of Kamen Rider TheSnake formed around Haken’s body…with one strange new addition. “Huh, this chest plate wasn’t there last time.”
              Kaguya poked at his back. “Well, what’d you do different last time?”
              “…Not much, really, except – wait, THAT’s it. Skipped the motions last time.”
              “An armor that grows more intricate the more its wearer flails about…Absolutely insane, you humans are,” Lilith huffed.
              “Oh, sod off.”
              “I was about to.”
              “Hey, I didn’t mean-“ Lilith dropped into an inky hole centered around herself, barely disturbing the water as the void closed. “…Crap.”
              “No time for that, we’ve still got a gator to deal with!”
              “Gator…oh, him. Thanks, Kaguya.” Haken slipped a hand into the card pouch, sliding the first one he grabbed through the belt buckle.
              Sparks crackled off the gator-man’s skin as a disembodied blade danced across it, fading rapidly in and out of existence. “Looks like that did SOMETHING…just not quite as much as I’d expected.”
              “Maybe something with a little more substance will do the trick?” Suzuka extended her arms forward, arm-gatlings at the ready. “GUN-OH FEVER FUSILLADE!” Bullets rained into the beast’s torso, further showering the sewer water with sparks.
              “…Or its front could just be THAT well-armored. Keep him busy while the rest of us sneak around!”
              “Gee, hand him the whole script, why don’t you?”
              “Not the time, Aschen!” Suzuka resumed her barrage as the other three heroes cut toward the gator’s flank…only for its tail to lash out, nearly smacking into Kaguya.
              “Holy…” The tip of the tail began glowing.
              “Oh no, you don’t! I’ve had enough frickin’ laser beams for one evening!”
              The phantom sword returned, this time lacerating the gator’s tail. The creature reared its head back in a cry of pain, spitting a small fireball as the glow in its tail faded.
              “Whoa…good thing you got him to throw that UP and not at ME.” Suzuka’s gatling fire was beginning to produce fewer sparks as bullets finally started digging into flesh.
              The wounds within the tail began to glow. “Seems we haven’t completely gotten rid of THIS yet!”
              “Well, then, Kaguya, keep it down!”
              “Roger! NANBU BLADE BLOSSOM!” Metal flechettes gusted off of Kaguya’s sword, adding a multitude of cuts to the ones the Cyborg Ninja card had sliced into the tail.
              “Suzuka, take five – Aschen and I are gonna put this one in the bag!” The android leapt above the flailing gator as Haken took his position at its front.
              [FINAL ATTACK RIDE: T-T-T-TheSnake]
              “TIGER LANCE KICK!”
              “RIDER PUNCH!”
              Aschen’s foot impacted first, practically slamming the gator’s head into Haken’s uppercut. Green light shot from its pores as the bones buckled from the force of both attacks, eventually spreading across the entire body as the Infiltrajin decomposed into a pile of scaly flakes.
              “…These things just fall apart more and more elegantly when we wreck ‘em,” Haken noted as the four de-morphed. “All right, let’s find a ladder back up and a cold water main – gotta make sure we’re counted among the living.”

[Outside Cargo Hall’s main entrance…]

              The foursome strolled out of the theater, Girl!Haken shivering from the excess cold water Kaguya had managed to splash on ‘her’ before they went topside.
              “We’re here live from outside Cargo Hall, which just recently turned into a scene of complete chaos following a mass spontaneous combustion event!” A TV reporter was already rambling on as the four turned towards home. “What’s that, Jim? Ah, yes, four of them, right?” The reporter turned toward the ladies. “Ladies! I’ve just received word that with your safe departure, all attendees of tonight’s performance are accounted for! Can I get a word with one of you?”
              Haken turned to answer. “Depends. We aren’t exactly sure what was going on – we spent most of it barricaded in the ladies’ room.
              “Oh…well, thanks for your time anyway, miss.”
              “One thing, though…the people who got burnt…how are they doing?”
              “…Not good, ma’am. Reports just came in from the hospital, we’re looking at 22 dead, about 30 others in critical condition, a couple broken bones from people getting trampled…”
              Haken grimaced. “…They didn’t deserve this…”
              “What the…”
              “Ha…Haruka…” Kaguya gasped.
              “The diva, Marisa Pierce…is she being counted among the dead?”
              “They’ve only identified about half the bodies. She’s not currently listed among them.”
              “…I see.” ‘Haruka’ turned and left, the others following behind in stunned silence.

[Aboard the Zeit Krokodil…]

              “Haken-chan?” Kaguya’s words stopped the ‘lady’ as ‘she’ opened the door to the Captain’s Quarters. “You haven’t said a word since you left the theater. Is there something wrong?”
              “…23 dead…”
              “23? But they said 22…”
              “I know. But they’re not gonna count Marisa…” ‘She’ turned to face the princess. “You and I saw her die…”
              “Well, we’ve seen a LOT of things die. Made a couple do so, too-“
              “That’s not the point!” ‘Haruka’ grabbed Kaguya’s shoulders. “When that…that THING took her over, she was blathering about some ‘divine bliss’ or someshit that Marisa was supposed to be feeling as she died…That wasn’t bliss, Kaguya, that was MURDER! That was RAPE! That was…that was…”
              Tears welled in ‘Haruka’s’ eyes as her head drooped into Kaguya’s chest.
              “I…Haru…Haken, I…”
              “Please…just promise me…if something like that happens to me…make sure nobody lies about how I died…”
              “I…I promise, but…”
              “…But what?”
              “…But I’m not gonna let you die yet. YOU’RE not gonna let you die yet. And I…I can feel that those who’ve already left us aren’t taking this sitting down, either. If not for our sake, then at least theirs, promise me this…we’re not just gonna seal the Youma back up. We’re going to wreck them, just like we wrecked the Einst…we’ll make sure they don’t come back to trouble another generation. Got it?”
              “…Got it. I promise…for us, for Marisa, for the other 22 who had their lives robbed by the Youma tonight…” Haken released ‘her’ embrace.
              “Ummm…if it isn’t going to be a bother…would it be all right for me to stay with you tonight?”
              “I’m…not exactly in the mood…”
              “I know, but it’s unhealthy to be sleeping alone like this.”
              “…All right.” The two adjourned into Haken’s room.
              As the door to the Captain’s Quarters shut for the evening, Aschen removed her ear from the wall in her own room. “…Something tells me those two were saying each other’s lines.”
              “He’s learned a woman’s sorrow, ain’t he?” O’Malley poked his head in from the air duct.
              “I’m not sure Kaguya meant for him to learn it like THIS, but yeah.”
              “Then ye don’t need to worry yeself. I’ve seen a lot of heroes go through this in me time – it ain’t always squeaky clean, but they all seem to pull through.”
              O’Malley excused himself as Aschen began her shutdown processes, wondering what the future held for the Frontier Senshi and those they were fighting to protect.

[Episode 5 END]

[Next Episode Preview]

              DTD!Aschen: Wakey wakey, lovebirds! *splashes hot water on the bed*
              Guy!Haken: Krgh…what’s the deal, waking us up this early?
              Aschen: Isn’t it obvious? Today’s the day you go public!
              Haken: Go public?
              Aschen: The threat of the Youma and Infiltrajin is already ingrained in the public memory – and now the citizens are anxious to meet the people helping to fend them off!
              Kaguya: *yawn* Wouldn’t that get a little…complicated?
              Aschen: Eh, we’ll figure SOMETHING out! On the next LKSH1/W00, Episode 6: Fusion of Man and Myth! Haken’s Quadruple Life Revealed!
              Haken: Q…Quadruple Life?
              Kaguya: Well, you DO have four identities…
              Haken: I was kinda counting them as two pairs rather than a single quartet.

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