Sunday, May 2, 2010

LKSH1/W00 Episode 6

Back from the brink by way of me seeing enough Kabuto to fill in the gaping holes in our original Parasite Eve-based plot skeleton!

[In the Captain’s Quarters aboard the Zeit…]

    “Hey…hey, sleepyhead, wake up!” Aschen nudged the mass underneath the blankets.
    “zzzz…guh?” Girl!Haken’s head peeked out from underneath the covers, eyes squinting as ‘she’ began to focus on the android. “What’s with the wake-up call?”
    “Lee just got a call from Pops – he needs you in his office regarding last night. You’ve got 45 minutes – I suggest a hot shower.”
    “As if I could do with any other kind…” Sliding ‘her’ limbs out from underneath the bed’s other occupant, Haken made ready to stumble into the shower. “God, my eyes feel so sore…”
    “Yeah, that’s the one drawback of a good cry. But trust me – you’ll feel a LOT better after hearing what John’s got to say.”
    “I’d believe that if he weren’t calling for me at-“ A quick glance at the clock. “…8:00 AM? Man, I haven’t woken up that early since I first earned my bounty hunter cred!”
    “You want me to start on the disclaimer?”
    “Just use one of the prepackaged intros; I’ll be taking it to go. And tell Kaguya I’m sorry I couldn’t stay for breakfast either!”
    “Sorry for what now?” The princess threw what remained of the covers off of herself. “Don’t think you can weasel out of breakfast so easily!”
    “I’m not weaseling, I’ve got an appointment!”
    “That’s what they all say – but sooner or later, you’ll be BEGGING for a meal with the special flavor only an expression of our love can offer!”
    “Lunch date it is, then?”
    “Hellz yeah!”

    [And cut to the LKSH1/W00-ified Kamen Rider intro of your choice. The management recommends Ryuki or Kabuto for some reason.]

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

    TV Asahi Announcer: Lewd Kamen Senshi Haken 1/W00 is created using materials from the following corporate entities: (display Bandai Namco, Toei, Konami, Kojima Productions, Shogakukan, and Square Enix logos) Rights of scenario reserved without intent to profit by Team Phantom Tiger. Promotional and distributive consideration graciously provided by our web hosts and sponsors: (display FFN, deviantART, Blogger, and Google logos)

Episode 6: Fusion of Man and Myth! Haken’s Quadruple Life Revealed!

[Trodel Stadt City Hall – John Moses’s Office…]

    Guy!Haken inhaled sharply as he strode into his adoptive father’s office. “Mornin’, Pops. I was told you needed to speak to me regarding last night?”
    “Yes. Go ahead and take a seat, Haken.” As he did, John produced a squirt gun from inside his desk and leveled it at the cowboy’s head. “…or should I say, Haruka Brodel?”
    “Tch!” Haken froze up as John fired, the cold water and Spring of Drowned Girl curse reacting to bring out his female form. “H…How did-“
    “It took me a little while to put the pieces together…but luckily, you and the girls are like those dollar-store jigsaw puzzles – simple to decipher, and patently obvious in how everything is connected.”
    “Whoa, whoa, back up – you know the girls are in on this, too?”
    “Yep. It’ll take a bit for me to explain, and I see you’re still in a bit of shock. If you want, I can put a water pot through the coffeemaker and get you back to normal first.”
    Girl!Haken pondered this for a moment. “…Eh, not right now. I can manage.”
    “All right, then.” John put the squirt gun aside. “My first clue was during the attack on the west gate earlier this week. I have access to security camera footage for pretty much every public building in the city, and the welcome center and sheriff’s dispatch out there are no exceptions.”
    “West gate…that was the day Aschen was all mopey about having fleshy joints in her Sailor form.”
    “Mopey, you say? …Well, that might explain why I caught her engaging a Youma by her lonesome. Then she turned into one of what the gossip columns are calling ‘Mystery Princesses.’ THEN I saw another three come up to support her after this real blurry part where she turned back to normal – THAT was the kicker.”
    A sheepish grin curled across Haken’s face. “I guess so – why, what three people know Aschen closely enough to appear as a group around her?”
    “Bingo. Kaguya and Suzuka were fairly obvious – well, at least Suzuka was after that possession-fueled light show – but the third took a bit to click as you. At first I thought there was someone new, but then I remembered that there’s only ONE black-clad, white-haired person out there able to pal around with two princesses and an android on MY payroll.”
    “And me being there didn’t disturb you?”
    “Truth be told, it did to begin with. I spent a couple days racking my brain, trying to figure out how and why you did it – especially only so many days after I’d seen you as a man and issued you the TheSnake belt. Eventually I settled on an explanation from a folklore database in Elfetale: the ‘Starlight Warriors’ prevalent a couple centuries ago in Varna Karai apparently were males that turned into females while using their magical powers.”
    “Hmm…think I’ve heard that one somewhere…”
    “Of course, it didn’t explain why you were still a girl AFTER getting out of Hero Mode. But everything fell together after I caught last night’s Channel 2 report on the Cargo Hall attack.”
    Haken blanched once again. “Shit, that went on air?”
    John smirked. “And the presses in Amahara were about to print with ‘Princesses Among 4 Missing in Opera Fire’ too. Luckily, your highly suspicious evacuation from the premises killed two birds with one stone: Kaguya and Suzuka being with you prevented an international incident, and the sopping wet state of your dress told me you HAD to be under a Jusyenko curse.”
    “And here we are today. Now that you know I’m like this, what are you going to do?”
    “…Honestly, nothing as long as you behave.” John withdrew his whiskey flask and a couple of glasses. “A little something to calm your nerves?”
    “No thanks, I’m not good for it this early in the morning. Though if you wouldn’t mind putting on that hot pot…”
    “Ah, right.” The mayor poured his share of hair of the dog before rising to take care of the coffeemaker. “Now, as I was saying about behaving…” The brewing process began without a hitch, hot water starting to percolate. “…I know you and the other ladies have grown quite close over the past couple of months, and I’m certain that by now they’ve grown to accept your…er, feminine side.” Returning to his seat, John took a sip of his whiskey. “I won’t ask you to get rid of your curse, nor will I stand in the way of any effort on your own part to do so – though seeing as how you’ve got superpowers as a girl, it’d probably be a bad idea. But just remember this: you have duties to this city as Kamen Rider TheSnake, and I expect you to perform them as a MAN. Understood?”
    “…I wouldn’t have it any other way, Pops.”
    “THAT’s my boy…girl…thing…whatever.”
    “I’d stick with ‘boy-slash-girl’ or ‘boy and/or girl’. Something just sounds wrong about being referred to as a thing – especially after last night…”
    “I’m not sure exactly how much you know about the Cargo Hall incident, but…” With that, Haken began recounting what ‘she’ knew about the previous evening’s battles – the callous sublimation of Marisa Pierce by Lilith Barshem, the discovery of the link between the Youma and Infiltrajin, and the Sailor W00 powers’ reaction to hot “water.”
    “Wow, that’s…a lot to take in at once. But turnabout is fair play, I guess.” Noticing the light had gone out on the coffeemaker, John moved to retrieve the pot. “That bit about the Youma and Infiltrajin sharing the same aura at different levels, though…that’ll become integral to how TheSnake can operate in the near future.”
    “Oh? What do you mean – new cards, upgrades? I still haven’t figured out half of the stuff I’m currently packing yet…”
    “Trust me, you’ll have the time. I received word a couple days ago that the new stuff for TheSnake has to be proxy-tested – in fact, SMD’s new appointee for that is supposed to come up practically right now.    Take a sec and man up; you’ll want to meet him.”
    “Man up? …Oh, right.” Haken poured a little water from the pot into the untouched glass, then splashed it onto ‘her’ (well, ‘his’ once again) face. “So who is this guy? I thought SRD was all robots.”
    “…We found a workaround.” John’s finger pressed down on the intercom button. “Miss Klamsky, has my 9 o’clock arrived yet?”
    *He’s just signed in and is waiting in the lobby, sir.*
    “Go ahead and send him up; he’s got business with my current appointment anyway.”
    Haken cocked an eyebrow as the communiqué ended. “Business with ME?”
    “Well, business with you as TheSnake, at least.”
    “So, should I transfo-“
    “Nah, wait until he gets here.”
    Another twenty seconds passed before the door to John’s office clicked open, a black-haired, teenage-looking male with a green beret and matching forest drab dress stepping through with nary an introduction.
    “Ah, here he is. Haken, I’d like to introduce you to Pete Pain, former chief of W-Series excavation aboard the Mai Tierra and current field commander of SMD. Pete, this is my son, Haken. You may remember him from-“
    “I’m well aware of Mr. Browning’s previous exploits, sir.” The young man turned to the cowboy. “I trust that your mission is going as planned…W00?”

[Meanwhile, back on the Zeit…]

    Kaguya idly thumbed through a magazine as she addressed the furball perched on her leg. “O’Malley, this Lilith chick we fought last night claimed to be the Neo-Youma’s ‘destined princess’…would you happen to know anything about how that sort of thing works?”
    “Well, lass, the Youma of old had a royalty much like the Shiki-Oni of today-”
    “A leadership caste made of the strongest and craftiest people with considerable prestige in their blood…and a bureaucracy made up of enough also-rans to keep them from running wild,” Suzuka interjected.
    “…Not quite, Madame Butterflat. The main difference with the Youma is that they didn’t HAVE that parliament – without idiots to stall them until they grasped the consequences of their plans, the Youma challenged all of Amahara with the intent to sack both the thrones and raze the place for the glory of some unpronounceable demon god.”
    “That’s…not exactly what I meant.” Kaguya set the magazine down. “What I really wanted to know about is how Lilith managed to stay inside Marisa for…apparently years, then take over her body and mind with one big magical outburst.”
    “Gwuh?” Taken aback by the delineation, O’Malley perked his ears – accidentally shooting one of his lasers off towards the door Aschen was entering from.
    “…Yeah, I think I know when I’m not wanted.”
    “On the contrary, lass! I just…what Kaguya just told me sounds highly irregular, is all.”
    “How irregular?”
    “Like, George Lazenby irregular. The Peter Cushing Doctor Who movies irregular. The Godfather Part III irregu-“
    “We get it already!” Suzuka swiped at the Mutant Eye with one of her fans.
    “Oi!” O’Malley leapt off Kaguya’s leg, bouncing off the princess’s ample bust before landing on the sofa proper. “That sort of thing just isn’t proper Youma MO – especially if their royal family is becoming directly involved in an invasion.”
    “So…Lilith is…”
    “Quite possibly either a rogue element or REALLY late to the party. Perhaps even really early – you said she’d been dormant for years inside Marisa?”
    “Just a wild guess, but-“
    “In order to do that sort of thing, you need at least a decade of prep time. There must be SOMETHING that would have drawn Lilith to Marisa either as a newborn or a primary-school child. Somewhere in the ‘wee bairn’ range, y’know?”
    Aschen stroked her chin. “We might be able to search for Marisa’s medical records across the networks and physical archives of the Frontier. Marion’s got the big wi-fi setup going for this ship, but for some strange reason she said all our terminals had to be booted off the Internet until noon.”
    “Bandwidth trouble?”
    “…Something like that.”

[In Marion’s Lab…]

    *Doctor…why are you not using the usual LAN cables for this data transfer?*
    “I would, Gespy-san, but the transfer rate’s atrociously inappropriate for the size and complexity of your new upgrade. Luckily we managed to get most of it into you overnight, but time appears to be the essence in our new business.”
    *So you locked out Net access for the whole ship just to expedite my download?*
    “I wish there was a less hamfisted way about it, but there ain’t.” Marion grumbled as she motioned for the Gespenst to hold still while the file transfer continued. Damn mail-order kits…last time I ever buy anything that’s “firmware sold separately”…

[And back in John’s office…]

    “I told you that whole ‘W00’ hullabaloo was for real, Pops.” Haken’s eyes darted back and forth as he processed the newcomer’s words. “But what I’d like to know is…how the heck do YOU know it?” A finger darted in Pete’s direction.
    “I have my ways…though mostly, you sort of left the door to your incubator open whenever you had acquired and used the proper keycards.”
    “Huh…that’ll teach me to lock up after myself.”
    John poured another fifth of whiskey before speaking. “As for Pete himself, we actually found him holed up in a similarly unlocked high-security portion of the Mai Tierra, tinkering with some of the junked mechs like it was nobody’s business. Without his assistance, the W-series utilized by SMD would mostly be the basic models skulking about the no-keycard zones instead of the ones stored in Level 2.”
    “So he’s legit, then. But why’d you say he was the workaround for SMD’s ‘robots only’ code?”
    “Well, turns out he’s-“
    Pete stopped John with a raised hand. “I think it’ll be best if I show him.” His index finger crossed over his palm as a familiar belt materialized around his waist. “Henshin.”
    The armor interlacing over Pete Pain’s form took on alternating hues of blue and red, their boundaries tracing around key sets of muscles. Rounding out the suit was a helmet not unlike that of the TheSnake suit, though featuring a single slit and glowing humanoid orange eyes rather than the buglike green globes of Haken’s Kamen Rider form.
    “I trust that Mr. Moses has informed you that Kamen Rider TheFox is intended as a testbed for TheSnake, not a replacement. Nevertheless, I am fully equipped with everything necessary to deploy and command SMD in real-time, just with this suit.”
    “Really.” Pete pulled a card from his waist pouch and swiped it through the belt buckle.
    The glass John had just poured flew into Pete’s outstretched hand, every drop of whiskey accounted for. “A toast to our partnership – may it endure this little crisis and far beyond.”
    “…don’t tell me you’re gonna drink that through the helmet.”

[Episode 6 END]
[Next Episode Preview]

    Kaguya: TheSnake and TheFox…I expected them to have a rocky start, not a start on the rocks.
    Guy!Haken: Well, let it be said that my princess shan’t be disappointed.
    Kaguya: Say what?
    Suzuka: Well, we’ve seen that the Infiltrajin are part and parcel of the Neo-Youma – which makes their crash of John’s SRD public debut gala that much more complicated.
    Aschen: Two Riders and three Sailors…think that’ll be enough security?
    Haken: The only one who ought to be concerned about security is Marion. Seriously, mass data upload over wi-fi?
    O’Malley: Think she’s got that quite covered, lad.
    Haken: Oh, really?
    O’Malley: Well, look at the title – On the next LKSH1/W00, Episode 7: Fusion of Man and Machine! Call, Geist Hopper!
    Suzuka: “Ghost” in Olde Formidian…makes me wonder what Marion’s up to.
    Kaguya: I hope it doesn’t involve an elliptical reflector dish like last time…

HAKEN'S NOTE 5/4: Wow. Did not see THIS coming:

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