Monday, June 21, 2010

Haken's SRWQ Gaiden: Derailed, Part 1

Something I whipped up involving "those kids on the train" from Episode 2-22. (To be fair, I've had this idea almost from the inception of LKSH1/W00, and we've been bandying it about on IRC during the Cyberspace segments.)

Derailed – Part 1
A Super Robot Wars Quest Gaiden story by /m/’s Haken Browning

The silver-and-pink-armored warrior tumbled into the train car, to at least one passenger’s dismay. “Geez, Princess, give us a little warning before trying to hop aboard at high speed, would ya?”
“Piss off, Odd.” The armor faded away to reveal a teenage female with strawberry pink hair. “Better yet, try telling me why Jeremy wants me back aboard XANALiner right when I had a monster cornered,” Aelita Schaeffer snapped as she rose to her feet and brushed herself off.
“Said there was a call for ya,” Odd Della Robbia replied, slicking his hair back. “Apparently some chick on a cyber-strike force needs help deactivating a tower.”
An even more dour expression crept across Aelita’s face. “God, I thought we were out of that business for good…fine, I’ll take it in the comms car.”
“Want Sissi to whip up some coffee for ya?”
The pink-haired girl turned back as she approached the door to the car ahead. “…Nah, think I’m gonna need a full lunch. Ask her if we’ve still got any of that tuna salad from the other night.”
“Sure thing. But please-“ Before Odd could finish his sentence, the connecting door had already opened and shut.

Ulrich Stern sipped his coffee slowly as Aelita silently passed through the car, waiting until she’d left for the next in line before uttering, “Is it just me, or has Aelita really been on edge since our world…well…”
Across from him, Yumi Ishiyama propped her elbows on the table and rested her head on her clasped hands. “It’s not just you. And frankly, I’m surprised it’s not worse. Between all our investigation into her mother’s disappearance being rendered useless and her father’s sacrifice being thrown out by this world’s bigger, badder XANA…I’d say under normal circumstances, she ought to be a total wreck.”
“Crying? Nervous?”
“More like murderous.” Yumi shifted to rest her head on the seat back. “By now I wouldn’t be surprised if we stumbled upon some mech that could end the world and she used it to do just THAT, just to get SOME sort of closure.”
“Good thing we’re not really in the mech business, then.” Ulrich took another sip. “There’s other ways to blow up a planet, though, and hopefully Jeremy can help keep her together enough that she doesn’t bother.”
“Isn’t that kinda what we’re ALL here for?”
“Pfft. I wish. I came aboard ‘cause it was either this or spend the summer being chewed out by Dad.” Ulrich fell silent for a moment. “…Come to think of it, we ALL lost parents and family and crap in the Crash, why aren’t the rest of us bent out of shape?”
“Maybe because they were lost in the Crash,” William Dunbar chimed in from the other end of the car. “We didn’t have to deal with G-Men and viruses and shit pulling the rug out from under us like Aelita did – our peeps died as a result of the universe falling apart, and that’s that.”
“Is it REALLY that simple for you, William?”
“In a word…yes.”
Yumi stifled a giggle. “To think that the one taking this the easiest used to be XANA’s monosyllabic meat puppet…”

“…And remember, since the tower has a real-world connection point, there’s no reason to get fancy with deactivation codes. Just grab the data, crash the damn thing, and log out before things de-res. Got it?”
“Got it.” The face of Roll.EXE nodded on the comms screen.
“Good. Not sure when we’ll get to rendezvous again – I’ve got too much to do in real space. You and Dumi have our number, though.” Roll flashed an “A-OK” sign before disconnecting as a bespectacled blonde entered the comms car. “Hey, Jeremy.”
“Don’t ‘hey’ me, Aelita – I could practically smell how tense you are.” Jeremy Belpois doffed his backpack and unfolded the laptop within. “Think I stumbled upon a way you can vent some of that frustration, though.”
“If you say ‘head back to New Port and assist in the evacuation’, forget it. I never want to see another goddamn tower as long as I-“
“Even better – I found something a little more proactive that we can do in the resistance against Smart Brain.” A few clicks, some typed keywords, and Jeremy’s intel was on screen. “Thanks to a little counter-trace on Badan’s trace of the Rider tightwave band, I’ve got a lock on what Corusa and some of the smaller players in Canada are identifying as a ‘new’ Kamen Rider.”
“One of the Smart Brain Gears that Dumi didn’t manage to hijack?”
“Specifically, Psyga.” More fiddling with the laptop brought up a series of pictures featuring a stark-white Kamen Rider armor crisscrossed with blue lines and the occasional purple highlight. “With the number being done on the Mimetic Beasts in New Port, apparently Smart Brain’s fielding the Psyga Gear at an increased frequency. All we gotta do is pinpoint its next time and place of usage, then swoop in and hijack or destroy it.”
“And how long would THAT take?”
“I’ve got the place narrowed down to somewhere in the Corusa vicinity already. With another hour’s worth of number-crunching, we can have the time of attack too – why not grab lunch or something? Heard on the grapevine that Sissi’s whipping up some fresh chicken salad to replace the old tuna salad…”
“What about you?”
Jeremy suddenly took the woman in his arms, eliciting a soft squeak from Aelita. “This is all I’m gonna need for a while, thanks.”
The girl’s cheeks blushed to match her hair before she returned the hug. “Y’know…I kinda needed this too.”
“Trust me, we all kinda know.”

Reality crackled open as the curiously-decorated bullet train shot into existence, startling the wildlife of the Canadian hinterlands before slowing to a stop along the river. A simply-dressed man, sensing something in particular about this new arrival, strode toward the middle car’s door just as it opened.
First out the door was a serious-looking pink-haired teenage girl, one hand fumbling for something within the depths of her like-colored jacket. Tailing close behind were another female clad in black, a male with a wildly slicked-back blonde hairdo, and a second male with particularly grungy fashion sense.
“You kids are seriously the contacts I had to wait here for? If it weren’t for your transport, I’d never peg you for mercenaries…especially not a Kamen Rider.”
“Just ‘cause I’m not cybered up,” the pink-haired lady snapped back as she produced what she was looking for from her coat, “doesn’t mean I don’t have what it takes to work with your little bug-suit club. I take it you’re the one they call Super-1?”
“For now, Kazuya will do.” He extended a hand. “And you would be the one in possession of the Den-O Memory, hmm?”
“Close – wound up bringing most of the equipment from our Shard.” The girl’s hand met Kazuya’s in a rehearsed handshake. “And Aelita will do for now – I’m sort of in a weird situation when it comes to last names.”
“Got it. And behind you would be-“
“Odd, Yumi, and…apparently William.” Aelita turned to the grungy-looking male. “Hey, William, is Ulrich standing by for Translation or is he just taking another sulk break?”
“The former, thank God.”
“Eh, long as Jim and Jeremy can keep Sissi out of his pants…” She turned back to Kazuya. “The one thing about Densha Riders – you’ve gotta deal with wacky sitcom living arrangements.”
“Think I’ll stick with the psychoses I’ve got right now, thanks.” The monk-looking fellow exhaled softly. “Now then…you said Badan’s associates in the Digital World were going to sortie something here?”
“That’s what our data says.” Aelita tapped a small device in her earlobe. “Jeremy, ETA on Psyga appearance.”
“Time Card says 01:02:30. You’ve got 15 seconds, target will be due north 50 yards.”
“Roger that.”
“Nothing else for it, then?”
“Guess not. After you, sir.”
“If you insist.” Kazuya shifted his stance northward, attuning himself to the chi of the Patchwork as a familiar belt roared to life. “Henshin!” A burst of energy later, and the silver-and-black armor of Kamen Rider Super-1 enclosed itself around his gi.
“Not bad…” Aelita tossed the black card from her jacket in the air before catching it and thrusting it across the buckle of her own belt. “Henshin.” [MOD FORM] Wireframes and fragments of light danced around her body before condensing into the pink-on-white Kamen Rider Den-Ae suit.
“Five seconds! Commencing Translation!”
A flash of white from the north reinforced Jeremy’s sitrep as the clothes on Aelita’s companions shifted into form-fitting combat suits quite unlike the two Riders beside them. The five rushed to the target area…

The melted snow and charred underbrush made it clear that this was a newly-formed clearing. As the two Riders and three Lyoko Warriors approached its fringes, they took defensive positions around the white-clad stranger in the epicenter.
“Oh?” The being currently in possession of Kamen Rider Psyga idly tossed his Gear’s Mission Memory up and down in one hand. “Good to see you guys. Commencing hostilities against all of you…is also part of my job.” The tossing stopped, and Psyga slotted the Memory back into its rightful place on the belt. “After all, only the strongest will be permitted to survive…and I’m the strongest.”


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