?

Log in

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Previously on Kamen Rider Arcade: Hiding her inability to read kanji hindered Julie's efforts to master Lumine's abilities, which led to difficulties in the field when she and Ken were assigned to face Tripigatus at a technology convention. Splitting up, she was soon confronted by Gukkedon, who attempted to turn her to his side, but instead inspired in her the idea to trade her Driver to the Viron for freedom. The plan backfired horribly, forcing Ken to come to her rescue using his Shotokan Load. As the dust settled, Ken was injured and Julie was locked in a security cell, branded as a traitor.

***

GAME START!

Dr. Alberts stumbles through the back alleyways of the business district gripping the slick black briefcase close to his heavy chest. The rain had just stopped though that did little to help him see better in the narrow paths beyond the trashcans and boxes right in front of him. Each of his strained breath fragrant with the liquid courage he had downed in a gulp before fleeing his offices. He checks his back again. No, it is not following him. Thank heavens for that.

He closes an eye and runs a hand across his wet and balding head. His involuntary trembling leans him into the side of a building as he holds his chest tighter fighting the ball forming in the center.

At least the throbbing pain in his arm and side is finally numbing. He could just close his eyes and rest here but when his eyes shut all he could see is the parts…the fingers, the thighs, the pools of red…

Albert’s face strains as he fights to keep the rotting trash smell out of his eyes and his mind focused. He could not stop now; he had to keep going for everyone in the program now. He had to make it to Bushnell.

A rattling startles him out of his haze. Alberts jerks to his left. He drops the briefcase as a shade of a scream etches across his face. That purring! I-it’s…no, no, just an alley cat…

He reaches for the briefcase when a stripped claw snatches him off the ground. He barely manages to scream before his body hits the rain slick ground with a firm thud.

A nimble figure follows shortly after landing gracefully on all fours. Crouching low to the ground it sniffs around before seeing its prize. It licks its lips and tears open the briefcase in a single swipe. It reaches in and from it pulls out a collection of oddly shaped and sized coins.

The creature snarls lightly gripping a fist full of tokenroids tighter…

***

Ken sits alone in his quarters. The room is bare saved for the bed, a desk, a flat screen television, and a window overlooking the skyline. He rubs his cast with a wince before picking up the Shotokan Load Card in his good hand; his mind racing through the recent battles before Ami’s words echo through his head.

[Ami: I didn't design them for your ego. I designed them to make our work easier and to keep you safe.]

Ken places the Shotokan Load Card back on the desk next to two more memory cards; one gunmetal grey and forest green and the other gold and navy blue. 

Ken: Doesn’t mean they have to be a crutch…

*KNOCKKNOCKKNOCK*

Dan: (from the other side of the door) Hey Sir Stone Face, the big cheese is calling us…it’s time.

Ken exhales slowly.

Ken: I’m ready.

***

Kamen Rider Arcade
Created by: Aaron Thall and Jamion McNeil

Level 7: Burden of Trust
Written by: Jamion McNeil and Aaron Thall

***

ComCon Technologies, Rec Room, 7:12am

Bushnell: Sorry to keep you waiting.

Bushnell addresses Ken, Gunpei, Dan, and Ami. Ken is nervous; Ami looks as if she has not slept in days (mostly due to repair work on the Arcade system); Gunpei stands rigid and looks annoyed; and Dan leans against a sofa with his eyelids resting low.

Bushnell: I know the last week hasn’t been easy on anyone. (Nodding to Ken) You especially, but that’s why we’re meeting now. We’re here to solve several admittedly gross errors.

Gunpei: I hope that’s corporate speak for “skin a traitor,” sir.

Bushnell: Ah, yes, I knew something was missing. (He runs his hand down the front of his polo before pressing the Bluetooth in his ear) Inara, bring her in won’t you?

Inara escorts Julie in. She looks visibly paler than before and looks down at the floor. The biggest difference is in her demeanor. Where before she was furious and terrified, now there seems to be nothing but hopelessness.

Ken: Julie...

Julie does everything she can to avoid Ken’s glances. She just walks past him and stands before Bushnell. It is obvious that there is no fight left in her.

Bushnell: I had to put serious thought into what we should do about what you did. Gunpei suggested we process you but we all know that isn’t an option nor can we keep a resource as valuable and important as a Rider locked in a cell.

Julie’s head hangs solemnly low.

Bushnell: Nothing to say? I believe that’s a first.

Julie clenches her fists and exhales.

Julie: N-no, sir.

Bushnell: Well, mistakes were made; I will be the first to admit that. We haven’t been as open as I’d thought or like us to have been, and it was never my intention to terrorize you, Ms. Mori. We handled your inclusion into operations a little less than spectacular. It’s been a long time since we’ve had an outsider in these walls. As a businessman, I’m use to solidary in all the ships I pilot and rough patches usually smooth themselves out. What I’m saying is, in your position, I can understand why you did what you did and I take some responsibility for that.

Bushnell crosses his arms.

Bushnell: Having said that what you attempted to do has no rational excuse. (his face iron and his eyes piercing) But going forward, I hope we all can be more honest with each other. I’m not out to torture you, but what you did demands…redress.

Ken: What are you going to do, sir?

Bushnell: For the time being when she is not on a mission, Inara will be responsible for Julie.

Ken: I thought you said you didn’t want to torture her…

Ami: Sir, is that really enough of—

Bushnell: We can’t fault her for not knowing all at stake with the Viron. (Looking down on Julie) We’ll just have to forgive her, and moving forward be more open with each other. You only get one second chance here.

Julie: I'm not looking for forgiveness...Just let me make this right…

Bushnell: You’re asking me to put a lot of trust you, Ms. Mori.

Julie: You can trust me to do what’s right by my family, sir.

Bushnell: Now that I can believe. If there isn’t anything else to discuss we can-

Inara steps from behind Bushnell showing him a screen on her tablet.

Inara: Sir, this just came in over our monitoring software.

Bushnell: I see… Team, hm Ami, I’m afraid Dr. Alberts was found dead this morning. And from the looks of the attack it may have been a Viron.

Ami’s eyes go wide. She puts both hands to her mouth as the rush of lost and pain hit her all at once.

Ami: (struggling to speak between breathless sighs) A-re…you sure?

Bushnell inhales and nods slowly.

Ami: I-I…Excuse me.

She adjusts her glasses and moves to leave the room, but Ken catches her hand as she passes. She stops and turns to him, her eyes glossy.

Ken: We’ll talk. Okay?

Ami nods slowly and leaves the room without second glance.

Julie: Who’s-

Ken: Dr. Alberts was her mentor.

Julie nods softly.

Bushnell: A part of me wants to believe that this was a random attack but with the recent revelation that there exists Viron “Vice Lords,” I’m inclined to believe this was deliberate. Gunpei and Dan, investigate this matter and report back immediately. Ken, you’re benched until your arm heals.

Gunpei: But, sir, what about our order to-

Bushnell: Consider it cleared.

Gunpei: (sighing) Oh joy, I bet that just makes your day, eh Dan? …Dan?

Dan jerks from a deep sleep and wipes his eyes.

Dan: Huhwha, we vote her off the island yet?

Gunpei: (rubbing his temples) Come on, we got field work.

Dan: Five more hours…(nestling himself deeper on the side of the couch)

Ken: Director, I’ll be fine for duty once I get my driv-

Bushnell: I don’t want to hear it. You are not fit for field work. I don’t even want to think about we’d do if something serious were to happen to you. Let Dan and Gunpei investigate this and report back. Now, dismissed.

Bushnell and Inara are the first to leave, followed by Gunpei who makes sure he shoulder shoves Julie on his way out.

Gunpei: I’ll be in the garage, Dan. Hurry up.

Dan: Yeah…(wiping the sleep from his eyes) Now that that’s over, (to Ken and Julie) you guys wanna grab breakfast?

Ken: You plan on pissin' off Trigger this morning?

Dan: That’s not always the goal but we sure seem to end up there.

Ken shakes his head and guides Julie toward the door with his hand in the small of her back.

Ken: C’mon, we have to talk.

Dan: Wait up; I’ll walk with you guys. (coming up alongside Julie taking her from Ken) So. Work on a tan while in the boiler?

Julie: I mostly just stared at the walls and floor…

Dan: Ya, I’ve been trying to get Ami to install televisions in the floor. That way I won’t ever have to look up when I wake up.

Julie: What?

Dan: Huh?

Julie: (after a beat) You’re not-you’re not mad at me?

Dan: I could be, but it's exhausting having to remember why I'm not speaking to someone.

Julie: I wish a few other people felt that way.

Dan: Oh don’t mind Gunpei. You’ll find that under than tough and impersonal shell…I’m sure there’s an even tougher and more impersonal shell underneath. Well, hey, what’s the worst he can do? Use you for target practice?

Julie: (blinking) What?

Dan: Hmm?

***

Tobesei, Warehouse District

Gukkedon awakens from his meditation with a low snarl.

Gukkedon: A Viron moves against the humans without my knowledge.

???: But it moves well within mine.

The winged Vice Lord watches from the rafter as Gukkedon stirs in his den.

Gukkedon: What are you plotting now? (rubbing the scar Arcade left across his chest).

???: I merely couldn’t wait for your wounds to heal. And an interesting opportunity presented itself to me.

Gukkedon: What do you mean?

???: What do you know of the Rider’s weapons, well, aside from firsthand experience?

Gukkedon: I know that their trinkets won’t protect them forever.

???: There you go again not thinking tactically. What better way to understand or cripple our enemies then by understanding their technology.

Gukkedon: What do you mean?

???: I mean for you to watch and see how a strategist fights a war.

***

ComCon, En route to the lab,

Ken: I didn't get the chance to say this before... I'm-I'm sorry, Julie. Bushnell's not the only one that screwed up. I should have taken the time to try and be a better partner. I kept holding back when I should've been reaching out and-

Julie: No... No, it was me. I've just been a burden... I was so focused on finding a way out... I... Nevermind.

She looks away, quietly berating herself.

Julie: Stupid... Stupid ugly duckling...

Ken: Huh?

Julie: Oh, it's... nothing.  How's your arm?

Ken: Still broken.

She winces.

Ken: But it's healing. And my Driver should be ready, too.

They stop just outside the lab.

Ken: I have to go in there anyway to get my Driver. I could pick yours up, too.

Julie shakes her head.

Julie: I have to do this. Might as well rip the Band-Aid off, right?

The door slides open and they immediately see that Ami's already hard at work on something.

Ami: Ken, your Driver is on the table over there.

He shakes his head, amazed that she knew it was him without looking.

Ken: Thanks.

He picks up his Driver and elbows Julie. She glances at him, and he motions towards Ami with his head. She sighs.

Julie: Ami...

Ami immediately stops and turns to face her in a deliberately slow manner.

Julie cringes.

Julie: I... I just wanted to...I... just needed to pick up mine, too...

Ami: Table.

Ami turns her back on Julie and resumes her work. Beaten, Julie picks up the Lumine Driver and glances at Ken once more. He shrugs.

Ken: Give it time. You better head on to the VS Room before Inara comes looking for you.

Julie gulps and heads out the door.

Ken: Ami, do you want to talk?

Ami: I have nothing to say to or about the American.

Ken: I mean about Doc Alberts.

Ami sets the device and its mess of wires down on her work table.

Ami: I’m fine.

Ken: You didn’t look fine.

Ami: What does Bushnell think?

Ken: (exhaling) Viron.

Ami: Why would the Viron want to hurt Dr. Alberts? It doesn’t make any sense…

Ken: Nothing the Viron have done since Julie joined has made sense. (He taps his lips with the edge of his controller)

Ami: He sounded so happy the last time we spoke…

Ken: When was that?

Ami: A few weeks ago, he was finally gonna retire and step away from the Project.

Ken: The Project? Why is that still running? I thought Bushnell would’ve shut that down once it was refined.

Ami: Stubborn old man, still looking for a breakthrough for the cause.  He was so sweet and kind… why would they ev-(she stops and closes her eyes choking back the tears)

Ken: That’s what I intend to find out…

***

The Viron stalks the rooftops taking deep sniffs of the air before howling in impotence. Where were they hiding the rest from him? He could smell them, he could sense them, and he could feel them in his bones. Crouched on all fours Jagstalker appears as a massive man sized jaguar with vaguely cybernetic pieces attached to various parts of his body. The optic sensor over his right eye hums as he scans the city; his spiked tail sways confidently behind him with each step.

A faint smell catches his nose and he zeroes in on a sedan headed in the direction of his last hunt. He stands slowly the fresh smell of his prize enthralling him.

They must be found. He wanted, no, he needed the shiny metal tokens.

***

Dan shifts uncomfortable in the passenger seat of the sedan and Gunpei tries his hardest to suppress his sighs. 

Dan: Why couldn’t I sit in the back?

Gunpei: Because I’m not your chauffer.

Dan: So I guess Kato is just the style choice you’re going with…?

Gunpei: You know what, fu-

Dan: Geez, man, lighten up.

Gunpei: (exhaling) Not until the job is done.

Dan: You do realize in our line of work the job is never do-oh, I see what you did there.

Gunpei: Try to stay awake; we’ll be at the crime scene in five minutes.

Dan: I promise nothing.

***

CEO office, ComCon Technologies

Inara enters the offices and finds Director Bushnell facing the window and staring into a small shot glass. He downs the last gulp and does not turn to face her. She approaches the desk and clears her throat.

Bushnell: I read what you didn’t say to the others.

Inara: I felt it best the less they know about what the Project is doing at this time the better.

Bushnell: I’d agree but that would me a hypocrite wouldn’t it? (a light smile forms across his lips) Why was Alberts carrying them with him?

Inara: He may have been trying to bring them back to you.

Bushnell settles into a deep sigh.

Bushnell: He was a brilliant man and threw himself into whatever I asked of him.

Inara: Although Doctor Alberts and I rarely saw eye to eye I respected him for the work he did for you, Director Bushnell.

After a moment, Bushnell raises his glass to the light and gazes intensely into it.

Bushnell: Inara, remember what I told you when we first met. When I found you?

Inara: I try not to think too often of my nights on the streets of Delhi.

Bushnell: But do you remember?

Inara: I remember the look in your eyes when you told me this world must be protected no matter the cost.

Bushnell: Yes, even if it costs me my soul…

Inara: You’ve worked too hard and too long for it to come to that, Director.

Bushnell: (chuckling) That’s my girl; you always know what to say to cheer the boss up.

Inara: You bring out in the best in m-in all of us, Director.

Bushnell: Depending on whom you ask. (Now starting at his reflection in the glass.)

Inara raises a hand to touch him but lowers it quickly.

Inara: I’m leaving to begin training Ms. Mori, Director Bushnell.

Bushnell: Try not to break her, dear. 

Inara: I will do my best.

***

Chief Suzuki takes a deep breath and motions for the swarm of press to keep calm and behind the yellow tape. The migraine he was fighting this morning was only made worse not by the news of the murder in the business district but by the “express orders” to “have your boys show up and look busy until we arrive.” And against all his instincts he had detectives and lab techs bustle about perimeter and give off the appearance that they knew what was going on.

The chatter and snapping flashes were not helping the throbbing on the side of his head either.

Chief Suzuki: Settle down, settle down, you can rest assured we are investigating this matter and when we are ready to make a comment you will be the first to know.

A slightly small female reporter easily shoves through to the head of the pack and leans forward tape recorder first.

Madison: I’m sure around the same time you inform us about what happened to those kids from the CapuCreep tournament.

Suzuki: Ah, a pleasure as always, Ms. Paige.

Madison: Chief, how would you address the allegations that monsters walk the streets of our city and are attacking civilians?

Suzuki: Easy, I don’t address fantasy. I watch it on television.

Madison: What about the sightings of the thought urban legend Kamen Rider?

Suzuki:(scoffing) Kamen Rider? Monsters? I thought you were a reporter, Ms. Paige. Please save those fringe theories for the conspiracy blogs; you might harm your reputation. Oh, and how is that podcast by the way?

Madison bites her bottom lip and suppresses a roar.

Madison: You can’t pretend what’s happening isn’t happening, Suzuki. The people are being lied to.

Suzuki: Yeah, and when the UFOs finally come down to pick up Big Foot, I’m sure you’ll be there for the page one. Okay, you people need to clear out and let us do our job.

He turns his back on the reporters as a couple of lieutenants take his place to keep them back and calm.

His head started to feel a little better until he sees a familiar company sedan pull in and park in front of his police cruiser. An irritated young man gets out of the driver’s side and stomps over to the passenger side to drag out another young man who appears to be limp.

Gunpei: So help me if I have to scrape you off the pavement!

Dan: (stretching his arms out like a well fed cat) You know what long drives do to me.

Gunpei: This wasn’t even a ten minute drive.

Dan: Long enough.

Suzuki rubs his temples, thinking "not these two", as he approaches the sedan with hesitation.

Suzuki: Now that you’re here, hurry up so I can shut this circus down and have my people do actual police work.

Dan: Don’t worry, officer. We’ll have you back at the station and dunking donuts in no time.

Suzuki glares at Dan.

Gunpei: You’ll forgive the idiot. Show us to the body, please.

Still in the crowd of press, Madison lowers her camera and raises a brow at the arrival of the newcomers.

Madison: Hm, they don’t look like officers.

The three pass the glaring eyes of the onsite officers and techs. Dan offers a few smiles and thumbs up and Gunpei listens carefully as Suzuki goes over the details before they arrive at the black plastic body bag.

Suzuki: Call came in this morning from a couple of love birds who were taking an extra fifteen out in the back. Romeo tripped over the body, pants down. Looks like the poor bastard fell or jumped.

Gunpei crouches down and lifts the plastic to check the body then up to spaces between the buildings.

Gunpei: Or dropped…

Suzuki: What?

Gunpei: What else we got?

Suzuki motions to the case that has been circled off and marked as evidence.

Suzuki: He was carrying that but it was all cut to pieces like an animal had been at it.

Dan crouches down on to his knees to examine it. His eyes snap wide he sees several tokenroids from the open hole at the top.

Dan: You might wanna take a look at this.

Gunpei goes over to Dan and looks down at the briefcase.

Gunpei: What the…

He reaches into the case and pulls out a tokenroid that transforms into a gorilla before returning into the shape of a coin.

Dan: What do you think this means?

Gunpei: The doctor’s been a busy man.

Dan pulls a slightly shredded card of case.

Dan: According to what’s left of his business card, where he worked is a few blocks from here.

Gunpei: Let’s back track and check em out. (turning to Suzuki) Officer, keep your people away. And if you sent any there tell them to be gone before we get there.

***

VS Room,

As Julie enters the room, she sees Inara standing arms crossed, waiting.

Inara: You're late.

Julie: Sorry! Sorry!

Inara: We begin your training immediately. Since you're already familiar with Lumine's basic abilities, we'll focus first on the additional options, namely the tokenroids. Transform and we'll begin.

Julie nods and looks at the Lumine Driver.

Julie: I think the only thing I'll miss about that cell was not doing this...

Inara: NOW.

Julie presses the start button. The belt appears around her waist.

Lumine Driver: PLAYER TWO, READY?

Julie: HENSHIN!

She brings her arm around in an arc. As the Driver snaps into place on the belt, she continues that arc until her arm is pointing out to her side. At the same time, she looks down and away as the tetris themed lines surround her, forming her armor. The lines quickly fall away, revealing her Rider identity once more.

Lumine Driver: GAME START: LUMINE!

She sighs.

Lumine: Okay, now what?

Inara motions to the wall of the room, which opens to reveal a board with multiple Tokenroids on it.

Inara: These are training versions of the Tokenroids. Not as powerful and they don't vanish. You'll use these to master the various abilities.

Lumine nods and walks over to the wall. She picks up one she already knows.

Lumine: Okay, I know a couple of them already... Strength, Rest...

She looks at the wall.

Inara: And the remainder?

Lumine: Hmmm... Jump... Speed... Firebird...

Her eyes fall upon one she doesn't recognize.

Lumine: Never seen this one...

Inara: Try it.

Lumine replaces the training strength tokenroid and picks up the unfamiliar coin. She inserts it into her Driver.

Lumine Driver: UPGRADE: GRAPPLE!

A grapple launcher materializes on her left arm... and a spool of high tensile wire appears on her back. Immediately thrown off balance, she falls backwards and lands hard.

Lumine: OWWW!!!!

Inara: And now you understand why that one is only used in the Rider Machines.

Lumine: NOT! FUNNY!

She ejects the tokenroid and the grapple boost vanishes. She pulls herself up.

Inara: You will study each one. Their effects and their weaknesses. You will then MASTER each one. Then and ONLY then will you be ready for the next phase of your training.

Lumine rotates her shoulders, trying to loosen up after landing on the grapple spool.

Lumine: You don't happen to have one that takes away pain, do you?

Inara: You would be surprised.

She shoves a manual into Lumine's hands.

Inara: Change back. Start studying. You have thirty minutes. Then we begin using these again.

Lumine groans.

Latest Month

August 2013
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow