Episode 123: Die Set Down
Author's Note #1:
This chapter's title is a reference to the theme song of the same name from Kamen Rider Amazons Season 2. It is also to commemorate the finale of Kamen Rider Amazons itself since the final episode aired last Friday. And speaking of Amazons's final episode, though Chihiro and Iyu winded up dead, I feel like confused how the series itself ended; Tachibana reveals about a so-called "Sigma Project", then Jin is still alive and still batshit crazy as always. Vol. 3 will retell Amazons S2 so be expect that the TV Riders will cross with the Amazon Riders for the first time since Chou Super Hero Taisen.
To quote EeveeNicks' review from the previous chapter "when you see villains like this it really makes you appreciate Samus's self restraint and moral compass. With her powers she could have easily used them for evil or her own gain but she didn't." This explains that the term "complete monster" exists because it shows a villain (most specifically Sylux here in this story) is beyond redemption and would go further heights to obtain ultimate power to rule over all. Sylux's willingness to betray others to further his goals explores his obvious lack of empathy, pettiness, and his "might makes right" mindset. Also, the Jungian psychology of the shadow aspect (or the Shadow Archetype trope) is heavily observed throughout the story in regards with Sylux towards the Doctor Riders, for example one of the mostly compared to Sylux would be Hiiro and Taiga.
Besides that, I purposely wrote Sylux to be hated by the main characters and readers on purpose and never played for humor, since we already have villains on the Ex-Aid to cheer for (i.e., Genm, Para-DX, Cronus) to the point that even Dash and Toa pointed out on their reviews that Sylux has gone quite too far. It serves that Sylux proves himself as an evil counterpart to Samus - while Samus is the protector of the galaxy, Sylux is the destroyer.
And this chapter will be the last time we will see Cronus, the rest of this chapter will explain itself. And the very end of the chapter contains blood, gore, and body dismemberment. Read at your own discretion!
-Samus: Mission Briefing-
Space Explorer Initiative Log #21
Log Author: Samus Aran
Date: July 19, 2017
What we saw Sylux stabbing one of his subordinates in the back was a horrifying sight to look at. All I can see in Sylux are but twisted reflections of not only just myself, but to those Doctor Riders too; to be more specific Kagami Hiiro and Hanaya Taiga. If Houjou Emu had never interacted with these two doctors and humbled them, what Sylux showed to us would express what could both Kagami Hiiro, Hanaya Taiga, or worse, Dan Kuroto have become if Emu wasn't there to teach them humility.
Even Emu himself is appalled when Sylux said to him that he rejects his ideals and believes that fear is the only solution to change the universe.
We took Parado back to the Command Ship for treatment, while his injuries aren't that much serious, but for now we need him to restrain him for a while, since I'm aware about the possible dangers what he might fall into as should Parado die, Emu might lose his ability to transform into Ex-Aid, which explains why we decide to shelter him into our mothership instead on the CR's side. This worries me a lot since I offered him a deal that he'll duel the intern during Ange and Tusk's wedding.
As of this moment, we're now in a race against time to stop Dan Masamune before Sylux reaches to him. One of our spy satellites have located Cronus's location: Planet Dolnero. A planet just located distant from Planet Zamasu, the prison planet of the Galactic Union Police. Apparently, the satellite imagery also shows presence of Ride-Players coming from Earth. I have a feeling that GENM Corporation is financing for the players to reach that planet.
Either way, if we can stop Cronus, we could easily get the Master Gashat of Kamen Rider Chronicle safely into our hands. But, should it fall into Sylux's hands, the entire universe will be destroyed. Dan Kuroto, Houjou Emu, and myself took off in our respective gunships as we head for Planet Dolnero to stop Dan Masamune once and for all before Sylux does. It is a race for the treasure.
-To Planet Dolnero-
Both the CR and Space Explorer Command Ships and the Aurora set course into the very distant edge of the universe, their destination: Planet Dolnero. Thanks to one of the Space Explorers' spy satellites, Kamen Rider Cronus is seen battling a horde of Ride Players. At this moment, it is race against time as Dan Masamune needs to be stopped before Sylux reaches to him. The GENM Corporation CEO is unaware of Sylux scheming behind his back, but Kuroto does, the evil bounty hunter was trying to earn Masamune's trust as a means to get close to the Rider Chronicle's Master Gashat. Yet again, Masamune himself is not aware that he has been an unwitting pawn to Sylux.
By boarding on her gunship, Samus sortied immediately and launched from the Command Fortress, followed by Ex-Aid and Genm taking off from the CR Command Fortress as they stay in formation with Samus's gunship.
"That's strange, how come GENM Corporation provided players back on Earth some transport to planets to fight Bugsters?", Emu asked, his voice echoed through Samus's communications inside her gunship.
"Father is trying to increase the playerbase. We need to stop him before Sylux does.", Kuroto added. The Game Master has becoming more increasingly paranoid, as Samus noticed. "I created that game [Rider Chronicle] for the sake of bringing back those who vanished from Bugster infection. And as the Game Master, I don't want it to be used as a weapon of mass destruction!"
"You sounded a lot more paranoid very lately, Dan Kuroto.", the bounty hunter replied.
Kuroto, being Kuroto, sounded annoyed while keeping that paranoid nature of his, he responds by shouting, "It's SHIN DAN KUROTO!"
"Whatever.", the bounty hunter said and sighed.
As they approach to the planet's atmosphere, they make a slow entry as they need to find a location to land their gunships.
Seconds later, Samus gets a transmission from the Space Explorers Command Fortress. She picks up as the crew radioed her.
"Samus, this is Gekkou. Are you guys in Planet Dolnero?", the Bugster's voice radioed.
"We are now in atmospheric entry.", Samus replies as all three Gunships are now reaching for the surface through high altitude.
"Good luck down there, Samus. You, Houjou-sensei and Dan Kuroto must stop Dan Masamune before Sylux reaches to him!", Mitsuzane radioed as he and the other Space Explorers remained on their respective Command Fortress to monitor her.
"We will, Mitsuzane."
Once all three gunships softly descend at low altitude, they find a place to land their gunships. Upon landing, Samus exited on her ship, Emu then followed after, and then Kuroto. Samus stayed on her Gravity Suit, while Emu wore a special space suit as the planet's atmosphere and oxygen are harmful to humans. But, Kuroto can breathe on the planet since he's already a Bugster without the need of a space suit.
"Come on, let's go!", said the intern as the three Mighty Action X users make haste to search for Dan Masamune to retrieve the Master Gashat from him before Sylux does.
-Cronus's Final Trial-
Samus, Kuroto, and Emu fight their way around the planet as Ride Players are blocking their way from their attempt to beat Cronus.
"Get out of our way!", Samus fights off a Ride Player blocking her. She clears the way of them, until Kuroto interrogates one why they were brought here.
"Why are you brought here?!", the Game Master shouted before he shakes the daylights out of the Ride-Player.
"Enough!", Samus restrained the Game Master from endangering the Ride Player. Then, she politely asked the player how did they get into the planet in the first place, "Tell me something, how did you people got all the way into this planet?"
"I came here to participate the Cronus capture quest!", said the player. "I want to…save my mother so I want to play this game!"
Seeing the very poisonous influence of Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat and its nature to increase the playerbase, Samus is disgusted by this. Everyone never realized that every lie Dan Masamune spewed from his mouth was just to increase the reputation of his company and disregarding the safety of others.
("This has gone quite too far…"), Samus whispered to herself.
Even though Kuroto regrets nothing about the nature of the game, Samus doesn't waste any time about calling out the Game Master about this situation worsening because the game has becoming hazardous to human safety. In any way, the game must be stopped before Sylux could take the Master Gashat for his own personal purpose.
The bounty hunter, intern, and Game Master moved forward as they searched for Cronus, whilst fighting Ride Players blocking in their way.
Until, the three reached a stage that has a has a clock on the center. Dan Masamune was standing, aware of the presence of the Samus, Emu, and Kuroto.
The GENM CEO greets the three members of the Space Explorers-CR coalition, "I'm impressed you made it this far, Maximum Mighty X, Dangerous Zombie, and Hurricane Ninja.", as he each referred the Gashat users by the respective strongest Gashat they utilized - Maximum Mighty X for Emu, Dangerous Zombie for his own son, and Hurricane Ninja for Samus. Strangely, Ninja Gamer Level X is so far the strongest form Samus uses, hence why she's referred with the Gashat she used.
"You're planning to target yourself by inexperienced players?!", said Samus.
Masamune continued, "People seek the power to retrieve the lives of those who vanished, is the unbeatable power of Cronus."
"I knew it was a lie to increase the playerbase!", Kuroto is seething.
"Just who are you to care about the lives of those who vanished?! Who are you to lie on other people to believe in your nonsense just for the sake of your own business!", the bounty hunter spat.
The CEO continued, "The lives of the fallen are firmly in my hands...as Bugster data. Lost lives are treasures in this game. The desire to retrieve the lives of family, friends, and loved ones will bring forth new players."
"Father. Please hand over the Master Gashat before the person who broke you out of prison will stab you in the back!", the Game Master also warns his father about Sylux scheming behind Masamune's back.
"I refuse. This is GENM Corporation's registered trademark. I will not handle it to rare characters like yourselves.", Masamune dismisses his son's reasoning. "And for that, it is time for judgment."
*Buggle Up! Ten wo Tsukame Rider! (Wow!) Kizame Chronicle! Ima koso Toki wa Kiwamareri! (Wow!)*
Masamune immediately transforms into Cronus. In response, the three Mighty Action X users pull out their Gashats, while Emu and Kuroto put on their Gamer Drivers, while Samus puts on her Buggle Driver II whilst in her Gravity Suit.
"Engage X Power! Henshin!", Samus chanted.
"Grade X-0! Henshin!", followed by Kuroto.
"Max Dai Henshin!", Emu finished.
*Maximum Gashatto! Gacchan! Level MAX! Maximum~ Power~ X~!* / *Gacchan! Level Up! I Gotcha! [...] DEATH THE CRISIS! Dangerous Zombie!* / *Buggle Up! [...] Hurricane Ninja! Sanjou! (Wow!)*
Samus transforms from her Gravity Suit into Kamen Rider Huntress Ninja Gamer Level X, followed by Emu into Ex-Aid Maximum Gamer Level 99, and lastly Kuroto into Genm Zombie Action Gamer Level X-0.
With Sylux currently not on his side, Cronus goes one-man army against his adversaries. The time-controlling Rider decides to make use of Energy Items as he comes contact with the "Copy" Energy Item as he creates three duplicates of himself.
In response, Huntress Level X does a hand-sign gesture, as she herself creates clones of herself to fight Cronus's copies. "Two can play that game!", she snarled. Masamune doesn't realize that the Hurricane Ninja Gashat grants Samus abilities associated with ninjas such as the ability to create clones of the user.
"I'm impressed.", Cronus commended the bounty hunter's ability. "It was truly an honor to fight with an honorable player within you, Huntress."
To which Huntress replies, "I'll take that as a compliment. Unfortunately for you, I have a high respect for your son than you."
The Cronus copies are defeated, leaving the real one standing. When clones don't work, Masamune comes contact with a "Metalize" Energy Item.
Cronus metalizes his body, when Huntress Level X's copies attack him, the attacks don't budge for about until Cronus himself beats the clones down.
"Now, it's time for judgment.", Cronus prepares to activate his Pause ability.
Within a split-seconds, Ex-Aid pulls out the Hyper Muteki Gashat. But, instead of going Muteki Gamer. It is also revealed the Hyper Muteki Gashat is useful as timed powerup when used on the Gamer Driver's second slot other than being used with Maximum Mighty X.
"Genm, go Muteki Mode!", Ex-Aid tosses Hyper Muteki to the Game Master, and capturing it afterwards.
*Hyper Muteki! Muteki Gashatto!*
"Now, it is my time to shine!", said Genm as he inserted the Gashat on the second slot, as he reverts to Genm Action Gamer Level 0.
*Muteki Level Up! Mighty Jump, Mighty Kick! Mi~ghty Act~ion! X!*
Upon opening his Driver's lever for the second time, Genm is enveloped with a golden aura as he charges at Cronus.
Cronus stops time with his Pause ability, freezing everyone in the vicinity. When he crept closer to Genm, he eventually moved! Afterwards, he came close to Cronus as he pressed the A and B buttons of his Buggle Driver II.
And time begins to move again, much to everyone's surprise.
"How did you managed to move during Pause?!", Cronus said in disbelief.
Then, Kuroto of all people started boasting. "Hyper Muteki is a game where the player is the ultimate, unrivaled being, invincible to all attacks! Your Pause is now meaningless! Hahahaha! Haha-"
"Except that it lasts for 10 seconds when used on the Gamer Driver second slot!", Samus intervenes as she takes the Hyper Muteki Gashat on Genm's Gamer Driver and tosses the Gashat back to Ex-Aid. "Ex-Aid, catch!", then turns her attention to the Game Master, "You know, Dan Kuroto. Your ego has to be your biggest weakness and you left it unchecked!"
"It's SHIN DAN KUROTO!", the Game Master didn't take too lightly of Samus's snarky comments.
"Whatever.", she shrugged in response before turning her attention to Cronus. "Cronus, you better prepare for the main event."
Ex-Aid, now holding the Hyper Muteki Gashat, prepares to activate it again.
"Cronus, I'll show you the true power of Genius Gamer M!", Ex-Aid proclaims after activating Hyper Muteki. Then, he inserts the golden Gashat on Maximum Mighty X's socket...
"Hyper... Dai Henshin!", Ex-Aid chants his transformation call as he is about to smash the Gashat's button. Once activated, after a split second, Cronus stops time again.
"That Gashat is no longer in print!", said Cronus as he is about to confiscate the Hyper Muteki Gashat. All of the sudden, the Gashat activates, bypassing Pause, to the chagrin of Cronus.
"Bakkaan! Mu-Te-Ki!", the Gashat proclaimed after pressing the button, projecting a screen from the Gashat. Ex-Aid Level 99 passes through it, "Kagayake! Ryuusei no Gotoku!", Ex-Aid jettisoned himself from the Maximum Gamer, whilst cloaked in golden aura, with seven stars enveloping him, "Ougon on Saikyou Gamer!", the golden armor dramatically changed Ex-Aid's form, to the point his helmet is shaped like a star, and grows a golden mane, "Hyper Muteki Ex-Ai~d!"
"I'll clear this with No Continues!", Ex-Aid Muteki Gamer proclaimed as he charges at Cronus.
Much like Muteki Mode earlier, Ex-Aid's makes use of his invincibility as he delivers bullet-fast punches at his opponent. Cronus thought it lasts only for 10 seconds, but Ex-Aid reveals when Hyper Muteki is used with Maximum Mighty X in conjunction, his invincibility is unlimited. As Ex-Aid continues to rain Cronus with his attacks, he delivers a powerful punch, the brunt of the attack eventually cancels Pause.
The flow of time returns back to normal.
"My turn!", Huntress Level X prepares to use her own Pause ability...
...her version of Pause this time slows down time, as Cronus is being lifted in midair after another attack from Ex-Aid. She summons a Gashacon Key Slasher via Weapon Select.
Huntress presses the Gun button of the Key Slasher, then pressed three yellow buttons before pressing the Gun button again, as she aims at Cronus's Buggle Driver II.
"Kill process.", said Samus as she pulls the trigger. The beam of the Key Slasher hits Cronus's Driver. Then, she presses the A and B button of her own Buggle Driver II to return the flow of time back to normal.
When Cronus hits the floor again, his Buggle Driver II starts to emit sparks, complete with the driver itself malfunctioning to the point he's unable to use Pause.
"W-What have you done...?!",Cronus freaks out as his Buggle Driver II is glitched after Samus purposely shot the belt to prevent him from using Pause.
"My aim was kinda poor and you never saw that coming.", a blatant, sarcastic reply came from Samus's mouth.
With Cronus has no other options left, Ex-Aid prepares to finish the fight. He pressed the button of Hyper Muteki, triggering the finisher...
"Time to finish this!", Emu proclaimed. Then, he pressed the button again...
*Hyper Critical Sparking!*
Ex-Aid Muteki Gamer jumps as his feet is covered with a rainbow-colored energy as he delivers a flying kick at Cronus, when Cronus counters with his own kick, Ex-Aid follows up with more kicks, complete with teleport effects each time Cronus counterattacks, before finishing with another flying kick.
As Cronus thought that attack has no effect, "Did you actually think an attack like that would work?", Masamune said and is sure of himself that he's unaffected. When he attempted to Pause again, the attacks are now taking effect as the "Hit!" aftereffects began to scatter around him like crazy!
*Kyuukyoku no Ippatsu! Kanzen Shiori!*
Cronus ends up defeated courtesy of Ex-Aid Muteki Gamer and is forced out of his transformation, dropping the Kamen Rider Chronicle Master Gashat afterwards. To add salt to the wound, since Maximum Mighty X's reprogramming is intact, it successfully removed Masamune's transformation compatibility with his Buggle Driver II and Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat.
-Taking Candy From a Baby-
Afterwards, both Samus, Kuroto, and Emu immediately cancel out their transformation. Masamune crawls in an attempt to take the Gashat back, only for it to be taken by Sylux. The evil bounty hunter makes his presence known to his human collaborator and his enemies.
"Sylux... Don't tell me you're going to?", Samus has a bad feeling about this.
"Please, give that Master Gashat back to me!", Masamune pleads to the evil hunter to surrender the Gashat back to him. What Masamune is about to expect right now, was not a gesture of friendship, but rather a sign of deception.
While still having Gemdeus's powers with him, Sylux sprouts tentacles on his back as he constricts a defenseless Masamune. The CEO realizes his son's warning very too late as he found himself at the mercy of his right-hand man now revealing his true colors.
"Sylux, no!", Samus, Emu and Kuroto attempt to stop him, only to let one of his tendrils to lash on the three Riders.
Constricted by his tentacles, Sylux begins to take joy seeing Masamune in a state of suffering after no taking to kindly with the former's treachery. The CEO doesn't know what Sylux's true motives really are. And that being said, Sylux has had enough playing the bodyguard and decides to take matters into his own hands as he is about to make Masamune suffer.
"You...ungrateful, traitorous scum!", Masamune spat at the treacherous bounty hunter. "I gave you everything after you freed me...and I thought we were friends? Is this how are you going to repay me?!"
As what Sylux told to Kiriya, Hiiro, and Taiga, he was actually taking advantage of Masamune's trust so he can take the Master Gashat from him and destroy the entire universe. Granted, because Sylux wanted to shape the whole galaxy into his perfect utopia and he needs the Kamen Rider Chronicle Gashat to achieve that; the GENM Corporation chief did not realize it too.
"Friends?", Sylux rubs it in on his quisling that everything about their "friendship" are all but lies. "Did you actually believed that I worked for you just for the sake of your playerbase schemes? You were just my puppet so I can take this Gashat from you! I was never your friend! My goals are far too different than yours, I will destroy the whole universe with this Gashat and I will rule everything! Hahahahaha!"
Kuroto was correct, if his father had heeded his warning, Masamune would have retreated. So, there is still enough time to pursue Sylux. Now that Sylux accomplished his goal of claiming the Rider Chronicle Gashat, it's only a matter of time on what he intends to do with it.
"Thanks for wasting the troubles of defeating this insect for me, Aran.", Sylux mocks Samus, Kuroto and Emu with the "gratitude" of defeating Cronus. Then, he prepares to constrict Masamune to death, "Thanks for everything, Dan Masamune. But for now, enjoy an early, permanent retirement!"
Sylux conjures another set of tendrils as he constricts on Masamune's legs, with another one wrapping his arms and torso. The GENM Corporation CEO is suffocating by the pressure being squeezed on him from top to bottom as he is rapidly fading of consciousness. Then, Sylux rips Masamune's body down the middle, complete with copious amounts of blood spewing like a shower. The evil bounty hunter tosses the ripped corpse of Masamune to Kuroto, mocking the Game Master as he rubs it into his face that his father was nothing more but an unwitting pawn to his schemes.
"See that? That's what he gets for just being a disillusioned worm that he is!", Sylux gloated as he gloats on Kuroto's face about him killing Masamune. "You should be happy that I took the honor of killing your father! Mwahahahahahahaha!"
Sylux admits that he has no regret in murdering Masamune, because he finds the latter very tedious with his quick-increase of Rider Chronicle's playerbase. And so, he decided to silence him.
Even though Sylux did the deed in killing Masamune, it seems his actions is even more depraved than the GENM Corporation CEO's. Even though it was a means to stop Cronus's plans to prolong Kamen Rider Chronicle, but, sometimes the heroes chose not to kill. Instead, they unwillingly let one of the enemies of the neutral side to do the deed. While keeping with his omnicidal aspirations, Sylux now has the Kamen Rider Chronicle Master Gashat, with it he can finally destroy the entire universe.
Before Sylux walks away, Emu calls him out in anger.
"Sylux!", shouted the intern. "Who are you trying to destroy the world for?! There's no one around you anymore!"
The evil hunter replied, "Hahahahaha! It's because it makes me amused! The sadistic joy of destroying insignificant insects like you is worth entertaining. With this, I can use the power of this Gashat to awaken a powerful weapon that lies within Planet Destron... Omega Weapon! Soon, the whole universe will know the true meaning of fear and all shall bow before me! Hehehehe!"
To Samus's confusion, this is the first time she hears about the Omega Weapon that Sylux mentioned.
Sylux disappears from the scene, leaving the three Mighty Action X users emotionally scarred after witnessing another atrocious act by the evil hunter.
Rather than flailing wildly because of his innate mentality, Kuroto ends up breaking down in tears and screamed skywards when the attempt to take the Master Gashat is rendered moot.
See you next mission...
Bugsters captured by Sylux: 10 (All Gashat Bugsters captured) [Alhambra (via Proto Taddle Quest), Salty (via Proto Mighty Action X), Vernier (via Proto Jet Combat), Revol (via Proto Bang Bang Shooting), Dark Poppy (unknown), Kaiden (via Proto Giri Giri Chambara), Gatton (via Proto Gekitotsu Robots), Charlie (via Proto Shakariki Sports), Motors (unknown)]
Bugsters remaining: 4 out of 12 [Parado, Poppy Pipopapo (defected), Genm, Gekkou]
Bugsters Deleted: 9 [Loverica, Graphite, Salty, Alhambra, Revol, Motors, Vernier, Kaiden, Charlie]
Genm's Lives remaining: 90 out of 99
Proto Gashats Recovered: 2 out of 10 [Proto Bakusou Bike (in Cronus's possession), Proto Drago Knight Hunter Z (in Huntress's possession)]
Author's Note #2:
The way Sylux kills Masamune by ripping him in half is similar to Amazons S2 episode "VANISHING WINGS", where Chihiro in his mutated Origin form kills Kano by tearing him in half starting with his legs down, leaving him half of his body and died of blood loss.