Chapter 5: Shotaro Hidari: Hero, Detective, Father?

"The second Futo Tower," Councilwoman Miyabi Kusuhara began her speech to a waiting crowd. "Today, the Diet just approved this construction project. This tower will help provide clean energy for Futo with no adverse effects on the environment." Turning to a little girl whose hair was done in brunches, she then said, "Asuka?"

"Okay," Walking over to the podium, Asuka continued her mother's speech. "I'm Kusuhara Asuka. This will be our tower." Pulling down the sheet covering a canvas, she revealed a poster that had a tower covered in solar panels and topped with a turbine. "Mommy, I want to see the real thing some day."

Hearing this, Miyabi put her hands on Asuka's shoulders, she concluded her speech. "For the future of our children! Citizens, please understand and support this project!" With that, applause rang out.

"Wow, that's low. Using your daughter to appeal to the masses." Ben commented as he, Akiko, and Shotaro appeared from behind the crowd, a fact Makura noticed.

"W-wait. You! What are you three doing here?" Makura demanded to know, and the three instantly produced passes.

"Coucilwoman Kusuhara asked me to be her bodyguard," Shotaro answered.

"Why you?" Makura asked, confusion etched on his face. "Our police presence should be enough!"

"Maybe, but considering that their assailant is a Dopant? No offense, but considering the track history the police have with the others, she probably doesn't want to take any chances," Ben argued, making Makura seethe at the teenager.

"True, but it's not like I'm that invested in this job, myself..." Shotaro huffed.

"The customer is God, remember?" Akiko quickly brought up one of her father's sayings. Noticing this Makura chuckled at the scene, all the while tuning out Miyabi's speech. All eyes turned to her, however, when the sounds of bullets hitting the poster rang out, and in time, more shots flew through the area, and panic began to ensue.

"Get down!" Shotaro ordered Miyabi and Asuka as he, Akiko and Ben quickly got to the podium, guiding the two to safety. "Ben! Do you have something that's durable? Something that should withstand these attacks?"

"Don't worry Shotaro, I've got just the guy for the job!" With that, Ben activated the Ultimatrix, and soon found just the form he was looking for. In a flash of emerald light, Ben was replaced by what looked like a walking old-timey oven. The body was a dark green-teal, with bulky arms and legs, while its "head" had three slits, glowing red. The Ultimatrix symbol lay atop a circular plate on his chest.

"NRG!" The being announced in a Russian accent. "Stay behind me!"


Codon Stream Entry: NRG

Species: Prypriatosian-B

Home World: Prypiatos

Once upon a time, Pyrpiatos was the jewel of the Andromeda Galaxy, having beautiful cities filled with hundreds of thousands of glistening structures. Unfortunately, a massive atomic war broke out, and the entire planet became dangerously irradiated as the cities fell into ruin. While some were able to hide underground and create subterranean cities, others weren't so lucky, becoming mutated into forms almost like living radiation, and these beings became known as Prypiatosian-Bs. Because of their bodies, they need to wear containment suits so they can reduce the radiation they automatically release from their bodies to a safe level for other living beings. While in these suits, they can unleash blasts of radiation from the slits on their "heads", and can channel heat through their suits or project it outwards to melt substances at distance. These suits are also extremely durable, with most cutting implements unable to leave a scratch. When out of the suit, they gain the ability to fly and can consume radiation or radioactive substances to increase their size, though this also causes the radiation they release to increase in intensity, which can make them walking wastelands if they become big enough.


With that, Shotaro turned to Akiko and clenched a fist. Akiko tilted her head in confusion until he made a "W" with his fingers, whereupon Akiko gave an "okay" gesture. With that, the half-boiled detective ran off to find the source of the attacks.

"Hidari-san?" Miyabi asked in confusion.

"He's trying to find out who attacked you!" Akiko assured her client, who let out a relieved sigh in response to knowing that her bodyguard hadn't scampered like a coward.

Makura, however, hadn't gotten the memo, as he shouted while under a chair, "Hey detective! Trying to save yourself? Stop!"

Once he was safely out of view, he pulled out the DoubleDriver. "Philip!" With that, Shotaro then placed the Joker Memory once the Cyclone Memory had appeared in the right slot.


With that, Kamen Rider Double ran to the scene of the attack, helping NRG take blows meant for Miyabi and Asuka, only to be asked an odd question by Asuka. "Papa?"

"Huh?" Akiko and NRG asked simultaneously in turn.

"Papa! You came!" Asuka joyously said.

"Pa...Papa?!" Shotaro asked, completely baffled as NRG snickered."Head that way! Hurry!"

"Papa! Papa!" Asuka continued to cry out as NRG, Akiko, and her mother guided her to safety.

"Get them somewhere safe," NRG said to Akiko. "I'll give Shotaro an extra pair of eyes." Upset at being left out but recognizing the situation, Akiko reluctantly nodded as she continued to escort Miyabi and Asuka to a safer location. The "bullets" continued to bounce off NRG's suit, not even managing to dent it.

A nearby newsman saw what was going on. "Kamen Rider? And the symbol on that...thing's chest! It's like the other beings that've been here as of late!" Recording an image, his feed was cut as Kamen Rider Double agilely dodged while NRG took the blows like a living shield.

"I'm going to assume no luck finding out who painted a target on us?" NRG asked rhetorically.

"Indeed," Philip's voice answered, Kamen Rider's right eye glowing. "I cannot pinpoint where they're firing from. But it's definitely a Dopant doing this."

"We need to fight back," Shotaro pointed out, avoiding another set of bullets.

"We need to locate the enemy first," Philip argued. "Trigger's too dangerous if we don't know where to aim."

"So we need to focus on defense?" Shotaro conceded, pulling out the Metal Memory. "Ben? Do you think you can try and find him?"


"I can try. I'll get eyes in the sky if I can!" With that, NRG hit the dial on his chest. In his place, however, stood not a flying alien, but something else. Ben had transformed into what was basically a humanoid blob of lime-green slime while a small device similar to a UFO stood atop it, and the Ultimatrix Symbol lay on his "chest" for lack of a better word.

"Goop!" The creature's voice was incredibly high-pitched. "I was going for Jetray, but whatever!"


Codon Stream Entry: Goop

Species: Polymorph

Home World: Viscosia

The Polymorph race is a race that is easy to underestimate. Resembling nothing but blobs of slime, they have remarkable aptitude due to their unique physiology. For all intents and purposes, Polymorphs are nothing more than supersized single-celled organisms, similar to amoeboids, particularly in their "body parts" being pseudopods. Their bodies are, as a result, colloidal in nature, shifting between liquid and solid. Thanks to this, they are capable of stretching and reforming themselves any way they choose, and they can change their own properties, becoming adhesive or acidic at will, and can even launch streams of slime at enemies. This helps in their scavenging diet, trapping weakened organisms and then absorbing organic matter. Additionally, with Viscosia being a planet filled with lava streams and a constantly shifting landscape, they have high resistance to temperature. However, because of Viscosia being a planet with almost no gravity, Polymorphs use Anti-Gravity Projectors to help them move on other worlds and even fly at high speeds for short times, and these devices are also equipped with razor sharp edges.



As Kamen Rider Double assumed the CycloneMetal form, Shotaro tilted his head in confusion. "How does this help you get an eye?"

"I can...kinda fly, but it's harder than with an actual flier. Still, I can still try to get a bird's eye view." Goop suggested. Nodding as he pulled out the MetalShaft, Shotaro began to swing it, sending gusts of wind that deflected the bullets as Goop quickly made a massive leap up to the top of the building, some of the bullets going through his body as the holes were quickly refilled while he alternatively dodged with far more flexibility than any human could dream of. Jumping to the top, however, Goop observed no obvious bullet trajectory, though did get some trapped within his body. Looking down, he saw that Shotaro was equally baffled as walked around, all the while noticing that Asuka was crying out for whom she thought was her father, clutching a small ragdoll with a mask similar to Kamen Rider Double's.

While that happened, Shotaro walked to what seemed to be a waterfront, hearing strange blorping sounds and holding his staff at the ready. He was ready to swing when he realized it was simply the device Goop had with him before he splattered onto the pavement. "Did you see anyone?"

"No, but I do have these, if they help," With that, Goop held his right arm forward, feeding the bullets to the ground. While covered in slime, Goop quickly got the slime off with a brief brush and left them clean as whistles, with Shotaro picking them up.

"Hmmm. This is definitely a Dopant's doing, and these should help us identify the Gaia Memory involved here," Philip noted. With that, Kamen Rider Double turned back the DoubleDriver as Shotaro returned to normal, Goop doing likewise. As they did so, they heard Asuka saying her father had come.

"The request came in last night like a sudden gust," Shotaro began to monologue as Ben followed him, managing to stifle a chuckle at the "hard-boiled" routine. "Councilwoman Kusuhara Miyabi requested that we help guard her and her daughter." Ben flashed back to that moment.


"Subtle, aren't they?" Ben huffed as he took a look at the images. All of them were various patterns of bulletholes all made into the English word "KILL".

"Indeed," Miyabi concurred as she leaned into the seat as Asuka enjoyed a soft drink.

"Dopant?" Akiko asked as she looked a photo Shotaro had picked up.

"Yeah," Shotaro answered, putting it back.

"I heard rumors that you specialize in cases such as this," Miyabi continued. "I'll pay what you need in advance."

That definitely got Akiko's attention, but she decided to ask, "Can you think of anyone who might be the culprit?"

"No," Miyabi said, continuing, "There are a lot of enemies in government work, so I can't worry about things like that all day long."

"Your daughter's in danger, too, though," Shotaro pointed out as he walked away. "You shouldn't bring her with you."

"Yeah," Ben agreed. "My grandfather was in law enforcement, and he said that it's one thing to go after someone for a grudge, but if someone really wants to make a person suffer, they'll target those they care about, and your daughter would be a perfect target."

"I understand that, but people are too apathetic about government work," Miyabi argued. "Without a performance like this, the construction of the tower isn't going to happen!"

"If you understand what we're saying, then why aren't more concerned about the fact your daughter could be in the line of fire? Do you not care about her at all?" Shotaro asked in frustration.

"I'll be alright, oji-san," Asuka answered in response. Akiko and Ben couldn't help but laugh at Shotaro, a man still in his early 20s, being called a grandpa.

"O-Oji-san?!" Shotaro asked, completely flabbergasted.

"Because...," Asuka continued, oblivious to the two's laughter. "I believe."

"Eh?" Shotaro asked in confusion, walking towards the young girl. "Believe? In what?"

"Secret," The girl responded.


"That girl's smile seemed like it would fade in a slight breeze. How could we not be drawn to it and accept the result?" Shotaro continued to monologue as the two walked back.


"Gah!" Shotaro winced in pain as Akiko slapped him with her slipper, Ben only able to let the scene play out.

"Unbelievable!" Akiko shouted. "You have a kid?!"

"Umm, Akiko? If I can say something?" Akiko's piercing gaze turned to the American. "You really think Councilwoman Kusuhara is this guy's type? Pretty sure that with his 'hard-boiled' shtick, he'd be more into a femme fatale, and she doesn't strike me as that."

The blush on Shotaro's face at Ben's allegation seemed to confirm that notion, and Akiko, accepting Ben's argument, lowered her weapon of choice. "Oi, Ben! What a man prefers is private business! But I appreciate the support, nonetheless."

"Then what about Philip?" The flat stare from Ben shut down that line of thought. "Never mind."

"But what is that girl talking about? I've never met her until her mother came in with the case," Shotaro pondered. "Where'd you take them, by the way?"

"Oh. They're with the Futo police," Akiko explained.

"I see," With that, Shotaro handed something to Akiko. "Please give this to Philip. I'm counting on you."

"Eh? Why are you looking down on the chief? Back me up, Ben-kun!" Akiko asked as the detective walked away.

"Sorry, but I've gotta talk with our client," Ben answered as he ran to catch up with Shotaro. Akiko could only pout as she was left out of the action again.

While Ben had taken it upon himself to get acquainted with Asuka and began introducing her to cat's cradle, something that the girl had come to enjoy.

"Hidari-san," Miyabi said as she walked to a seated Shotaro. "I appreciate the initiative in trying to determine the sniper as your intern explained to me, but you still left me and my daughter in danger. Surely you understand my disappointment."

"I can only apologize for the fruitless results of my endeavor," Shotaro held his head down in shame as Jinno walked past him.

"That was...something." Jinno chuckled as he walked past the detective.

"Well, where were you, Jinno-san?" Shotaro wondered. "We could've used some back up! Had Kamen Rider or his friend not been there..."

"I was busy with a couple of things," Jinno answered, one Shotaro could only parrot incredulously. "Now... they'll be holding a funeral for Makura-kun."

"Funeral?!" Shotaro's eyes widened at that, not the least of which was because, "He was only shot in the leg!"

"He was such a fine officer, with such a great career ahead of him...," Jinno continued, oblivious to Shotaro's counterpoints.

"We'll finish negotiations to purchase the land tomorrow," Miyabi announced, shutting both of them up. "Make sure the both of you don't have a repeat of today's incident! Your reputations are at sake!"

"Of course, ma'am!" Jinno quickly saluted. "I'll double the guards immediately!"

"Don't worry, Papa will save us again!" Asuka quickly said, turning away from the cat's cradle game she had Ben, holding up a rough sketch of Kamen Rider Double she'd finished drawing.

"Huh," Ben scratched his cheek as he looked to the picture. "So you're saying that your Kamen Rider Double?"

"You get it!" Asuka practically beamed at Ben, oblivious to the confusion bubbling in the minds of Ben, Shotaro, and Jinno.

Akiko had not been in a good mood, having become a glorified delivery mule, and clicked her tongue. "Philip-kun? Are you there?"

"Yo! I was getting tired of waiting. Hurry up with the bullets!" Philip answered.

"Don't you 'yo' me!" When Akiko walked in with the bullets, her eyes were practically bulging out of their sockets as she saw that attached to Philip's rear was a garbage can. "What in the...? HOW DID YOU END UP LIKE THIS?!"

"I can't say. When I woke from the transformation, I was like this," Philip answered, waddling like a humpbacked penguin as he took the bullets Akiko gave him. "But it doesn't affect the look-up, so I see no problems with this."

"But I can see an issue!" Akiko retorted. While Philip paced and pondered, she tried to pull it off, but was not successful in that regard. "What is this? Why isn't it coming off?"

"Ben-san didn't see anything when he got higher ground, so where was the enemy firing from?" Philip wondered as he examined one of the bullets.

In a tall building, Shotaro and Ben kept a vigilant watch over Miyabi as negotiations continued. "We've finally made it this far. All we need to do is acquire the land." That moment got interrupted when more bullets began flying, and Ben and Shotaro immediately tackled the councilwoman to safety, Makura pulling out his revolver ready to fire at will. While the other politicians panicked, Shotaro kept his cool, pulling out his camera and inserting the Bat Memory into it.


With that, the BatShot took flight, flying to where the shots were coming from. All the while, the three stood close to Councilwoman Miyabi. "Were we helpful this time?"

"Yes, but that was the bare minimum!" With that, Miyabi walked with Makura, who was still ready to fire if the sniper came at them. With that, Ben and Shotaro headed back to the balcony.

"I know Dopants aren't known for being normal, but something's not right about this," Ben noted.

"Agreed. Why are they so persistent in harming her?" Shotaro wondered in turn.

At the Sonozaki mansion, their patriach wasn't happy as he poured a glass of wine. "This is no good." Looking at a picture of the planned Futo tower and Miyabi, he continued. "How can we allow station tower to be built? It completely clashes with the suburban decor of this city."

Wakana answered, "Father, that's all you've been talking about for the past couple days."

Her father laughed at this while clutching Mick, saying, "Oh don't say that, Wakana. I'm just lamenting the future of my beloved city, Futo." Turning his gaze to Miyabi, his rant continued. "What an utterly foolish politician. How is such an eyesore for the future of our children?" Mick's meowing became louder, and he soon jumped out of his owner's grasp. "See that? Even Mick says he despises that tower!" As Wakaba quickly went under the table to catch the cat, her father continued his rant. "And worst of all, this tower...where it'll be built is terrible!"

Remembering an earlier talk, Wakana said as she clutched Mick, "It's in Saeko-oneesama's district, right? She does seem to have been faltering in properly guiding her workers, hasn't she?"

"I wonder if Saeko herself understands?" Her father pondered. "The future of Futo is at stake!" When Wakana came up from the table cloth holding Mick as he continued to meow, he wrapped his younger daughter in a one armed hug. "No. It's our future that lies in danger." With one last chuckle, he began to scratch the head of his beloved pet.

"Philip. Did you manage to get the pictures BatShot captured?" Shotaro asked as he spoke over the StagPhone, Ben following close at hand. The images showed numerous pictures of the skyline.

"Yes, and they're quite compelling," Philip answered. "While the attacker had opened fire, BatShot took pictures all around the area, including the sky and nearby buildings, but nothing's in the pictures."

"That lines up with what I saw when I was Goop. I didn't see anyone around up top that roof," Ben noted.

"Indeed," Shotaro concurred. "It's like some kind of ghost was the assailant."

"You may want to keep note of this, Shotaro," Philip spoke, catching the ears of Ben and Shotaro. "Those bullets weren't made of metal. They're actually the tooth of some kind of lifeform."

"Wait, you mean the sniper was literally 'spitting teeth' as bullets?" Ben asked. "And to be clear, you're saying like 'teeth' teeth. Like in a person's mouth?"

"Yes. If we knew how the sniping was performed, we'd be able to identify the Gaia Memory," Philip answered. "We'll definitely find it!" The sounds of coughing could be heard as if, presumably, Akiko had shoved something down Philip's throat and made him choke.

"Hey, you okay?" Shotaro asked in concern.

"No, don't worry," Philip quickly assured his partner. "I'll call you later."

"Akiko's doing something weird, isn't she?" Ben quickly figured.

"Most likely. But we should be looking for alternative places the sniper could've hidden," Shotaro answered as the two made there way to Miyabi's transport.

While in the massive vehicle, Ben had found himself taking Shotaro's place while he drove nearby in the HardBoilder for additional eyes, with Ben sitting ahead of Miyabi and Asuka.

"You and oji-san saved Mama last night, didn't you?" Asuka asked as Miyabi read a book.

Ben couldn't help but chuckle at Shotaro's title. "Yeah. Well, it's our job, kid, and we'll see it through."

Asuka smiled in gratitude. "Thank you oji-san!" Ben was briefly caught off-guard until he remembered that "oji-san" could also refer to uncles as well as grandpas.

With that, he let out a small huff before saying, "Please, just call me Tennyson. No need to mix me up with the other 'oji-san'." Had Ben and the others noticed, Shotaro sneezed while on his motorcycle.

Asuka nodded. "Okay, Tennyson-san!" With that, Ben looked behind him, and saw Asuka making a crayon drawing of her, her mother, and Kamen Rider Double holding hands.

"Wow. You really like Kamen Rider, don't you?" Ben said, wanting to learn more.

Asuka smiled as she nodded. "Yeah!"

Ben let out a "hmm" in response, before asking, " Kamen Rider really your father?"

Asuka's face had confusion written all over it as she looked up. "Why do you ask?"

Ben's face scrunched as he tried to give a good answer. "Oh, uh...I guess I'm something of acquaintance with Kamen Rider."

"You've worked with papa?!" Asuka asked in total surprise, a smile widening on her face.

"No...not Papa. Actually maybe? I've asked him if he's had family, but his lips are pretty tightly sealed," Ben sputtered, trying to find the right worlds.

"Wait, so you don't work with Papa?" Asuka asked, baffled.

"Maybe I have, maybe I haven't. Kamen Rider's pretty strict about sharing his identity, so he could be your father or he could be someone else. I honestly don't know," Ben answered as diplomatically as possible. In his head, he thought, 'How am I going to tell her that oji-san is Papa? And why would she keep saying that he's her father?'

"Tennyson-san, look at this!" With that, Asuka held out a small doll with a knight-like faceplate.

"What's that?" Ben wondered, before the driver made an announcement.

"We'll be arriving at our destination shortly," With that, any response Asuka had was shut down as she laid down the doll.

"Tell me more about Papa later, Tennyson-san," Asuka said.

"Our apologies! We'll make a new plan immediately! Pardon us" A panicked worker told Saeko Sonozaki while Kirihiko stood nearby. As his team walked out with their papers, she walked back to her desk as her husband dialed a number and handed it to her.

"It's me," Saeko instructed in a calm tone. "I want all of Team Six fired, immediately. Put Team Seven on development instead. Understood?" With that, she put the phone down.

"You never cease to amaze me," Kirihiko smiled. "You dealt with them like a bolt of lightning."

"Be careful, lover boy, or you may regret that tomorrow," A cheery voice interjected before giggling. At this, the couple turned to ceiling, where Wakana, as the Claydoll Dopant, stood on the ceiling like it was just the floor before waving like a woman a quarter of her age. "Hiiii!"

Stepping towards her younger sister, Saeko demanded, "Wakana, are you just messing around?!"

Floating down, Wakana continued. "I just wanted to warn you. Father's in a terrible mood."

Walking, Kirihiko understood what had upset his father-in-law. "Is it that tower?" Putting a hand on his wife shoulder, he reassured his sister-in-law. "This thorn in Saeko's side...please allow me to handle things."

The sounds of remote control cars whirred around the lot, and the group saw two men controlling such toys around a series obstacles, whooping and laughing like little kids as Miyabi stood before them. One was clad in a black suit over a green shirt, while his friend had a white shirt and blue overalls. "Great! Great! This is tough! This is fun!" With that, Miyabi stepped forward to the one in the black suit.

"Takamura-san! Will you please listen to me?" Miyabi asked.

"What?" With a brief answer, Takamura continued to speak. "Oh, Kusuhara-san! Don't bother. I'll give you the same answer each time."

"But the mail transport, wind flow, and area. All of these make this the optimal location for the second Futo Tower," Miyabi said trying to reason with him.

"Oh really? Well I need this place as well, even if that's the case," Takamura argued.

"For more toy car races?" Ben snorted in disbelief.

"Look. This is the best place for remote controlled cars!" Takamura's answer made Ben's jaw drop in shock, his joke being true. Soon, the toy cars crashed, and while Takamura was shocked, his friend began to laugh obnoxiously at what happened. "You idiot! They've crashed. What are you doing?"

"Oh Taka-san! Bad luck crashing!" His cohort jumped around, continuing his grand display of immaturity. With that, the actual child of the group stepped forward, as Asuka walked to Takamura while he investigated the damage to his car.

"Please! Listen to my mama!" Asuka pleaded as she bowed. As Miyabi walked towards them, Takamura seemed to suddenly take on a bit more serious tone.

"Wow," He noted as he gave a cold stare into her mother's eye. "Your mother's trained well as a political prop. But kids shouldn't work. You're a kid, so you should be one! Play, enjoy life, and don't be concerned with adult affairs."

"What about you?" Shotaro asked as he and Ben stepped forward. "You certainly play a lot for your age. Your mother would surely scold you for that." With that, Takamura stood up and took off his sunglasses.

"My mama's never scolded me," Takamura spoke.

"Wow," Ben spoke. "That's just...I don't even know what to say that. I agree Asuka should be allowed to enjoy her childhood, but..."

Takamura chuckled. "Well. Unwarranted aggression aside, it seems your young friend has a better head for parenthood than you, Kusuhara-san. I can't respect a person who uses a kid like this for such blatant emotional blackmail."

"It's only a child and her mother trying to work together for a construction project," Miyabi defended her actions. "What's so wrong about that?"

"Really?" Takamura scoffed. "Maybe it's because you say such transparently false statements that people have such resentment for you." The speech did not stop there. "Perhaps that's why your husband..."

"Takamura-san!" Miyabi interrupted, her voice sharp. This did not go unnoticed Shotaro or Ben. The sound of footsteps interrupted their conversation.

" seems I've got a customer," Takamura spoke, putting his sunglasses back on. "Will you leave?"

"No," was Miyabi's sharp response. "We'll continue our conversation at the waterside. I'll see you there."

Catching a glimpse of Takamura's client, Ben and Shotaro felt like some ill wind had passed through as they got a brief glance at one another.

Midway through the walk, Kirhiko smirked. It seems he'd not only take a thorn out of Saeko's side, but he'd have the opportunity to test the Nazca Memory against the great Ben 10 soon enough, which also meant fighting against Kamen Rider, if Wakana's show was to be believed. That hydrokinetic mollusk form had caught him off-guard, and it was more than possible he had other cards in his sleeve. 'The best way to gauge an opponent's strength is to clash swords. I hope you'll impress me, Ben Tennyson! Same with that Kamen Rider!' he thought to himself. Shaking the thoughts from his mind, Kirihiko made his way to Takamura. With his arrival, he bowed before Takamura. "Good afternoon. I'm Sonozaki Kirihiko."

"Ah," Takamura acknowledge as he led him to a nearby building, his friend following close behind. "Here you go," Opening a red door, he and Sonozaki faced inside the building, away from prying ears. "'re the lucky boy who went from salesman to commander, then?"

Kirihiko chuckled at the rather succinct interpretation of his path. "Perhaps. But back to business. Your incompetence is causing big problems for my wife. All you have to do is take that woman out, right? So it should be easy enough for me to complete..."

"Please don't! Don't interfere with my chance for a promotion!" Takamura asked. With that, he nodded to his friend, who quickly ran off. "I can handle this..."

"Takamura Genzo? He's suspicious?" Philip asked over the StagPhone. Ben could hear the sounds of some kind of clattering over the line. "Why?"

"Call it intuition," Shotaro answered. "I don't like the look in his eyes."

"Plus, he was a bit nasty to Miyabi and was about to mention something about her husband," Ben added.

"Hmmm. So there's some trace of logic in that," Philip acknowledged. "Please stop that,"

"Umm, Philip? Akiko? What's going on?" Ben asked.

"Nothing. Just a private conversa-" Philip was about to say.

"Philip-kun somehow got himself stuck in a garbage can!" Akiko answered.

"HE WHAT?!" Ben's eyes widened at that.

"Never mind, we'll deal with that later," Shotaro said to rerail the conversation. "Philip, was there anything else you were able to look up?"

"Yes, actually," Philip said. "I learned something interesting about the construction of the second Futo Tower project." The squeaking of a marker against a whiteboard rung out. "Kusuhara Miyabi's husband, Kusuhara Daizaburo, last year..." Philip continued. "...was murdered."

Shotaro set down the StagPhone at that.

"My husband was assassinated, yes." Miyabi confirmed to Shotaro. She asked Ben to take Asuka aside, where he proceeded to teach her "Simon Says", something Asuka, young as she was, immediately latched onto, happy for the chance to enjoy more time with her new friend. "The culprit has still not been caught." She recalled how she found husband clutching their daughter as she tried in vain to have him wake up, only for nothing to happen. "Building the second Futo Tower was my husband's dream. So carrying it on and finishing it is mine now." Shotaro nodded as he acknowledged her motives. "To do that, I had to become a councilwoman."

"Is that why you lied to your young daughter?" Shotaro wanted to know. "If she helped you with your work, she'd be able to see him again."

"...yes. That's right" Miyabi confirmed.

Shotaro sighed. "It's not right to lie like that."

"I know," Miyabi granted. "But even if it's a lie...I don't think she can live without that hope."

"Simon says 'Raise your left arm up!'" Asuka told Ben. With that, Ben did as he was asked. "Simon says 'Jump three times!'" Ben did as told. "Now, put your left arm down!" Deciding to play along and let her win, Ben did as asked, and Asuka recalled the one main rule of their game, giggling at his 'blunder'. "I didn't say 'Simon says'! You lose! I win!"

"Aww. Dang it, you got me, Asuka!" Ben laughed as he bowed to Asuka, who was jumping for joy. "The student has become the master. Well done, kiddo!"

"Thank you! I don't get to play games like this often!" With that, Asuka ran to hug Ben, a gesture he returned with a smile.

"Remind me to thank your intern when you're done. He's made Asuka happier than she's been in a long time," Miyabi said, a genuine smile on her face. Shotaro smiled at this, as Miyabi seemed to actually be a mother now instead of a councilwoman.

"Ancient life form, and tooth," Philip noted as he looked through the Gaia Library in another look up. With that, numerous shelves moved out of the way, but several books remained in place. "Those two keywords are correct, but what could the final keyword be?" Philip held his hand to his chin in bafflement. "What could it be?"

"It's not in any of the photos, so..." He heard Akiko note as she flipped through the photos. "Maybe it's somewhere else?" With that, things clicked for Philip as he remembered another detail about each area.

"Aki-chan! I think you're a genius!" Philip realized.

"Wait. Really?!" Akiko gasped in elation at that statement.

"A place not in the photos," Philip recalled the images. "What place couldn't be reflected in the picture? Air and land creatures should be eliminated from the look up, so that means..." With that, most books vanished, and one remained, titled...


"The heck is that? Anomawhatchamacalit?" Ben asked over the phone, him and Asuka having returned to Shotaro and Miyabi as the latter's men readied to escort them.

"An extinct underwater arthropod similar to a shrimp, but far bigger, and with mouthparts similar to the forelimbs of a mantis," Philip answered. "The Anamolocaris Dopant has many teeth in its mouth, and it can fire them from the water like guided missiles."

"In the water?" Shotaro wanted to confirm.

"Correct," Philip stated. "Each time, the sniper was hiding in a nearby body of water." Shotaro remembered the nearby bodies of water each time, a fact that slipped his mind. "The water's edge. Keep Kusuhara Miyabi away from the edge of any body of water!"

"Your deductions are 100% accurate, Philip," Shotaro complimented before noticing Miyabi and company going to the edge of the waterfront. "But your timing always seems to be terrible!" Turning to Ben, he readied instructions. "Ben, I need you to get down there and make sure our clients' stay safe. Philip and I will pull the sniper out!"


"Got it!" Ben activated the Ultimatrix at that. "Let's see how them get through NRG again!" Slamming down the faceplate, Ben did not get NRG. Instead, Ben was replaced by a creature that seemed to be made of indigo rock and blue crystal. His lower body, torso, and the top of his head consisted of said rock which had black lines and dots over it. The top of his head also jutted out into a sharp point. His lower jaw was made of pale blue-green crystal, and he had six crystal shards on his back and two more on the front of his chest. The top two shards were more similar to knife blades. His eyes were green and he wore the Ultimatrix symbol on his chest.

"Diamondhead?" The creature wondered, looking at his hands. "Fine. I can work with this!"


Codon Stream Entry: Diamondhead

Species: Petrosapien

Home World: Petropia

A race of silicon-based life-forms, these beings have had one of the most miraculous recoveries in all recorded history. Many centuries ago, Petropia, a planet similar to a crystalline geode, was an isolated society, based around underground caverns and constantly clashing against each other while they weren't struggling against their Antrosapien enemies until they inadvertently broke the surface, exposing them to the galactic community, where their ability to produce sharp, prismatic crystals made them valuable in a lot of industries. Unfortunately, a young Petrosapien mercenary named Tetrax Shard betrayed his planet and gave his planet's treasure to intergalactic warlord Vilgax, who blew up Petropia to test a new weapon, but with the help of its guardian, the Crystalsapien Sugilite, the planet would later be restored by Tetrax and his allies, as were its species. Petrosapiens are, naturally, incredibly durable due to their crystalline bodies, and can generate and manipulate crystal, even using this to reform their bodies into weapons like swords and maces, launch shards at opponents or form crystalline constructs like chained anchors, and act as prisms, allowing them to redirect light-based attacks.


"Good luck, Ben!" Shotaro nodded as the Petrosapien leapt in front of the group with a crystal platform, much to their shock, though they all let out sighs of relief when they saw him blocking another bevy of bullets, forming a wall of crystal to surround them, though the bullets were still managing to crack the wall, some eventually managing to partially pierce through the wall. Shotaro ran forward to help his friend, inserting the Joker Memory into the attached DoubleDriver. "HENSHIN!"


Soon, Kamen Rider Double managed to give Diamondhead his own assistance, punching more bullets as the two worked to protect Miyabi and her companions. "You need to leave right now!" Miyabi nodded at the masked rider's instructions, directing them to follow her to safety. With that, Shotaro and Ben ran across the waterfront.

"Philip, if we know the perp's location, isn't it time we strike back?" Diamondhead asked.

"Indeed, and we'll have no problem this time!" Philip confirmed.

"Alright!" Shotaro smirked, pulling out the Trigger Memory. "Now I can fire as needed!"


With that, he replaced the Joker Memory with the Trigger Memory, initiating a form change.


With that, Kamen Rider's right half became a bright blue, and immediately forming in his hand was a large gun with two barrels: one pointing parallel to the main body, and the other pointing slightly down. With that, Shotaro began firing wind-powered shots as Diamondhead quickly fired by launching diamond shards into the water. With one single hit from Shotaro's TriggerMagnum, their opponent leapt out in pain, finally revealing himself. Its body was shades of blue and purple mixed with mottled brown, and its right arm had the headless body of an Anomalocaris replacing its hand, as two more bodies were attached to its head. Its head had two giant bulbous eyes, while another yellow eye lay on its stomach, and protruding from its rear was a thick abdomen while six membranes were attached to its back like wings. Finally, its mouthparts consisted of four fanged mandibles, clicking and scratching against each other.

"So you've finally been forced ashore, you damn shrimp monster," Shotaro pointed at the Dopant.

"Time to turn you into sashimi!" Diamondhead altered his right hand into a sharp sword. The Dopant did not take kindly to threat, as it retaliated with a bevy of sharp teeth, which were countered by the combined onslaught of the TriggerMagnum's wind-enhanced bullets and Diamondhead's shards. A couple of hits forced it into its back, where it flailed in pain for a few seconds before it quickly got onto its knees and began to let out some kind of obscuring smoke.

"Oh, that's not going to help you!" Shotaro noted as he activated the Heat Memory while placing the TriggerMagnum on his chest.


With that, he inserted it into the closed StagPhone. "Try this on for size!"


The StagPhone unfolded into its stag beetle form, where it turned into a flying, flaming torpedo that went into the smokescreen before repeatedly tackling the Dopant, who was definitely not at all in its element. While that happened, Shotaro pulled out the Joker Memory.


The Dopant was flailing helplessly against the fiery StagPhone, a fact Diamondhead decided to exploit while it tried to stand up. With that, he quickly punched his hands into the ground, and soon, crystals began to form around its legs, making for makeshift cuffs that the Dopant helplessly tried to break. "He's all set! Give him the works!"

"With pleasure!" With that, he inserted the Joker Memory in the right slot.


Transforming back into CycloneJoker, he readied for a finishing blow, and inserted the Joker Memory into his holster.


With that, Kamen Rider Double began to ascend into the air, winds billowing around him. "Joker Extreme!" With that, he went into a diving kick as his two halves split apart, and both proceeded to dropkick into the opponent, causing an explosion that also shattered Diamondhead's crystal cuffs. When the smoke cleared, Shotaro and Ben were equally baffled at the sight before them. Genzo Takamura's friend lay unconscious, the remnants of a Gaia Memory strewn before him.

"It's not Takamura!" Shotaro noted, confused by the sight before him. Kneeling to get a look at the Gaia Memory fragments, he took a piece for further investigation.

"Papa! Papa!" Asuka called as she began to run, her mother calling for her. Diamondhead gasped, however, when he noticed another Anomalocaris Dopant emerging from the water, mandibles clicking and preparing to fire.

"Asuka! NO!" Diamondhead cried out as Shotaro realized what was going on.

"STAY BACK!" Shotaro ordered as the sniper fired out a bullet tooth.

Author's Note:

I owe all of you an apology for not updating anything up until now. Between the site malfunctions and an extremely busy master's semester, I didn't really have the time to get to work on things until recently. Hopefully, now that I know how thing'll go, I can work on my stories more frequently. Up until then, I can only extend a very sincere apology to everyone who's been impatiently awaiting an update for any story up until now. Know that I am working on my other stories. It will take some time, though, for more to come out.

But regardless, welcome to the Anomalocaris case, but if you were expecting some major plot thread changes, that's more for the next part, since that will have the Nazca Dopant's true debut against the heroes, and we'll see how Ben's presence changes the fight.

Next Time: The Reason Why Some Lie

With the reveal that the real Anomalocaris Dopant has Asuka and Miyabi in its crosshairs, Ben and Kamen Rider's mission to protect her becomes more dire, especially when a new Dopant reveals himself and attacks them. All the same, Miyabi confesses why she lied about her husband to her daughter, leaving them to decide if and how they'll tell little Asuka the truth.