Note: Hi, everyone! I'm back. Yeah, had some major writer's block, and I'm still suffering a little bit of it, but I finally have enough of my mind freed to start writing again. Hopefully, this is will get me back into full spring again. Please note that this is NOT part of my Hayley Cometra series and therefore will not have my OC involved anywhere. However, some new OCs will appear in later chapters.
Disclaimer: Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go! and all characters and events related to them are not mine; they are property of Jetix Animation Concepts and Ciro Nieli. Also, this plot is particular isn't really mine; it's a plot bunny I adopted from a fellow fan with permission to write it.
He sat alone, which was nothing new for him. He was always alone. He would have been easily seen if it weren't for the undergrowth that was all around him. If he had taken notice of that, he would have found it odd that trees and meadows and bushes surrounded him. But of course, his gaze was always and only ahead.
How long had it been since he found the city again, he neither knew nor cared. He had heard that the Monkey Team was no more, that each of them – one by one – had fallen before the unparalleled might of the resurrected Skeleton King and his army and had surrendered their essences of the Power Primate to one stronger than they. He had heard that even the girl had sold her soul as best as she could against countless Formless soldiers before she too fell. This was a rumor that he could confirm only at a distance outside the city, where he could just barely see the towering Super Robot, unmoving and without life.
And yet he recently heard a rumor that he was still alive.
He who was always the epicenter of his torments, he who humiliated him numerous times, he who had caused him to be replaced twice…he was still alive.
"But not for long," he muttered to himself. "For now, it begins again."
- - - - - - - - -
The gentle breeze tickled his neck, pausing his count. He chuckled but managed to keep his head tucked in his arm as he faced the tree trunk.
"Ninety-seven…ninety-eight…ninety-nine…one hundred! Ready or not, here I come!"
He turned around, his bright blue eyes beginning to search the park. His steps were as silent as they ever have been as he crept on the grass. There weren't many trees and even fewer bushes; not many places to hide. He chuckled quietly as the breeze tickled him again and somewhat tossed his coal-black hair, then went silent again in earnest search.
As he was slowly searching through one of the bushes, a nearby tree rustled very quietly as a smaller figure emerged from the branches. But instead of dropping to the ground, he hung upside-down on the lowest branch using his legs. He snickered, but very little sound came through his mouth to keep his seeker from suspecting.
The very moment the older stopped searching the bush and stood to move on, the younger grabbed his shoulders and screeched. Both jumped in surprise, but the younger was able to keep hanging upside-down on the branch.
The two looked at each other. If it weren't for the facts that the older was more than twice the other's age and that the younger had bright green eyes, a passer-by would've thought these two were clones.
"I sure scared you!" the younger exclaimed happily, laughing.
"Oh, you sure did, Jiro," the older, also laughing, panted in relief. He held up his hands, gently taking the young boy in his arms.
The ten-year-old boy sighed as the blood stopped rushing into his head. "Does this mean I win again, Dad?"
Chuckling, the father hugged his son and placed him onto the grass. "Of course. You win again."
"And that means…"
"All right, all right. I owe you one Hover Burger. Let's go to Mr. Gakslapper's."
"Yeah, all right!" the young one cheered and dashed ahead.
With a happy sigh, the father followed. He could barely make himself believe that he was the same man who was on the verge of depression not that long ago. But to understand this, we must glance at a brief section of Shuggazoom's history: the last fifteen years. (And what I mean by "brief" is the fact that all of this description can be made in another story with its own chapters.)
It had been fifteen years since the climatic clash between good and evil, known to history as the War Between the Living and the Dead. The war consisted of only one battle, but a battle that lasted for hours. And he, Chiro, had led the side of goodness, even though the circumstances were anything but good.
Circumstances had gone downhill since the discovery of the Crystal Skull, which had belonged to the cruel overlord known as Skeleton King. His power had tainted many hearts, including that of his sorceress disciple Valina, who had used the skull's power to resurrect him. When that happened, he had built his fortress, his Castle of Bone, in a matter of seconds and had recreated his Formless army to march upon Shuggazoom City with the full intent to trample everything and everyone.
But Chiro had assembled a rebellion thanks to his call-to-arms. Not only he and the Monkey Team, but also their allies from several other worlds, opposed the undead lord. And yet, the numbers and weapons were clearly in favor of the evil side.
In a way, the battle wasn't quite a horrible as the history books had stated. When a man is using every muscle in his body and every ounce of strength in those muscles, fighting for his life and the freedom of his home, there wouldn't be time for fear or sadness.
But in another way, it was even more horrible than any history book could describe. What made it so horrible was the fact that there were so many Formless that the team couldn't keep the formation he had planned. It turned into a battle where all of them were for themselves. He regretted feeling that there was nothing he could do for his friends; there was always some part of him that felt there could have been.
When the battle was at its worst, Chiro had found himself fighting against Skeleton King himself. They hadn't had single combat against each other since the battle at the Citadel of Bone. That had felt so long ago, for both of them had become stronger since that encounter. Neither of them had wasted precious time and breath with words; Skeleton King wanted to destroy Chiro completely, and Chiro wanted to rid the universe of Skeleton King's evil forever. It was a battle that felt like it lasted even longer than the whole battle actually did.
As this battle continued, there were several moments when Chiro gasped and nearly collapsed. Those moments were not because of any injury from Skeleton King, but because he felt like part of him had suddenly been torn from his body. But each of those moments had been followed with another moment of the exact opposite, when Chiro felt much stronger than before and was able to resume his battle. After the second time it happened, Chiro had suspicions and kept a count; there were five total, each more painful at first and much stronger later than the previous one.
After the fifth one, Chiro felt he could contain himself no longer. Skeleton King had grown weary at that point, and Chiro had had enough. He unleashed his Inner Primate and set himself to finish it. He still suffered many injuries after that point, but he was able to tear the Crystal Skull from the ooze-made body and smash it between his hands.
Without the power from the skull, everything else in the body had shut down except for three: the Ice Crystal of Vengeance had melted under the heat of justice, the Fire of Hate had been put out from the tears of love, and the Soul of Evil had dispersed in the presence of purity. The Alchemist's robe was the only article preserved, for it was a sacred item.
Once the Skeleton King was no more, he gave the signal for any of his friends who were inside the Castle of Bone to immediately evacuate. He wasn't sure if anyone heard him, for he had received no reply, but he didn't think about that. Still keeping the form of his Inner Primate, he ran from the castle's throne room, smashing everything he came in contact with. He kept in mind particularly to destroy any column or pillar that caught his eye.
At the threshold of the castle, he had only ran out the door before he stopped short and gasped at the sight.
There were still about a thousand of the Formless soldiers still standing, which was less than a third remaining after the initial army. The rest of them were nothing but lifeless puddles of ooze. But that was not what had stunned Chiro; what had stunned him were his allies.
Mobius Quint, captain of the Last Chance and Sprx's idol, lay face down with a pale yet triumphant look on his dead face. In his hand was his spear, jammed into one of the puddles of ooze and the ground beneath it. Tiqudo and Nekeeta, the prince and princess of the feline Kathorians, were dead side by side. Their mouths were open and their paws were wide, showing their feral teeth and claws. Offay, Nova's mentor from the dojo on Galaxia, had a soldier's sword impaled into his rock-hard chest. The Sun Riders and Suupa, who was Gibson's friend among the Mega Cyborg Frog Team Super Force, and his teammates were scattered across the battlefield. All of them had fatal wounds all over their armor, and those wounds were caked with blood and ooze. The Sun Riders were also missing their weapons, Johnny Sunspot's gloves, and Super Quasar's helmet. Alliana, the brave warrior girl from Arcadia and the last one alive, was being crushed under the dead weight of a giant Formless monster before she gave a defeated moan and died.
Among all the chaos he saw, he couldn't find the Robot Monkeys…or Jinmay.
It had taken Chiro only one moment to see all of this, and it had also taken just as long for him to understand. No one replied to his signal because there was no one to give a reply. His friends who were his family and the girl who was the love of his life were all dead; the moments of pain and power back in the castle made that clear.
In his rage, he gave a loud scream and slammed both fists onto the ground. He still had his Inner Primate activated, so the fist slam caused its power to ripple into the ground around him. The soldiers ahead of him and the castle behind him trembled at his wrath. The puddles of ooze had dissolved, and the remaining soldiers had melted into puddles before they also dissolved. The castle would have crumbled anyway, but without the support from the missing columns and pillars Chiro had destroyed, it fell even faster. The dust from the implosion surrounded Chiro, but no harm came to him. And anyway, he had been too grieved to care if any did.
When the dust had cleared and Chiro finally had the nerve to look up, what a sight he beheld! All that was evil had gone as if never existed. His allies were still dead, but the wounds on their bodies had been healed, giving them a less pointless and nobler appearance in their deaths. But what was surprised Chiro most was that grass was growing all over. In fact, the Pit of Doom and the entire Zone of Wasted Years had blossomed under the power of the Primate. The Pit of Doom had been renamed as the Valley of Hope, where all of the fallen heroes had been buried; and the Zone of Wasted Years had been renamed as the Prosperous Precinct.
After Chiro and the mayor of Shuggazoom City gave the heroes a proper funeral (they had to have permission from Galaxia for Offay and from Kathori for Tiqudo and Nekeeta), he led a search party to locate Jinmay and the Monkey Team. They scoured the Prosperous Precinct, only to find nothing. Chiro took the Super Robot and searched the Blasted Lands, which he found to his surprise was also affected by his life-giving rage; it had become a valley of pools and meadows, and wildlife was already beginning to settle in that region. He checked the Frozen Seas in the north. The change there wasn't as evident, but it was still changed. Although the region was still frozen, it was the normal kind of cold and not the uninviting kind. He tried Arcane Isle but had spent little time there; the giant monoliths that led to the Netherworld had become merely a formation of standing stones, for that gate to the Dark Ones was closed and locked. He even went into Shuggazoom Bay, but nothing there had changed. None of Skeleton's Kings evil was rooted down in the depths.
And yet, everywhere he investigated, there was no sign of the ones for whom he had searched.
For a long time, Chiro had been depressed. He tried to enjoy the celebrations and holidays made in honor of him, but it just didn't feel like victory without those who were by his side the longest. His last words to them were, "Hyperforce, go!" He would have preferred to be by their side and say something unique to each of them when they would die, or in Antauri or Jinmay's case, go offline.
And now he was alone. Even the Power Primate felt insignificant without the Monkey Team, and even the Super Robot didn't look as super without them. Eventually, Chiro left the Super Robot to be a monument and a memorial. He took residence in a mansion given to him. He was given luxurious things, and butlers, and maids, and cooks; but he enjoyed little of it.
Then, after three or four years of this depression, he met someone. At first, he thought it was Jinmay; she looked something like her. But after a closer inspection, his heart sank. It wasn't Jinmay. Her hair wasn't quite as bright a pink, her eyes weren't quite as soft a green, her giggle wasn't quite as light and merry, her curtsy wasn't quite as smooth and graceful, her… Oh, everything about her wasn't quite like Jinmay's. He wouldn't put it past Sakko that he merely used this young woman's image to copy onto the robot he once controlled.
But she looked enough like Jinmay that it eased Chiro's heart a little. He was a young man now, just entering the prime of his life. In his heart, Chiro knew that if they were still alive, the Monkey Team would have told him they wanted him to live a normal life again. Yes, he had been certain that even Jinmay would've wanted him to move on with life should she ever deactivate. And here was a young woman who greatly resembled the love of his life.
Her name was Myra, and she had loved him as much as he had loved Jinmay. They were soon married and living happily together in the mansion, and shortly afterwards came the news that Myra was pregnant. It looked to Chiro like everything was becoming better.
Then, a curtain of sorrow crashed down on Chiro, and too soon. Myra was giving birth a month before the due date. The premature birth came quickly and without warning. Chiro had little time to get Myra to the hospital, and he stayed by her side every minute while nurses and doctors made a big fuss over her. Finally came the child, a boy with black hair just like Chiro's and green eyes almost like Myra's but more like Jinmay's. But Chiro was just showing his son to Myra when he noticed that her face was pale. The quick and painful birth was too much for the fragile Myra. She, too, had died.
That child was, of course, Jiro running ahead of his father down the streets of the arcade. He looked just like Chiro did at his age, except that he seemed to have Jinmay's soft green eyes. Now that Chiro had been robbed of everyone precious to him, he lived to be sure that his son would have everything he needed and most everything he wanted.
Fortunately, Jiro was well disciplined. He wasn't spoiled or selfish with his wants, even though he knew he was the son of a hero, since history was his favorite school subject. And he was remarkably bright: at the age of seven, he was drawing complex mazes and reading riddle books, but only the "questions" sections and never the "answers" pages. He was also stubborn and stouthearted in his gym class; that became obvious at the age of eight. He was also fascinated with building model airplanes and finding out ways to fly them. Yes, it seemed as if he inherited traits from the whole Monkey Team.
In fact, that was the one thing in life Jiro was lacking: friends. Chiro found out later that none of his school peers would befriend him, not because they thought of him as "high and mighty" to be their friend but because they thought of themselves as "not worthy" to be his friends. They knew their history as well as he.
Chiro sighed with a smile and started to pick up his pace since Jiro had already beaten him to the restaurant that was thirty-five years in the business, and still Mr. Gakslapper had no plans to retire.