Kamen Rider AERS: Overture
By: Phinal Phantasy
(A/N: I was recently asked to join a group fanfiction project by the author "Blazorna aka Kamen Rider Thorn." His idea is to have a group of authors each create an OC Rider and then write a collaborative story in which they attempt to become a team to defeat a powerful enemy. Each author is alternating writing a chapter so that no one's OC overshadows another. I thought that this was a bold and fun idea so I thought I'd join in. The collaborative fic is at Blazorna's page but I thought it'd be fun to write a prologue chapter for my OC before writing my first chapter where he interacts with the other characters. Wow this was a long author's note for a one shot. Anyways I hope everyone enjoys.)
(Disclaimer: I don't own Kamen Rider, but I do own my OC Aramaki Kenji, his sister Miharu, and his friend Michiba. Dr. Ryo Shirogane and the government agent are Blazorna's OCs.)
It had been about a month since the semester started and Aramaki Kenji was walking the campus of Shiro University towards the recreation center carrying his fencing foil in a secure case. He was wearing a burgundy polo shirt with blue jeans and white socks with black shoes. Kenji enjoyed dressing with opposite colors as his theme, and it helped that he had blue eyes, but light brown hair as well. So far his college career was going well. He had gotten in on a music scholarship as he was a violin prodigy. Kenji had been playing since he was five and unlike some who were pushed by their family, enjoyed it and kept up with it all through high school where he was offered a full scholarship to Shiro University as long as he majored in music. As that was what he was planning from the start, Kenji had no problems accepting those terms, especially since his parents could only afford to send one of their children to college at this time. Now the money that his parents would've had to use to send Kenji to college could be used to help his younger sister, Miharu, get into her choice of university in about two years. Since his orchestra practice was only one day out of the week, despite it being his major, Kenji could also concentrate on the basic academics that all students were required to learn and only worry about rehearsal for three hours one night a week. However, he also practiced the violin on his own during his spare time when he wasn't studying, so he had to schedule his social activities very carefully. Kenji took an interest in both the fencing and kendo clubs at Shiro University and decided that would be what he did for his "fun time." Tonight, it was fencing club and he was looking forward to venting some of the day's frustrations. Kenji arrived at the rec center at last and quickly went to the locker room to change into a fencing outfit, then met the rest of the club in their practice room.
"Ah good evening Kenji," the captain of the club, Michiba, a computer science graduate student, greeted.
"Hi Michiba," Kenji replied, "I'm the first to arrive?"
"Not by much!" announced a group of his fellow members as they all entered.
"All right, now that everyone's here, pick an opponent and let's start with some free practice," Michiba said.
"I'll take you on tonight," Kenji offered.
"You're pretty brave. I've been the captain of the club for six years and you've only been here half that time," Michiba replied.
"Hey, not everyone can be a grad student," Kenji smiled, lowering his fencing mask, "I guess you'll just have to settle for a lowly junior."
"All right, let's see what you've got!" Then everyone got into positions and began to duel their opponent. Michiba was performing some quick thrusts to start off while Kenji was able to parry each one.
"Not bad," Michiba said, "You've got good instincts."
"Thanks," Kenji replied, "You're pretty good yourself." Then Michiba finally made contact on Kenji's suit.
"Touché," Michiba announced.
"Is it just me, or have you gotten more aggressive in your fighting stance?" Kenji asked.
"Well…to be honest, I thought it'd be best to be prepared just in case I'd have to defend myself," Michiba replied getting into a stance, ready to continue.
"Defend yourself against what?" Kenji asked, starting a series of thrusts of his own. He managed to block Michiba's counterattack as well, not letting the conversation distract him.
"The Kamimaru," Michiba replied as both sparring partners locked their swords together and pushed away from each other, "Have you heard the news about them?"
"No sorry," Kenji said, fighting back with a new intensity to match his opponent.
"Well…they've…only been active…about a week," Michiba replied, "Nasty gang. Police can't handle them. I'm honestly not surprised you haven't heard about them. The government is trying to keep things secret and doesn't want a panic…" then Kenji managed to score a hit on Michiba.
"How can a gang that's only a week old give the police so much trouble?" Kenji asked.
"Because, they aren't human. Not entirely. I managed to find a viral video of one of them breaking out of police custody. It turned into some kind of freak that looks like something from an old-school sci-fi horror movie. Half man, half animal."
"Okay you had me going until you said that last part," Kenji laughed at his older friend, "but that last bit kind of ruined the credibility of your story."
"I'm telling you, the Kamimaru are real and they seem to hang out near our university. Be careful when you're walking around campus at night," Michiba replied, lowering his sword.
"Are you stopping practice so soon?" Kenji asked.
"No…of course not…" Michiba replied, "Let's keep going. I promise no more distractions."
An hour and a half later, fencing club was dismissed for the evening. Michiba promised to show Kenji the video he was talking about when he got home. Waving good-bye to his fellow club members, Kenji began to walk home. About five minutes later, he was in a small area that wasn't as well lit as other parts of campus when he heard some screaming. Kenji rushed towards the sound and saw a group of his fellow students huddling together in fear: two girls and a guy. The guy had picked up a fallen tree branch and stood up as if he was trying to protect his female companions, but before Kenji could react, he saw something he didn't see coming…a long tongue wrapped around the branch and pulled it out of the poor guy's hand.
"Now now, don't think you actually stand a chance," a deep voice sounded. Kenji dropped low to the ground to avoid being seen and looked up to find out where that tongue came from. It looked like a six-foot tall humanoid horned toad. If it was possible, it looked like it was grinning evilly, "I'll just eat you up and then your two lovely lady friends will be mine to do with as I please," he laughed at his own sadistic humor. Kenji opened up the case and found his fencing foil. He also found a rock nearby. He picked it up and tossed it at the back of the toad's head.
"Hey ugly!" Kenji said, getting into an en guard position, "Why don't you pick on someone who can defend himself?" The toad-like creature rubbed the back of his head where the rock hit.
"That may give me a headache later, but that's all the harm you can do, boy. Run along before you become my next snack."
"Not going to happen…Kamimaru!"
"Where did you hear that name? Tell me now!" the toad demanded.
"You'll have to fight me to find out," Kenji glared back, trying to ignore the fears that were welling up in him, "Run!" he told the group of still frightened students. They nodded and started to take off. The toad turned towards them, but as he did, Kenji rushed forward and poked the Kamimaru's large eye with his fencing sword, causing the Kamimaru to howl in pain. The monster swung his large hand backwards and knocked Kenji to the ground, hard, but clutched his eye, trying to stop whatever fluids were in there from flowing out. Kenji got up and rubbed the back of his head, which was starting to bleed, "I thought I made myself clear. I'm your opponent," he said trying to ignore his injury.
"I'll kill you without using any hands!" the toad like creature roared. It kept its one hand on its injured eye but lashed its tongue out and it wrapped around Kenji's neck, trying to strangle him, "Not so tough are you? ARE YOU?" Kenji's vision was starting to get blurry so he did the only thing he could think of, he pierced the monster's tongue with his sword, causing him to scream again and he tried to recoil it, but the sword was still in it, so his tongue didn't get back in his mouth all the way. The toad was still holding onto his injured eye and tried to use his other hand to pull out the sword, but Kenji rushed forward and jammed it further into the Kamimaru's mouth.
"You…You'll regret this boy!" the Kamimaru was barely audible as he had a sword with his tongue through it holding his mouth open. The strangely frightening creature ran off into the night and Kenji fell to the ground, out of breath. He heard the sound of footsteps approaching him.
"Easy easy!" a middle-aged man started, "Let us take care of you. You've been attacked and we need to look you over." Kenji nodded, not really having the strength to protest as his vision was starting to get blurry. The man and a group of people with him put Kenji on a stretcher and took off in an ambulance. As the sirens wailed and they were on the road the paramedics were treating Kenji's injuries and the middle aged-man talked to him, "Do you know what happened tonight?" he asked.
"Uhh…I was walking home from the rec center when I saw this frog-thing attacking people. I rushed in to help them get away."
"You could've called the police or campus security," the man pointed out as a gauze was applied to Kenji's head followed by an ice pack.
"Wouldn't have done any good," Kenji replied, "that thing…it was a Kamimaru wasn't it?"
"Not many people know about them," the man replied in surprise, "What have you heard?"
"Not much. I just found out about them tonight. I thought someone was messing with me when they told me about them. But I heard that the police isn't able to fight these things and after what I saw I can believe it."
"Yet you managed to save your fellow students and survive. You drove off the Kamimaru without a weapon."
"Not true…I had my fencing sword."
"Fencing sword? That's all you had and you managed to hurt that monster and drive it off?" the middle-aged man said in shock.
"It had its weak points…just had to hit it in the right spots," Kenji replied.
"I see…we'll talk more when you've recovered. We'll be at the hospital now. You rest now. You're going to need your strength I think…"
It was early morning the next day when Kenji woke up. The middle-aged man was at his bedside and he had a laptop with him.
"Good morning. Aramaki Kenji right? I took the liberty of looking for your student ID and found out all about you."
"Then you have me at an obvious disadvantage," Kenji replied.
"I work for the government. That's all you need to know," the middle-aged man replied and put the laptop in Kenji's lap and opened it. On the screen was a young scientist, not much different in age from Kenji himself.
"Hello Kenji. My name is Dr. Ryo Shirogane," he smiled, "My associate here told me what happened last night. Do you realize how lucky you were? You survived a Kamimaru attack! Not just that. You saved a group of people from it and all that happened to you was that you got a nasty concussion from which you'll recover without any problems. You're just the kind of guy we need."
"What exactly do you need from me?" Kenji asked, "And where is my family. I arranged it so they'll be informed if anything should happen to me."
"They'll be informed. We just wanted to talk to you first. When we're done here, whether or not you'll accept our offer, we'll let them know you're here and they'll arrive in a few hours no doubt," the middle-aged man replied.
"Anyways, somehow, knowledge of the Kamimaru was leaked. That's not important though. We won't ask you to betray anyone," Ryo looked at the government agent with a strong glance when he said that, "But the Kamimaru are a very real threat that few are qualified to handle. I know we're close to each other in age, but I managed to invent a weapon system that can successfully combat the Kamimaru."
"Great. So why wasn't this 'weapon system' there last night when it was needed?" Kenji asked.
"Because the user of that weapon system was busy using it to fight off another Kamimaru attack elsewhere at the time you were attacked. So you see why we need you. One person fighting the Kamimaru isn't enough. You've shown that you have the courage to stand up to them and the intelligence to know how to best fight them, plus the capacity to put others before yourself. You are a perfect candidate to use my weapon, the AERS system."
"AERS?" Kenji asked.
"It's an acronym," Ryo replied, "Armored Enhancement Rider System. The user of AERS will become a Kamen Rider and their fighting style will be greatly enhanced. In your case, it will compliment your skill with a sword."
"Whoa. Hold on there Shirogane-san! I didn't agree to anything yet," Kenji protested, "I'm just a university student."
"So am I, yet I have been able to devote the time to this project. Please. Aramaki Kenji, there are only a handful of AERS available for use and with the Kamimaru attacks becoming more vicious and more frequent I need to find users for them as quickly as possible. If you decline, I don't know where or when the next candidate will show up. You want to protect those around you, don't deny it. We can give you the power to do so."
"I won't deny that I want to protect those close to me…" Kenji replied, "but I've got a life too. I'm not so sure I want to give that up."
"You don't have to. Just find a balance like I have," Ryo replied, "You should also see this as an opportunity. A rare one that is likely to never come again."
"Okay Shirogane-san…I'm willing to at least give it a try," Kenji replied.
"A try?" the middle-aged man said, "Either you're in 100% or not at all!"
"I accept," Ryo interrupted the government agent.
"What?" the agent asked.
"The AERS belong to me. Your job is to help me find people that can use them. My job is to determine if said people really should." Ryo said to the agent. Then he turned to Kenji, "If Aramaki-san wants to just do this on a trial basis he can. We'll just have to hope that he'll make a final decision soon. Will that be too much to ask of you?"
"That sounds reasonable," Kenji nodded.
"Good. When you've fully recovered, we'll contact you to give you your AERS and then you can begin," Ryo smiled, "You won't regret this, Aramaki-san," then Ryo turned to the agent, "I think it's safe to go now. We can call his family. Oh one more thing, Aramaki-san. The Kamimaru and the AERS must remain secret. There's no telling what would happen if either became common knowledge."
"I agree," Kenji nodded.
"Good. Next time we meet, it will be in person. Good-bye," then the screen went dark and the agent closed the laptop, nodded to Kenji but gave him an intense glare before leaving him alone with his thoughts.
"Kamen Rider…I like the sound of that!" Kenji said.
(A/N: Well that's my character's prologue. To find out what happens to him next and to meet his comrades, you'll have to check out the Kamen Rider AERS fic at Blazorna's page.)