A Month of Sundays
Author: Green Phantom Queen
Summary: During the fateful trip to Kyoto, the Kamen Rider Club and their associates began what would be a long and terrible war. However, with them occupied, who was going to save their fellow Amanogawa High students from the evil known as Foundation X? Mari Yamamoto and the newly created Cosmic Hunting Dogs are on the case in a two-day adventure that will push them to their absolute limits.
Note: This is a side-story to "Horseshoes and Hand-grenades" and can be read as its own piece. Takes place after Intermission I "Spider Scorpion Crab"
"A month of Sundays: An exceedingly long amount of time."
April 28th, 2012
Mari Yamamoto could not comprehend what was going on. Just a few days ago, she found out that her boyfriend was brainwashed by the chairman of Amanogawa High to become the Orion Zodiarts once more. Just a few hours ago, she saw that Chuta Ohsugi, the school's geography teacher, exiting an old locker with two people on his back. Just a half-hour ago, she and some of her friends fought against a mutated teacher and student who were declared missing, and she made a contract with something known as the Rainbow Serpent. Nothing was making sense.
Still, she knew from this moment on, there was no turning back. Now that she was part of the so-called "Cosmic Hunting Dogs" that Teruhiko Satake just named, it meant that she couldn't be occupied with gathering photos of happy people or submitting photos for the Milky Way Wishes Archives. She now had to worry about fighting off the Zodiarts invasion and protect the school from Ophiuchus and a resurrected Gentaro Kisaragi—something she was still trying to accept, seeing as Gentaro was a very nice guy—from flooding the world with darkness or whatever they were trying to accomplish.
So here she was, leading Takashi Satake—Teruhiko's father and the self-appointed faculty adviser for the Hunting Dogs—toward the locker that she saw Chuta Ohsugi, the geography teacher, exit just a while back. Behind him were fellow students Rumi, Jun, Abe, Taira, Ibuki and Teruhiko, the six of them whispering in excitement. Mari opened the locker door, seeing the Cosmic Energy tunnel materialize right before her eyes. Takashi was speechless.
"W-what is this place?" he whispered. He adjusted his glasses and brought his hand out. "This is...this is unreal."
"Come inside, Satake-sensei," said Mari, grabbing onto the teacher's hand. "And Abe, don't forget to close the door behind us, all right?"
The eight traveled down the Cosmic Energy trail before entering what looked like a lunar base on the moon. Unlike most white and sterile bases, this one was littered with paraphernalia that could be used by teenagers. There was a table with pillows and stuffed animals, some weights, and a couple of posters and pictures that gave the base the look of a clubhouse rather than some mission control in space. Most notably, there was a white flag pinned to the ceiling that read, "KRC-Kamen Rider Club" in black letters with the pointed helmet of an astronaut and orange eyes above the leters.
"Dad," said Teruhiko, placing a hand on his father's shoulder. "Welcome to the Kamen Rider Club's base of operation, the Rabbit Hatch. However, since they're not here at the moment, I'm sure they wouldn't mind if we just...'borrowed' it for a while."
"This is where Gentaro and his friends go after class is over?" Teruhiko whispered, looking around. "This can't be true..."
"It is, and you best start believing it," said Rumi, sitting herself down in a beanbag chair. "So, what do we do now?"
"I suggest getting to know each other better," said Jun, pulling the lollipop out of her mouth. "Who wants to go first?"
"I'll go," said Abe, sitting down at the table. "I'm Junta Abe, a second-year student in Amanogawa High. I'm president of the Glee Club and I have a father who's a chef in a fancy restaurant in Kyoto that's called 'Dash X'."
"I heard of that place," said Rumi. "It's said to have really good sukiyaki!"
"You have to get us reservations next time, Abe!" said Jun, grasping onto Abe's hands. "Please?"
"We can talk about our stomachs later," said Teruhiko. "Anyway, I'm Teruhiko Satake, and a second-year student like Abe here. My father's the detention teacher and I used to be some sort of crazy thing called a 'Hound Zodiarts'. I like collecting chains, listen to hip-hop and rap, and am currently in the kickboxing club run by Haruka Utsugi."
"Not bad," said Rumi, turning to the others. "I'm Rumi Egawa of the Track and Field Team. I'm a third-year student and have plans to one day be in the Olympics as a representative of Japan. I also like pressing flowers into bookmarks, and sometimes feel insecure about my height."
"That's so cool, Rumi-chan!" said Jun, jumping up and down. "I'm Jun Shigeno, third-year student and president of the Cheerleading Team, self-appointed by Miu Kazashiro herself. I like eating and making sweets and one day hope to own my own pastry shop filled with banana and chocolate based desserts!"
"Interesting," said Taira, nodding his head. "Well, I'm Taira Katagiri, member of the Glee Club. Aside from singing, I delve in a bit of badminton, violin playing and..." he sighed as he muttered, "I'm part of a long line of samurai warriors and am skilled with an axe."
"Eh?" Everyone said, turning to the solemn Glee Club member. Taira just rolled his eyes as if to say, "What? Are you that surprised?"
"I'm up then," said Ibuki. "I'm Ibuki Watanabe, a first-year student and the last member of the Glee Club. Like Taira, I also come from a family of noble warriors...except my family is full of ninjas."
"Um, no offense, Ibuki-kun," said Jun. "But you don't look like a ninja."
"That's what everyone says," Ibuki replied, pulling out an item from his pocket. "Think fast."
In a blink of an eye, he threw a kunai from his hand and it landed straight into a poster promoting Karaoke Night. Mari was the first to clap.
"Bravo, Ibuki-kun!" she said. "And I guess I'm the last student to introduce themselves. I'm Mari Yamamoto, head of the Photography Club. I love taking photographs of people with smiling faces and am currently, or should I say was, the girlfriend of Toshiya Miura. I'm also," Mari gulped. "The Serpent-bearer of the Rainbow Serpent."
"You mean that same serpent that saved us from Sonada-sensei's scorpion poison, correct?" asked Abe. Mari nodded her head in reply."But why did the Rainbow Serpent mkae you her Serpent-bearer? Surely, there could've been other people that she could've tried it out on."
"The Rainbow Serpent said that we were both alike, because we want to see people happy. Rainbows are symbols of happiness and hope, like that old song from Wizard of Oz. I think that's why I was chosen, but I haven't heard anything from her after I healed everyone from the poison."
"Just be a bit patient," said Takashi, grasping onto his teaching stick. "Now, aside from the fact that we are currently in someone else's secret base, what is our plan of action?"
"Well," Jun began. "We need to figure out this whole 'Zodiarts' situation that recently affected our school. We need to know who was a Zodiarts, which Zodiarts they were, and why they were chosen. Then we need to find these people and protect them before the Chairman can get his hands on them again for his sinister plans."
"Good idea!" said Rumi, pulling out a notepad from her bag. "We can make a list right now!"
"And while she does that," said Teruhiko. "Mari, did Ohsugi and Haruka-sensei say anything regarding what they were doing in Kyoto?"
"Not that I know of," Mari answered, shaking her head. "All I know is that the two traveled on this train that came out of nowhere, and Haruka-sensei told me everything going on with Ophiuchus, Gentaro, the Zodiarts and the faculty. Whatever Chairman Gamou and Ophiuchus are doing, their plans have to be stopped. We can't sit still when there's so much evil. The police won't be of help, our parents will have no clue, and the Kamen Rider Club have their own troubles. I'm not going to sit around while there's so much trouble at Amanogawa High. I'm going to fight."
"Hear, hear!" said Taira. "The question is, how do we do it?"
"That's the tough part," said Ibuki, rubbing his chin. "But for now, let's just focus on that list. Those names are going to be our main goal for now."
"That's right," said Abe. "Then it's time. Here's to the Cosmic Hunting Dogs. Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!"
The other members of the group cheered, all of it unheard within the solitude of the moon.
April 28th, 2012
Mari Yamamoto was at home, finishing her dinner with her parents. She hadn't told them anything regarding the whole "I fought my former homeroom teacher who has a scorpion stinger for a ponytail and the missing Rakugo club president who has a giant crab claw" situation since she came home. She didn't want to worry them after they saw how tearful she was when it came to Miura not coming to school. Moreover, they definitely did not need to hear how she was now the avatar of an Aboriginal serpent.
"Gouchisousouma," she said, taking her plate and cup to the kitchen. As she passed the refrigerator, Mari turned to the assortment of photographs with her and Miura in them. She sighed as she set both plate and cup into the sink before grabbing the sponge to wash off any remaining grains of rice that she didn't touch.
Just then, the phone began to ring. Mari walked toward it and picked it up. "Hello?"
"Mari!" cried Takashi. "Mari, you have to get out of the house right now!"
"What do you mean?" asked Mari. "What's going on, sensei?"
"Teruhiko's been kidnapped! I've gathered the other Hunting Dogs and we're all waiting for you in front of your house. You have to get out now! There's—"
"Mari-chan!" cried Mari's mother. "Miura's here to..."
Mari turned to the front door, eyes widening in shock. Entering her house was Toshiya Miura, a wool-lined cape draping his shoulders and a staff with a rolling cylinder in his hands. A golden mist wrapped around her mother's head before she collapsed into deep slumber. She felt her heart caught in her throat as she placed the phone's receiver to her ear.
"M-Miura-kun's at my house," she whispered. "What do I do, sensei?"
"Just get out!" Takashi snapped. "Hurry, before Miura captures you and kidnaps you!"
"Honey?" asked Mari's father. Mari heard his feet walk to the front door. "Honey, are you okay?"
Not wanting to hear her father fall asleep, Mari hung up, opened the window in front of the sink and leapt out, rushing to the front gates. While Miura was distracted by her father yelling and screaming at him, Mari leapt onto a small footstool and jumped over the fence, seeing Takashi and the other members of the Cosmic Hunting Dogs waiting inside. Abe opened the door and beckoned her to enter. She leapt into the car before the door slam shut. Takashi then slammed on the gas pedal, the car leaving the Yamamoto residence with a loud screech.
"Everyone," said Mari, buckling up. "Where's Teruhiko? What's going on?"
"Takashi-sensei said that when they were resting at home, Teruhiko opened the door and found Miura waiting for him," Abe explained. "Miura put him into a deep slumber and then these guys dressed in these white lab coats appeared, pinned Takashi-sensei down, dragged Teruhiko into a van, knocked Takashi-sensei into unconsciousness and then left. He just woke up about an hour ago and has been picking us up one at a time, while we're trying to pack up stuff for who knows what we're going to be facing."
"And, where did those guys in white go?"
"That's the tricky part," said Rumi. "That's why we're heading off to Futo to meet up with some famous detectives who have met these strange white men before. They should be able to shed some light on the situation."
"And who are these detectives?"
"Their names are Shotaro and Philip of the Narumi Detective Agency," Takashi answered. "Buckle up, everyone. We'll stop by a ryokan for the evening and then drive off to Futo in the early morning. With any luck, they should be open for us and take the case head on. And if not, then..."
"Then, what?" asked Ibuki. "Sensei, what's going to happen to Teruhiko?"
"I don't know, and I am sure as hell, not going to find out," Takashi growled. "'Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.' It's time to go hunting, children. It's time for the Cosmic Hunting Dogs to shine."
The six students nodded their heads as they continued to travel down the dark and empty road.
Sukiyaki-A Japanese hotpot dish where people dip meat and vegetables into a bubbling pot of broth to cook them, then plucking them out with chopsticks to eat.
Gouchisousouma-Literally meaning "Thank you for the meal", it is common etiquette to say this after finishing your meal to show respect to the one who cooked it.
Ryokan-A traditional Japanese inn with hot springs, sliding doors, matted rooms and other commodities.
Next time: Resting at a ryokan should be fun, but for Mari, it's anything but. Meanwhile, Teruhiko finds himself imprisoned with several familiar faces and realizes that his troubles have only just begun.
To be continued in 1.5: Dog House