I have a notation about Saber that I forgot to mention last time - although he was summoned as the Mighty Morphin' Green Ranger, Tommy's memories cover all the way up to Dino Thunder, including the Wild Force episode 'Forever Red'. Also, I edited the previous chapter to include Saber's skills, correct Avenger's characterization, and fix a few other problems I noticed.
Lancer sighed as he walked through the back streets of Fuyuki. As per Kayneth's orders, Lancer was to head over to the docks and flare up his energy as a challenge and take out whatever Servants appeared to face him.
To be perfectly honest, he was a little uncomfortable with it, but that was mostly because of his habits as a Power Ranger - as a rule, a Power Ranger didn't go around starting fights.
A Power Ranger went to a fight already in progress and ended it.
Still, taking the initiative like this suited him, so he was kind of excited as well.
Or maybe Lancer was just a little irritated that he was missing the soccer game across town.
As he considered this, a deep and computerized voice echoed throughout the alley.
"KAMEN RIDE: NADESHIKO! KAMEN RIDE: SIREN! KAMEN RIDE: FEMME!"
At that time, a thick white miasma appeared in before Lancer, and through it stepped a figure wearing silver spandex and a helmet shaped a bit like a space shuttle. And the figure was very, very definitely female. She was flanked on either side by identical figures in black spandex and white armor. Also female.
Then, behind the trio, Servant Rider appeared. "Nothing personal against you, Lancer, but I can't have you at the big showdown just yet. I'm a nice enough guy, though, so I made some lady friends to keep you company. Please have the decency to stay occupied for a while, ne?"
With that, Rider disappeared back into the miasma, leaving Lancer to deal with the summoned Kamen Riders.
Lancer sighed and grumbled, "Master, you should probably know I'm gonna be late..."
"Has another Servant gotten in your way?"
"Yeah, but he summoned someone else to hold me up and then left before I could tell who he is."
"So that Servant left already... Nothing for it, I suppose. Destroy his familiar and then proceed as planned. Don't resort to a Noble Phantasm unless you're completely outclassed, however. I, in the meantime, shall wait at the hotel."
Lancer groaned, "Dammit, I hate fighting girls..." before he complied by activating the Dino Morpher on his wrist.
"DINO THUNDER, POWER UP!"
The alleyway where Lancer was standing exploded, and there now stood a figure in a red spandex costume, with a white diamond pattern on the arms and legs. On his chest was an emblem in the shape of a T-rex footprint, and his helmet gave the impression of a Dinosaur motif.
The Red Dino Ranger had arrived.
Before Lancer could act further, however, Kamen Rider Nadeshiko tackled him in a burst of steam from her jetpack, with Femme and Siren hot on her heels.
"So tell me, Master, why did you summon me?"
Kariya glanced at where the spirit-formed Berserker ought to be as he shuffled along the sewers. "I didn't expect you to care, honestly."
Rolling her eyes, Berserker replied, "I don't, actually. But I'm bored as hell, and talking with you is the only thing I have at present that even begins approaching entertainment."
Swiftly growing irritated at his contemplative silence, Beserker took a commanding tone and growled, "So entertain me, cripple."
Kariya turned and glared at Berserker. The thought of using a Command Seal to put in her line briefly occurred to him, before he immediately dismissed it as both needlessly petty and not worth the trouble she'd doubtless give him over it later.
"It's a long story," he began with a sigh. Upon feeling her tense with impatience, he couldn't help but smirk a little. "...but I guess I can trouble you with the condensed version if you're that desperate for something to listen to.
"I was in love with a certain woman ever since we were children. And in the end, she married someone else - Tokiomi Tohsaka. He, too, is a Master in this War."
"So it's revenge on the man who stole your love from you?"
Kariya stopped, and openly smirked at Berserker. "Did you want a story, or not?"
Having apparently convinced the self-important Servant that silence would suit her immediate goals best for the time being, the half worm-eaten Master continued.
"Anyway, the woman - Aoi - and Tokiomi had two daughters. And this is where the problem lie - by tradition, only one child can inherit the Magic Crest of a family, and yet Tokiomi wasn't able to make that choice by himself. Giving one the gift of magecraft, as he saw it, meant depriving his other daughter of that same gift. And that's when my family's patriarch - the old worm who was with me when I summoned you - came to him with a deal. The Matou family is dying, while both Tohsaka children have great aptitude for magic."
Instantly able to see where this was going, Berserker concluded, "So the decrepit freak offered to take one of the girls off of your rival's hands, granting a future of magecraft to both."
Kariya nodded. "However... as great as his love for his children is, Tokiomi's a terrible judge of character. Even you could see what kind of monster that man is, but Tokiomi seemed to have no idea of what he was doing... when he sold his youngest daughter Sakura to that devil."
Berserker contemplated for a moment. "Sakura... when you say that name, you sound like a father concerned for his own daughter. So what's the connection?"
Kariya stopped and stared at Berserker, his eyebrow raised.
"What? I enjoy killing and terrorizing others for the sake of doing it, but I know full well the bond between a loving father and child. Enough to know it when I see it."
Her Master continued staring at her for a few seconds, before turning back and continuing forward. "Rin and Sakura are the children of the woman I love, and over the past few years I've come to care about them as if they were my own daughters. In order to save Sakura, I must get the Holy Grail."
Berserker took this into consideration. If the situation were reversed - if Kariya had somehow appeared in her world - Berserker knew without a doubt that Kariya Matou would've fought tooth and nail against her father, and sided with the Power Rangers.
But the conviction in his voice, when Kariya spoke of protecting that little girl he kept mentioning... just a little bit, it reminded Berserker of her own father.
Perhaps the two, in those terms, weren't so different after all.
"I suppose I can respect a father fighting for his daughter, blood or not. So then, I take it you want me to kill Tokiomi first?"
Rather surprised at Berserker's remark - but less so at her flippant tone - Kariya shook his head. "I promised Aoi not to target Tokiomi in this War, and I have no plan to break that promise.
"His Servant, however, is fair game. Berserker, if at all possible I want you to kill the Servant Archer first."
At this time, the duo arrived near the docks, and Berserker could sense two other Servants - one was openly radiating energy as a challenge, while the other seemed to be suppressing his power, probably with the intent to hang back and observe.
Berserker, however, could recognize both. "Tell me," she slowly began. "Does Archer dress like some kind of government officer when not in morph?"
Kariya was impressed. "You knew him in life?"
The cruel, vengeful smile on Berserker's face sent a shiver of fear down her Master's spine. "Knew him? He helped kill me. This time, at least, I'm going to enjoy following your orders."
"Just contain yourself until the right moment. Then, feel free to cut loose."
"You seem remarkably calm, Saber."
If Saber was surprised at Irisviel's comment, he didn't show it. "Nah, I've just gotten good at hiding it. Thought the Grail was only supposed to summon Heroes, though. Given that, the sheer fury coming off of this place just doesn't make any sense."
Iri explained, "Even though the Einzberns helped to create the Grail, there is still so much we don't know about it. It's possible that it could always have summoned 'evil' Servants, as well as Heroes and anti-heroes, and that none are known to have appeared before - save for Avenger in the last War - is just a coincidence."
Saber let out a depressed sigh. "If that's really all it boils down to, I'll eat my morpher."
At that moment, a deep voice spooked the duo as he growled, "A Servant without a weapon is either worthless or a fool. You should know that better than anyone... with your constant power losses."
Quickly turning to stand between Iri and the enemy, Saber regarded his opponent, before demanding his identity.
The knight in black armor paused for a moment, before raising his sword. The enemy Servant declared, "I am Avenger. Die."
With that, he rushed Saber, attempting to remove his head.
Caught off-guard, Saber barely managed to duck in time, before he gathered his wits and kicked Avenger's legs out from under him.
As Avenger rolled over and began rising, Saber produced his Power Morpher and yelled, "IT'S MORPHIN' TIME!"
The Morpher immediately generated an intense energy field, forcing Avenger to back off slightly.
The energy then converged around Saber, until the young man had vanished. And in his place, stood the Green Power Ranger.
"I don't know what your problem is, Avenger, but if you plan on hurting innocent people, then I'll have to take you down!"
Instead of bothering to reply, Avenger brought his longsword down on Saber again, only to be parried by the Green Ranger's Dragon Dagger.
Meanwhile, from the top of a nearby building, Kiritsugu kept an eye on the battle through the scope of his sniper rifle, periodically taking his eye off of the Servants to monitor Irisviel.
Given the state of affairs from the previous War, Avenger was supposed to be fairly weak as a class. And yet the Avenger below him... that black knight was keeping up with Saber, a Servant of what was generally regarded to be the best class.
After an exchange of parried blows, Avenger knocked Saber back with one hand... before sheathing his Magna Sword and converting it into the Magna Blaster in one smooth motion while in mid-spin and firing a barrage of laser bolts at Irisviel.
For the first time in well over a decade, Kiritsugu remembered what it was like to feel fear. Not fear for himself, but fear for someone else. But even the Magus Killer could not react in time to protect his beloved wife, not this time.
A shout of alarm echoed across the docks, as a new player arrived on the scene and tackled Irisviel out of harm's way.
Clad in a military uniform with a red undershirt, the man asked, "Are you all right, ma'am?"
Surprised that some stranger had seemingly come out of nowhere to protect her, Irisviel could only nod before asking, "Who are you?"
Ignoring her, the Servant turned to face Avenger. "My original mission was just to observe the capabilities of any Servants to arrive here. But if you're going to bring innocent people into this fight - Master or not - then I'm going to have to deal with you."
Entering a stance, he activated the morpher on his wrist. "Lightspeed... RESCUE!"
A massive shield appeared before him with a red-and-white design on it, before the shield moved back and coated the Servant in a spandex uniform of the same color pattern. Immediately after, a red helmet covered the Servant's head, with a shield-shaped opaque visor adorning the front.
Operation Lightspeed's Red Ranger had entered the battle.
Drawing his sidearm, Archer fired several shots at Avenger while dashing off to the side, making it slightly harder for Avenger to line up a counterattack. Before Avenger could even attempt to do so, however, he had to convert the Magna Blaster back into the Magna Sword to fend off Saber's attack.
Against either one, Avenger had more or less an even chance of victory. But with Saber forcing him to play defense up close, and Archer periodically assaulting him from afar, Avenger knew he was doomed unless the situation changed again.
So it was, perhaps, fortunate that at that moment, the pavement a few meters to the side exploded as Berserker lunged at the Red Lightspeed Ranger with a hate-filled battle cry.
With that, the insectoid-armored woman swung her staff around like a bat and flung Archer halfway across the pier.
The moment Avenger caught sight of the new variable, he was filled with hatred and rage.
He had thought he'd need to go through the entire roster of Servants before he had a chance for revenge against Scorpius.
And yet suddenly, the perfect opportunity had presented itself to him.
That monstrous conqueror had taken Avenger's only child from him.
And now, Avenger had a chance to pay the favor back. It was a shame, however, that Avenger would not get to see the late Scorpius' reaction to his beloved daughter's death.
Swatting Saber away with a backhand, Avenger declared, "Our fight is over for now, Ranger."
Then, switching his weapon back to rifle form, Avenger took one second to confirm his aim, before shooting Berserker in the back and sending the female Servant staggering forward.
Rather than rush to his target, Avenger took his time walking forward. He had lingered among the living for three thousand years after his son's death, and his own, for this chance.
Judging from that look in her eye, Berserker wasn't going anywhere anytime soon.
"I've waited a long time for this, heir of Scorpius. Your father killed my son. And you, Trakeena, will die in your father's place. A child for a child."
Chest heaving as she recovered from Avenger's back attack, Berserker glared at Avenger with more hatred than anyone present had ever seen in a single being.
"If anyone dies here, it will be you... Magna Defender!"
With that, Berserker let out a wordless scream and activated her Mad Enhancement.
Gone was the armored woman.
In her place was an emerald insectoid monster.
Madness made flesh.
The Knights of Sword and Bow forgotten, these two Servants charged, each hellbent on killing the other.
Kiritsugu had been listening in through the link with Saber. So we know that Avenger is called Magna Defender, and that Berserker's true name is Trakeena. Their legends appear to be closely linked, and Berserker seems to have some connection with Archer as well.
By this point, he had recovered from the shock of seeing Irisviel targeted. Instead, he was apalled at himself for having taken so long to realize the obvious consequence of his plan - namely, that by using Irisviel to hide his identity as the Master of Saber... he had run the risk of seeing his beloved wife die for him.
As Saber watched Avenger and Berserker tear into each other like rabid wolverines, he spoke through the Master-Servant link. "Looks like they're really going at it. What do you want me to do, Master?"
Though the Green Ranger was loathe to attack someone while their back was turned, he'd consent to fighting dirty if it meant protecting innocent lives. Namely, Irisviel. Saber was still mentally shaking his head at Kiritsugu's actions. After all, if the situation were reversed, he would never have put Kimberly in harm's way like that.
Kiritsugu considered for a split-second, before relaying new orders. "Leave them be for now, and focus on protecting Irisviel. Best case scenario, they'll kill each other. If one lives, attack to kill. I'd rather not have you resort to that Noble Phantasm of yours yet, since you said it's easily recognizable."
Saber rolled his eyes, having guessed that his orders would be along those lines. He kept silent, though. Irisviel had reached a compromise between the two men - for a time, Saber would follow Kiritsugu's lead without complaint. And in exchange, the Einzbern woman had convinced her husband to fight according to Saber's way of doing things for a while afterward.
"Understood. ... You know, I wouldn't need to protect her if you hadn't been so intent on putting her in danger in the first place."
Kiritsugu took a moment to ensure his voice was void of emotion when he replied, "I'm already aware of that."
Having placed himself directly between Irisviel and the brawl between Berserker and Avenger, Saber snarked, "Great. Just fantastic."
Meanwhile, across the docks, Archer had recovered from Berserker's surprise attack, and was also observing the two.
It was pure carnage. At first glance, it would appear that Berserker was mopping the floor with Avenger. After all, the monster was far stronger than the knight, and kept bashing Avenger into the ground or several meters away with each strike.
To one who had been observing for a time, however, Avenger would come out on top. He was meeting Berserker's attacks with minimal resistance and thus sustaining minimal injury from the excess of force, while Berserker was expending more and more energy with each passing moment.
Furthermore, that observer would have noticed that no matter how hard Berserker smacked him around, Avenger simply rose again a scant second later as if he hadn't been struck at all.
And then, as, Berserker missed and overextended her reach, Avenger exploited the moment of weakness for all it was worth. First, he nailed her in the face with several consecutive shots from the Magna Blaster, before converting it back to sword form and stabbing her chest.
Then, before the emerald Berserker had a chance to recover from the momentary stun, Avenger kicked her off of his blade before spinning around and cutting across her stomach.
Berserker's skin was too dense for Avenger to properly disembowel her like he'd planned, but it wasn't a problem.
His wrath had been building up for three thousand years. No need to let it all out at once.
Avenger punched Berserker in the throat, and then attempted to run her through on his sword again.
This time, however, Berserker recovered too quickly, and sidestepped the stab before bringing around her staff and slamming Avenger through the pavement and into the sewers.
With a feral roar, the instectoid monster followed after, and stomped his helmeted head into the pavement like a child throwing a tantrum.
After about ten seconds, however, Berserker returned to her previous form as her Mad Enhancement deactivated. Sensing that her Master was in mortal danger from mana exhaustion, the woman sneered at Avenger. "Much as I'd love to finish you off and get back to killing that Lightspeed Ranger, ensuring my own life comes first."
With that, Berserker quickly returned to her Master, before teleporting them both away.
Unwilling to give up his vengeance just yet - especially when he had come so close - Avenger quickly rose and attempted to give chase.
Meanwhile, Archer reported in to his Master. "Berserker's escaped, and Avenger's in pursuit. Want me to stay here and monitor Saber, or join the hunt for Berserker?"
"If you've already gauged their capabilities, then let them go. For the time being, see what you can get out of the Einzbern Servant."
"Actually, I met him in life. Saber's at a disadvantage here - pretty much everyone in my entire universe has heard of Tommy Oliver."
"I see. So then, is he your world's Gilgamesh?"
Archer took a moment to ponder that, unsure for a moment of what Tokiomi meant.
"He's widely regarded as the ultimate Power Ranger, if that's what you're asking. He's not the strongest, or the toughest, or the smartest. But in terms of skill and experience? He's the best, bar none. I don't know why he's been fighting so sloppily tonight, but I advise making use of this chance to take him out now."
"In that case, I'll trust your judgment."
Archer nodded, before drawing his sidearm and taking aim at Saber.
Saber instinctively saw it coming, however, and effortlessly deflected the bolt to the side with his Dragon Dagger.
From his cover within the earth, Assassin observed the battle. "I'm getting kinda antsy here, dude. C'mon Kirei, let me get in the game already!"
Kotomine found himself in an unusual quandary. On the one hand, he was bound by his alliance to Tokiomi, and breaking that alliance wouldn't do him any good yet. On the other, he felt that Saber's Master, Kiritsugu Emiya, was the only one who could answer Kotomine's questions. So he needed to keep Emiya in the War for a while.
"... Not yet. But if another player should interfere, stop them."
Meanwhile, Lancer had been kept quite occupied by the female Kamen Riders.
Specifically, trying to keep them from having their way with him. At first, Lancer had thought the ladies were trying to kill him. Then, as the 'battle' continued, he realized they had something different on their mind.
Siren and Femme had been systematically trying to cut open Lancer's suit, while Nadeshiko was... very, very grabby.
Ordinarily, Lancer might not have put up nearly so much resistance against three women trying so hard to get their hands on him, except for two factors: one, Lancer consistently made it a point to put his appreciation of the fairer sex on hold while he was on the clock; and two, they were quite frankly creeping him out. Mostly because, while they would utter brief battle cries when attack, or cry out in pain when he struck them... the female Kamen Riders were otherwise silent.
Like puppets with a preset voice chip. Or rather... like life-sized action figures.
Lancer appreciated a fine-looking babe, but he'd like to think he was grown-up enough not to be attracted to dolls.
As that thought crossed his mind, however, the three Riders suddenly stopped attacking.
From all around them, Rider's voice echoed, "And here I thought I was being a nice guy, giving you a shot at some ladies. No matter now, I've got a part for you to play. Such a useful tool you are, Lancer."
Before Lancer could respond, the white miasma appeared beneath him, causing the Servant of Spear to fall through it.
At the docks, Lancer fell through the miasma and arrived on a crate out of the battlezone.
Getting to his feet, he saw two other Rangers fighting each other. And upon recognizing both, Lancer immediately came to a decision.
Rider's interference wasn't important anymore. Lancer was going to help his teammate and mentor.
Crossing his arms, Lancer activated one of his Skills as the diamond pattern on his limbs extended into sharp armor plates facing behind him.
"Super Dino Mode!"
Saber had managed to close the gap, forcing Archer to switch to his V-Lancer in an attempt to keep the Green Ranger from cutting him open.
However, the V-Lancer gave Archer enough of a range advantage that Saber couldn't properly move in to his optimal range.
And then Lancer nailed Archer with a flying kick to the head, before backflipping off of him. Turning to Saber, Lancer asked, "You okay, Dr. O?"
Saber nodded. "A little off today, but other than that, yeah, I'm fine. I'm guessing you're on my side?"
"Far as I know, yeah," came the reply.
As the time-displaced teammates turned back to face Archer, he promptly regained some distance and shot at them again.
Lancer prepared to charge in, before a hand burst from the ground beneath him, grabbed his foot, and threw him across the way.
"Sorry dude, but the boss-man says you gotta go!"
Assassin had entered the battle.
While Saber and Archer resumed their previous battle, Lancer looked up to see not one but two Assassins punch him in the chest, knocking him back several feet.
"Dude, you're a Red Ranger. Shouldn't you be... y'know... putting up a better fight than this?"
Immediately getting back to his feet, Lancer growled, "Just watch me!"
Assassin summoned a large battle hammer, before rushing at Lancer.
The Red Dino Ranger blocked the attack with the plates on his arms, before slamming his head into Assassin's. Then, before the Yellow Ninja Ranger could react further, he deactivated his Super Dino Mode and summoned the Tyrannostaff.
Assassin dismissed his hammer and immediately drew his ninja sword, opting to sacrifice power for speed.
Archer was beginning to wear down - despite his military training, the fact was that due to his preference for ranged combat, Archer's stamina wasn't quite as great as most other Power Rangers.
Superhuman, yes, but not to the degree of his counterparts in most other Ranger teams.
To make matters worse, Saber had somehow given him the slip. While the Green Ranger had been rather sloppy earlier, he seemed to have finally gotten his head in the game, and had become much more of a threat.
And now that Saber had managed to escape Archer's view amongst the field of crates...
The Green Ranger suddenly emerged from right in front of Archer, startling the Red Ranger despite himself, and fired an energy blast directly into the scarlet Servant's chest, knocking him back through several dozen crates.
Just before Saber could close in for the kill, lightning burst down from the heavens and struck them both.
Unfortunately, Kiritsugu's plan was pretty much going to waste. After all, it had hinged on at least one other Master being present to observe the battle in person. So that Kiritsugu or Maiya could kill them, naturally.
Instead, it seemed that they and Irisviel had been the only non-Servants in attendance.
Just as Kiritsugu was musing on this, the area was hit with several lightning bolts that caused massive explosions on impact.
"KNEEL BEFORE LORD ZEDD, GALACTIC EMPEROR!"
Slouching upon a massive throne that had been instantly raised from the concrete was Caster.
Standing, the skinless Servant slammed his scepter into the ground, flinging several more electrical blasts at the other heroes.
Saber stared at Zedd, and if his helmet were off, everyone would have seen the color drain from his face. "Crap."
As they rose to their feet, Archer, Lancer, and Assassin shared a brief look, before standing with Saber.
Getting his head back into the game, Tommy said, "The entire world's at stake here, we need to join forces against this guy."
Assassin clapped him on the shoulder. "Dude, you didn't need to say anything. We're Power Rangers. He's the most obvious supervillain since Lothor. What were we gonna do, not team up?"
Archer nodded, and Lancer gave Saber a thumbs-up.
Then, without another word between them, the assembled Power Rangers turned to face Zedd and attacked.
Kamen Rider Nadeshiko is from the Kamen Rider OOO and Kamen Rider Fourze crossover movie. Femme is from the movie for Kamen Rider Ryuki, while Siren is her US counterpart from Kamen Rider Dragon Knight. The Nadeshiko, Femme, and Siren seen here don't have much in common with their canon selves behavior-wise. This will be explained a little further down, however, so keep reading!
Real Name: Daiki Kaitou (Kamen Rider Decade)
Kamen Rider DiEnd
Theme tune: Treasure Sniper (Kamen Rider Decade soundtrack)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Independent Action: A: Allows Rider to remain in action for as long as a week without a Master. However, he cannot use a Noble Phantasm unless he is obtaining mana from a Master.
Nature of a Rebellious Spirit: A: Negates the effect of Charisma of equal rank.
Subversive Activities: C
Eye of the Mind (False): B
Diendriver: B Multipurpose: Has the following functions: Allows Rider to transform into Kamen Rider DiEnd; allows him to summon other Kamen Riders to fight for him at weakened strength compared to a proper Servant; can be used as a blaster. Summoned Riders who are destroyed in battle cannot be summoned again except by use of 'Rider Apocalypse'. The Diendriver does not summon the actual Kamen Riders invoked; instead, it summons a "doll" with the associated appearance, powers, and abilities of the card inserted into it. Because a "mission" and a "personality" are programmed into the "doll" in accordance with Rider's will, the Kamen Rider summoned may not act in the way expected of them.
Plunderer of Worlds: A+ Anti-Unit: Rider can create a white wall of miasma that can act as either a barrier to prevent someone's passage through an area, or as a portal to forcibly send the target to a location of Rider's choosing. However, this Noble Phantasm has no direct offensive or defensive capabilities of its own.
Rider Apocalypse: EX Anti-Army: A special card that allows DiEnd to summon every "main" Kamen Rider simultaneously: 1st, 2nd, V3, X, Riderman, Amazon, Stronger, Skyrider, Super-1, Black, Black RX, Masked Rider, ZX, J, ZO, Shin, Kuuga, Agito, Ryuki, Blade, Faiz, Hibiki, Kabuto, Den-O Sword, Den-O Rod, Den-O Axe, Den-O Gun, Kiva, Decade, Double, OOO, Fourze, Wizard, and Dragon Knight.