Author’s note: This miniseries begins in 2001 shortly after the start of Book One: Dragon Rising. The story begins the same day the Power Rangers battled Bandora’s first monster, DoraTitan, in Angel Grove. Kamen Rider and Dragon Rising run concurrently.

 

Kamen Rider Black: Chapter One

Heir to the Black Sun

 

Three figures hovered over the night-lit streets of Shinjuku, Japan. They wore dark-white robes and hoods that hid their faces with shadows. They moved with great speed through alleyways and around skyscrapers.

 

People below were unaware of the robed trio that floated above them. All except for one teenager: 19-year-old Minami Hikaru.

 

Hikaru dashed across the street as the robed figures hovered closer. He ignored the honking and screeching of tires as he cut through traffic. He did not have time to be careful. He had to flee.

 

The teenager leapt into a nearby parking garage, landed in a crouched position, and rolled beneath a parked car. He stayed low, beneath the parked vehicles, while trying to get as much distance as possible between himself and his pursuers. He was surprised the pounding of his own heart did not give him away.

 

Hikaru rolled beneath a parked vehicle and tried to stay as still and quiet as possible. Minutes passed, and he hoped he had finally evaded the hooded figures, which he had heard called the Daishinkan, meaning “High Priests.”

 

Then he heard the High Priests float into the parking garage. Hikaru’s breath caught in his throat.

 

http://www.ryuranger.com/RANGERBOARD/baraom1.jpgOne of the Priests lifted his head, revealing a face covered with a dark-blue mask. The mask’s features were twisted with an expression of hate. Only the Priest’s eyes were visible. His name was Baraom.

 

Light shot from the Priest’s eyes like spotlights and scanned across the parking garage. Hikaru saw the light splash across the pavement. It was obvious the lights were meant to scan for him. He nearly panicked. He could not stay in the parking garage forever.

 

Hikaru crawled underneath parked vehicles until he got to the final row, nearby the garage’s rear exit. He did not hear the High Priests. So he decided to make a break for it. He sprang out from underneath a parked car and dashed towards the exit.

 

http://www.ryuranger.com/RANGERBOARD/bishium.jpgBut a Priest suddenly hovered down and blocked his path. The Priest lifted its head. It was a woman, whose twisted mask was half white and half dark-blue. Her name was Bishium.

 

Hikaru turned to run the other way. But another Priest hovered down to block his path. This Priest’s mask was white. His name was Darom. He extended his hand towards Hikaru. “Century King, Black Sun…you belong with us.”

 

“No!” Hikaru shouted. He dashed to the side and ran up to the second level of the parking garage. He ran to the side and leapt out of the garage. He landed on the ground hard, stumbled forward, and rolled across the street before rising back to his feet.

 

Hikaru ignored his fatigue and dashed towards an alley. He had run for so long. His legs burned with each stride. His lungs ached. His heart felt like it would burst in his chest. But he kept running. To stop running was to die.

 

http://www.ryuranger.com/RANGERBOARD/darom1.jpgThe white-masked Priest, Darom, floated through the alley behind Hikaru. The High Priest extended his hand and wrapped invisible strands of psionic energy around Hikaru. The Priest used the strands to swing Hikaru up into the air like a puppet. Darom dragged Hikaru more than a dozen stories upward and slammed him against a neon sign.

 

Parts of the sign shattered beneath him, creating a power surge that sent electricity flashing through his body. He shouted with pain. The sensation caused his mind to flash back…

 

Hikaru was strapped to a metal bed. He struggled to break free, but his bindings only tightened. His eyes darted across the room, and he turned his head what little he could. It was dark and foggy. Several tubes and wiring were suspended from the ceiling. His brother through adoption, Akizuki Saske, was tied down to a table nearby.

 

“Saske!” Hikaru shouted. Hikaru and Saske were not related by blood, but they were as close as real brothers. Saske’s father had adopted Hikaru after his parents died when he was 3-years-old. “Saske! Answer me!”

 

The three High Priests stepped into the room and slowly walked towards the brothers. The Priests looked back and forth between Hikaru and Saske. “Black Sun…Shadow Moon…” the white-masked Priest, Darom said. “One of you will lead us into the New Age. Into victory.”

 

The blue-masked Priest, Baraom, stepped next to Hikaru and extended his hand over the teen’s naked chest. A beam of pale energy shot from the villain’s palm and cut across the teen’s chest. Hikaru screamed as the smell of his own burning flesh filled his nostrils.

 

A man suddenly burst into the room. He wore a dark, neatly pressed suit. Hikaru recognized him immediately. It was Akizuki Soichiro, Saske’s father, and Hikaru’s father through adoption.

 

“Daishinkan, stop!” Dr. Akizuki shouted and pulled Baraom’s arm away. He looked to Darom. “This wasn’t part of the deal. This wasn’t how you said it would happen.” 

 

Dr. Akizuki pushed Baraom aside and un-strapped Hikaru with the push of a button on the metal bed’s control panel.

 

Darom grabbed Dr. Akizuki and hurled him across the room. Akizuki crashed onto a nearby lab table that collapsed under his weight, spilling volatile chemicals across the floor. Some of the chemicals mixed and ignited with flame that quickly spread across the room.

 

Hikaru got up from the bed while the High Priests were distracted. Walls of flame separated him from Saske, as well as his father.

 

Dr. Akizuki looked to Hikaru. “Run! Run now!”

 

“But-” Hikaru started to protest. He could not abandon his father and brother.

 

“Run!” Akizuki shouted again. “It’s too late!” The flames stretched to the ceiling. “It’s too…”

 

Hikaru collapsed onto the concrete. He was still alive, but unconscious. The High Priests surrounded Hikaru and wrapped him in a web of invisible psionic energy. They floated through the air, above the rooftops, while carrying Hikaru’s limp body in between them.

 

Hikaru’s vision slowly blurred back into focus as he saw the night sky above. He remembered what had happened and nearly panicked. He saw the High Priests around him and started struggling against their grasp, not realizing he was high above the streets.

 

Hikaru broke free and plummeted towards the city below. The teen shattered through a warehouse skylight and crashed through a pile of wooden crates, which splintered apart as he crashed to the floor.

 

Hikaru slowly climbed to his feet and looked at his body with shock. His clothes were torn and tattered, but he only had a few cuts and bruises. The fall should have killed him. But it didn’t. Why? What was happening to him?

 

The High Priests hovered down through the broken skylight and into the warehouse. Hikaru cursed beneath his breath and dashed towards the nearest exit. But Darom wrapped an invisible energy leash around Hikaru’s neck and snapped back, whipping the teen off his feet and sending him crashing through a pile of crates.

 

Hikaru hit the floor hard and tumbled backward. He rolled into a crouched stance just as Bishium narrowed her eyes and fired an invisible telekinetic pulse that slammed against his chest. The blast knocked the wind from Hikaru and sent him smashing through a wall, crashing into another room of the warehouse.

 

Hikaru slowly rose to his feet. And a wave of vertigo nearly knocked him back down. His skin rippled, and it felt like someone was pouring boiling water across his body. Hikaru screamed with agony as he felt his body change shape, being molded like clay. His flesh pealed off, revealing an insect-like body that resembled a human grasshopper.  

 

A well of energy suddenly erupted inside of Hikaru and flooded his veins with power. With strength. The flood of power washed away Hikaru’s pain and replaced it with stamina. Endurance. Dark energy flashed across his body and materialized into a suit of black armor and a helmet with two insectoid eyes colored red. 

 

The High Priests took several steps backward away from Hikaru. Their eyes showed fear at their own creation. “Black Sun…” they whispered.

 

Black Sun acted on instinct. He sprang through the air with a flying sidekick aimed towards Darom. But the High Priest floated away to avoid the kick.

 

Black Sun somersaulted through the air and landed on a nearby walkway before turning to face the High Priests. The Daishinkan extended their hands and fired snakes of energy that lashed out towards Black Sun. Black Sun leapt from the walkway seconds before the energy snakes exploded against it, destroying the walkway and sending it crashing to the ground below.

 

Black Sun somersaulted downward and aimed a flying punch towards Baraom. But all three Priests floated backward and teleported away within the blink of an eye.

 

Black Sun landed on the empty warehouse floor. He stood tall as he sensed a presence approach him. He heard the roar of a motorcycle from the rear of the warehouse and turned towards the noise. No, it was more than a noise. It was a call.

 

A sleek-black insectoid motorcycle skid to a halt on the warehouse floor. It had no rider. Black Sun recognized the vehicle. He had found the cycle in the High Priests’ lab building and used it to escape. 

 

 “Battle Hopper…” Black Sun walked to the bike, swung onto it, and sped away with a blast of motion.

 

***

 

Hikaru returned home to an empty house the next morning. Part of him was glad. He did not know if he could face Saske’s younger sister, Kyoko, in his condition. He had to know what was happening to him, his brother, and father.

 

Hikaru noticed a note on the table. He walked over and unfolded the note. It was a message from his father. Hikaru narrowed his eyes, dropped the note, and ran back outside for his own motorcycle. He had hidden Battle Hopper out of sight nearby.

 

The teen made it to the curb and hopped onto the motorcycle just as a car pulled up behind him. It was Kyoko and Saske’s fiancé, Katsumi.

 

“Hikaru’s home!” his sister shouted as she ran from the car towards the motorcycle.

 

Hikaru could not face them now. His life was turning upside down and he had to find out why. He twisted his bike’s handle and throttled away without sparing Kyoko or Katsumi a glance.

 

***

 

Hikaru rode to an old industrial park and saw a black sedan parked outside an abandoned warehouse. Hikaru parked outside and walked into the warehouse, which was dusty and full of cobwebs. This was where his father’s note had said to meet.

 

He spotted Dr. Akizuki looking out a broken window. Hikaru slowly stepped towards the man. “Father…”

 

Dr. Akizuki turned to face his adopted son. The man’s face was pale, and his eyes baggy. “Hikaru…I’m glad you made it.” 

 

“What’s going on?” Hikaru asked. “I thought you were…” He shook his head. “Tell me what’s happening.”

 

Dr. Akizuki sighed and turned back to the window. He could not face his son. He was too ashamed. “I’m not proud of what I am about to tell you. I want you to know that.” He took a deep breath. “Years ago, before you were born, I joined a secret society called the Gorgom Syndicate. They offered to help me with my businesses and research. It was too tempting an offer to refuse. The Syndicate had resources beyond imagination. Their science was years ahead of modern technology and biology.”

 

Akizuki lowered his eyes. “I was too deep in the Syndicate when I learned their true nature. They practiced black magick and twisted genetics to mutate their bodies. They planned to force humanity into the next step of evolution and rule over a new race. They believed that this year, the turn of the new millennium, was when they were to come to power. They were to be lead by either Black Sun or Shadow Moon…you or your brother.”

 

 Hikaru narrowed his eyes. “What? What are you talking about?”

 

“You and Saske were both born on the same day. The day of an eclipse.” A sorrowful smile crossed his face. “You two were friends before you could walk. Our families were close, you see. When your parents died, I took you in as my own. The Gorgom watched you and Saske very closely. Watched you grow. They believed that you were both destined to carry the King Stones. They believed the two of you were to fight to the death, and the winner would become their new leader: the Creation King. I didn’t know…they were going to warp your minds in a very permanent way. I couldn’t let that happen.”

 

Akizuki looked to his adopted son. “Now their plans have failed. You, Black Sun, have escaped. But Saske…” He buried his face in his hands. “What have I done.

 

“Father…” Hikaru turned his dad around by the shoulders. “Those three Daishinkan came after me.”

 

 “They will continue to do so,” Akizuki said. “It seems you have a new destiny. You must fight against the Gorgom Syndicate, and you must win…otherwise…they will continue to grow, and no one will be able to stop them.”

 

 “I don’t want a fight!” Hikaru shouted frantically. He shook his father by the shoulders. “Get this King Stone out of me!”

 

 “I can’t!” Akizuki knocked his son’s arms away.

 

Hikaru clenched his jaw and turned to storm out of the warehouse. But he noticed a shadow pass across an adjoining room. Hikaru stopped in his steps as he noticed a second shadow pass by a skylight above.

 

 “Father!” Hikaru shouted.

 

 “I know,” Akizuki said.

 

http://www.ryuranger.com/RANGERBOARD/black-vi-spidermutants.jpgA humanoid spider mutant crashed down through the skylight, and four more burst through the walls. One of the spiders slammed against Hikaru and knocked him aside. The teen went stumbling across the floor.

 

Another spider thwipped a web line that wrapped around Dr. Akizuki’s legs. The spider used its web to pull Akizuki off his feet.

 

The five spider mutants regrouped and scurried outside while dragging Dr. Akizuki along. “Hikaru!”

 

Hikaru rose to his feet and dashed after the spider mutants. The creatures used their agility to leap onto a cell tower and climb several stories upward while dragging Dr. Akizuki along. Hikaru ran towards them as fast as he could, his heart racing. But he could not make it in time.

 

The spider mutants snapped their web loose. Dr. Akizuki plummeted towards the ground and smashed against the pavement.

 

“No!” Hikaru’s eyes opened wide with horror. He ran to his father and kneeled down at his side. He cradled his father’s head in his arms.

 

Dr. Akizuki’s body trembled as he looked up to his son. “You’re the only one that can stop them now,” he said. “The only one who can save…Saske.

 

“Saske?” Hikaru asked. “He’s still alive?!”

 

Akizuki’s body went limp as his life slipped away.

 

“No!” Hikaru shouted.

 

The teen rolled his hands into fists. His eyes narrowed. His father was dead. His brother was still alive. He had been turned, against his will, into a weapon. Hikaru glared at the spider mutants, which had leapt down to the pavement. He reached down and felt the twisted power that had violated his body. Violated his life. He called upon that power.

 

“Black Sun!” Energy pulsed around him as he transformed. Sleek black armor wrapped around his mutated body. “Kamen Rider…Black!”

 

Kamen Rider launched forward. He slammed a jumpkick upside a creature’s head and snapped his leg around with a hook kick, smashing his heel across a spider’s skull.

 

The spider mutants spread out and surrounded Kamen Rider while thwipping web lines from between their mandibles. The webs wrapped tightly around Kamen Rider’s neck and arms. The more he struggled, the more the webs tightened. The spider mutants tugged on their web lines to force Kamen Rider to his knees.

 

“Battle Hopper!” Kamen Rider shouted. The organic motorcycle throttled from the distance. Whatever the Gorgom had done to him had bonded him with the cycle somehow.

 

Tires screeching, Battle Hopper slammed against the spider mutants, bashing them backward. The webs slacked, and Kamen Rider broke free from their grasp.

 

Kamen Rider flipped onto his bike and rode back into the warehouse. He opened his throttle to full. But a web line suddenly wrapped around his neck and snapped him from the cycle. The web whipped Kamen Rider into a wide, open room. The Rider rolled into a crouched fighting stance as the five spider mutants surrounded him.

 

Kamen Rider rose to his feet and stepped back into a fighting stance. He reached down for the power inside of him. His belt started to pulse with flashing bursts of light.

 

“Rider Punch!” Kamen Rider’s fist radiated with crimson power. He leapt through the air and bashed his fist against a spider’s chest, slammed his fist across another spider’s head, and punched down two more of the mutants. The four spider mutants crashed against the ground, their energy overloading and exploding with flames that consumed their bodies.

 

Only one mutant remained.

 

“Rider Kick!” Kamen Rider somersaulted forward through the air. His feet energized with crimson power. He swung his legs down with a double drop kick that smashed against the last spider. The mutant crashed backward, its energy overloading and exploding.

 

***

 

Black Sun walked back outside to his father’s body. The Rider held his head down low. He rolled his hands into fists. I know what I have to do…

 

To be continued…Chapter 02