Kamen Rider Black: Chapter Five
One of Three
Minami Hikaru was lost in thought as he rode his motorcycle through the streets of Tokyo. The hero couldn't help thinking about his brother, or more accurately, the twisted creature his brother had become. He tried to realize his brother was dead, and that Shadow Moon was nothing more than another member of the Gorgom Syndicate. But a part of him couldn't help but wonder if a part of his brother was still alive.
Hikaru looked ahead to see a group of school girls standing in the middle of a busy intersection with empty expressions on their faces as they mulled about aimlessly. Knitting his brow, the hero pulled his cycle to a halt, pulled off his helmet, and ran to the girls. In recent months he had learned that anything odd and potentially dangerous in his country was more than likely the cause of the Syndicate.
He ran over to them, but they barely seemed to notice. "Are you alright?" he asked, but they did not answer. "Girls?"
One of the girls fainted, and Hikaru managed to catch her in his arms before she fell. He looked to the nearest driver stopped at the busy intersection. "Call an ambulance! Now!"
The girl who fainted happened to be a classmate of Kyoko, who met Hikaru in the girl's hospital room.
"You don't remember anything that happened?" Kyoko asked as Hikaru stood by.
"No..." she answered. "I was at school, and then the next thing I remember, I was waking up here."
Hikaru stepped forward. "What about the others? The other girls who were with you?"
"We were all in school together," the school girl said.
"Okay," Hikaru said. "So what aren't you telling us."
The girl looked down at her sheets. "Nothing, it's just...this isn't the first time this has happened to us. For the past three weeks or so we've been having these blackouts. We're not sure why or what started them."
"What do you all have in common?" he asked.
She shook her head. "Nothing. I mean, we all go to the same school. We're part of the same gardening club that started a few weeks back."
Hikaru narrowed his eyes. "This club, is it led by a teacher who's new to your school?"
"Well...yes...but I don't see why that matters," she said.
"You wouldn't." Hikaru turned and bolted from the hospital room.
Kyoko's school was mostly empty expect for a larger classroom, where about a dozen girls gathered and worked with flowers growing from clay pots sitting on their desks. The flowers were beautiful, with pedals of various purple shades, but they still looked unnatural.
Hikaru spotted the school teacher near one of the desks and walked over towards her. "Excuse me...are you the teacher in charge of this club?"
The teacher adjusted her glasses and nodded. "I am, yes. Are you interested in seeing what we do here? We'd be happy to show you."
He shook his head. "No, there's no time for that."
"Of course not," she said with a devilish smile.
Suddenly a wave of fatigue rushed through Hikaru's body, and he had to struggle to stay on his feet. He glared at the teacher and braced himself against a desk. "What are you...what..."
The teacher adjusted her glasses again and smiled. "I knew you would come, Minami Hikaru. No...Kamen Rider Black."
Her body shifted, and she revealed her true form: the monstrous, winged Priestess Bishium.
Hikaru glared at the woman. "You..."
"Yes, me," she said. "I've prepared a death match, especially for you."
"What does this have to do with the girls," Hikaru said. "Let them go."
"I needed them to lure you here. And I still need them." She traced her hands along a nearby flower stem. "With the spores from these flowers, they are totally under my control. The effect isn't as strong for men, you see, which is the only reason you haven't reached into your gut and pulled out your King Stone for me. Now...let's get started..."
The Priestess fired an optic burst that Hikaru dove aside to avoid while calling forth the tainted power within his body. "Black Sun!"
He transformed into his Kamen Rider armor and rolled to his feet while snapping back into a fighting stance to face his enemy. Bishium hurled herself forward through the air, tackled against Black Sun, and sent him shattering through the nearest window.
Kamen Rider Black twisted in midair to land in a crouched fighting stance outside, and he turned to see the Priestess glide downward towards him. Black Sun leapt through the air, twisted past her, and smashed a knife-hand strike against her back.
The blow knocked the priestess off course and sent her crashing through tree limbs before crashing against a park bench that splintered beneath her weight. Stumbling, the villain rose to her feet as Kamen Rider Black leapt through the air and aimed a flying punch towards her body.
The priestess quickly snapped her wings to glide upward and avoid the blow.
In midair, she spun and produced a miniature cyclone around her body. The winds smashed against Kamen Rider Black and hurled tree limbs and chunks of dirt at his body. Eventually, the cyclone knocked him off his feet, sending him tumbling through the air and crashing against a picnic table that splintered to pieces.
Kamen Rider Black quickly climbed back to his feet and snapped into a fighting stance to face his attacker.
Bishium continued to hover in the air and glare at the Kamen Rider. "Don't think it will end like this, Kamen Rider Black."
Kamen Rider Black rushed towards her, but she floated upward, out of the Rider's reach, and out of his sight.
Bishium returned to the Gorgom lair and kneeled before Shadow Moon as the other two High Priests stood behind her. Her fellow Daishinkan were not pleased at her attempts to face Black Sun alone. But she was determined to have her way.
"I understand Kamen Rider Black inside and out," she explained. "Please, let me continue my plan."
"Plan?" Darom asked. "You hardly have a plan, Bishium. Flower pedals? You mean to defeat our greatest enemy with flower pedals and school girls?"
"I wasn't speaking to you," she said. "I was speaking to Lord Shadow Moon."
Shadow Moon stood as still as a statue. He slightly lowered his head to look down at the priestess. "Very well," he said. "I will let your plan play out."
She smiled. "Excellent. Thank you, Lord Shadow Moon. I will not fail you. I will be your loyal instrument of death."
Bishium's next move was a simple one. She flew through the city and crashed through the window of the hospital room where Kyoko stood at her friend's side. Kyoko screamed but was grabbed before she could run. Bishium leapt through the window and flew away while carrying along her captive.
As soon as he heard Kyoko was missing, Hikaru knew he had to go back to her school. Once there, he searched room to room, but every class was empty, despite all the after-school activities that should have been happening.
He silently cursed the Syndicate and searched the last classroom, only to find a single purple flower standing from a pile of dirt. Narrowing his eyes, he reached down to pick up the flower.
But the flower grabbed him, pulled him down through the pile of dirt, and dragged him into a dark pocket dimension.
He fell onto a mist-covered ground dotted with the strange purple flowers, and dozens of school girls stood nearby along with Bishium. Each school girl had a blank expression on her face. Then he noticed that several of the girls were holding a prisoner: Kyoko.
"Kyoko!" he shouted and ran towards her, but a sword speared through the air and stuck in the ground in front of his path.
Bishium smiled with wicked delight. "You want her to live? Then take the sword, cut open your gut, and carve out the king stone."
"Don't do it!" Kyoko shouted as one of the girls placed a knife to her neck.
"Pick it up," Bishium said. "If you don't, I won't just kill her, I will mutilate her."
"No!" Kyoko shouted. "You can't! You're the only one who can fight them! If you die, they'll take over the whole country!"
"We'll do that anyway," Bishium said. "Now pick up the sword, Minami Hikaru. No...Kamen Rider Black."
Hikaru tightened his fists. He couldn't let Kyoko die. Nor could he let the Gorgom win. He stepped towards the sword, wrapped his hand around the handle, and pulled the blade from the ground. He looked Kyoko in the eyes and shook his head. "I'm sorry, I can't let them kill you. But don't worry...I won't let you see."
He turned his back towards her, held out the sword, and aimed the blade towards his gut.
Then he snapped around and hurled the blade at Bishium like a spear, and the blade sparked across her body and knocked her backward. Too taken aback to order the entranced girls, she had no way of making them kill Kyoko or keep her held close.
Hikaru charged forward, pulled Kyoko from their grasp, and ran from them while holding onto her arm.
But Bishium rose to her feet and spun with a force of energy-tinted wind that hurled Hikaru, the school girls, and Kyoko through the air. Hikaru crashed against the ground and skid across the dirt, and he noticed the girls do the same.
He knew he couldn't just leave with Kyoko. He had to save all the girls who were under the Gorgom's influence.
Hikaru rose to his feet, snapped into a tight fighting stance, and called forth the tainted power that surged through his veins like burning bile. "Black Sun!"
Energy flashed around the hero as he transformed into his Kamen Rider Black armor.
Black Sun leapt through the air and passed over the Priestess while stomping down against her collarbone to knock her off her feet. The Kamen Rider landed in a crouched stance with his back to the villain, and the priestess crashed against the ground before stumbling back to her feet.
Black Sun rose to his feet to face the villain and snapped into a fighting stance.
Bishium charged at Black Sun and swung her wing like a blade towards the Rider's head. But the Kamen Rider somersaulted through the air, passed above the villain, and landed behind her. The priestess immediately shot towards him like a cannon, but he sidestepped and smashed a knife-hand chop against her back.
The villain crashed, rolled to her feet, and shot towards the Kamen Rider again. This time he leapt over her and slammed a kick against her back to send her stumbling across the ground yet again.
Kamen Rider landed and turned to face her while stepping back into a fighting stance, and he pounced through the air to attack.
Bishium fired pink-tinted optic bursts that exploded against the Rider's chest with bursts of spark and whipped him from the air. Kamen Rider Black collapsed to the ground and rose to his feet, and he was too taken aback to guard against the priestess's next attacks. She flew through the air and slashed her wings against his armor, then circled around and slashed her wings against his armor a second time.
The last attack knocked the Rider off his feet, but he rolled into a crouched stance and pounced through the air while aiming a flying punch towards the villain. But Bishium twirled to surround herself with a cyclone of pick energy that whipped against Black Sun and hurled him backward.
Kamen Rider Black crashed against the ground and stumbled to his feet as Bishium flew around him and surrounded him with a cyclone of pink energy. The wind storm of energy tightened around his body and sparked against his armor, nearly throwing him off balance.
But Bishium landed behind him and wrapped her arms around the Rider.
"Now, Lord Shadow Moon!" she shouted into the air. "Use my body and strike him down!"
In the far distance, Shadow Moon heard the cries of Bishium and answered. He extended his hand and fired a beam of crimson energy that stretched for miles towards its anchor: Bishium. Shadow Moon was connected to each of the High Priests, since their energy had helped to give him life.
The beam splashed across Bishium, formed a point, and stabbed against Kamen Rider Black with a burst of spark.
Kyoko opened her eyes wide with horror as she watched the energy beam intensify.
"No!" she shouted and ran towards him. She wrapped her arms around Black Sun and tried to pull him free, not caring that the blade would slice through her as well.
Shadow Moon could sense her. Kyoko. And a part of him, a sliver of the Kamen Rider stirred. Slowly, the Rider lowered his hand and extinguished his energy beam.
The beam retracted but ripped a gaping wound through Bishium in the process. Sparks tore across her side with enough force to send her stumbling backward, and she felt her insides rip apart at the backlash of the energy surge.
"Lord Shadow Moon..." she pleaded as sparks exploded from her body. "Why..."
She fell backward as a final explosion destroyed her body and reduced her to ash.
With Bishium dead, the pocket dimension started to tremble, and the girls returned to normal, breaking free of their trance.
"Come on," Black Sun said to Kyoko. "We have to clear this room..."
Black Sun and Kyoko rallied the panicked girls and led them to a stairwell that reached towards a portal, the exit of the pocket dimension. They dove through the portal just before the pocket dimension collapsed.
Grief forced the remaining two Daishinkan to their knees.
"No..." Baraom muttered. "Bishium...she's dead."
Shadow Moon suddenly staggered backward as pain drilled through his head. The remaining High Priests turned to face their lord, and they immediately knew what was happening. The Creation King, Sousei-Ou, was punishing the evil Kamen Rider for failing to deliver the final blow.
"Enough..." Shadow Moon whispered. "Enough!"
The wave of pain ended, and Shadow Moon rose to full height while looking upward. "Black Sun and I are destined to fight, to the death! This is what we were born for. This is what you have wanted all along. And this, this, is what will happen. Yes, you are the Creation King, but not for much longer. So stand aside, Sousei-Ou, and let your successor be chosen as he was meant to be. In a fight to the death!"
To be continued...Chapter 06