Kamen Rider Black: Chapter Nine

Hollow Victory

 

Kyoko stood at the window of her hotel in Angel Grove. She looked across the foreign landscape and thought longingly of home. What am I doing here? This isn’t where I belong…

 

Kyoko heard the hotel door open, and she looked to see Katsumi rush into the room. The girl carried a rolled up newspaper in her hand, and she seemed elated.

 

“Kyoko, I think Hikaru’s alive,” she said.  

 

She handed the paper to Kyoko.

 

Kyoko opened the paper to the international section. The top story described a black-armored figure fighting a cult of terrorists in Tokyo.

 

“Do you know what this means?” Katsumi asked. “Our home…he’s going to save our home after all.”

 

Kyoko said nothing, her face blank. She moved to her closet, silently, and started packing.

 

“Kyoko?” Katsumi asked, but Kyoko said nothing. “Kyoko? You’re not actually thinking of going back, are you? We can’t. Not yet.”

 

She kept packing. “I want to see him.”

 

“We’d just be a distraction,” Katsumi said.

 

Kyoko shook her head while continuing to pack with trembling hands.

 

Katsumi pulled her away. “Kyoko…you have to have patience…”

 

“I just…”

 

She broke down and cried, falling into her closest friend’s embrace.

 

“I can’t help this feeling…” she said. “That even if he is alive…even if he survives…we’ll never see him again. Ever. That even if he is alive…he’s still gone.”

 

***

 

Whale Mutant led Hikaru through the mountainous, forest cliffs of Japan. The creature could barely walk but draped its arm over Hikaru for support. Hikaru helped the creature carry its weight while making the trek.

 

“Are we close?” Hikaru asked.

 

The Whale Mutant was leading Hikaru to the Gorgom’s secluded lair. The creature pointed ahead, and the pair continued their walk.

 

***

 

http://www.kamen-rider.com/database/1987_black/images/black-vi-sticklebackmutant.jpghttp://www.kamen-rider.com/database/1987_black/images/black-vi-fleeingmutants.jpgDown the cliffs and across a river, a massive sewer pipe ran through the mountains.

 

Three lesser Gorgom creatures ran through the pipe, fleeing from their lair.

 

They scrambled from the pipe and moved to the rocky shore along the river. They thought they were free.

 

But a Gorgom mutant leapt from the river and blocked the creatures’ path.

 

Swordfish Mutant leaned forward in an offensive stance. “So…you underlings want to escape?”

 

Togeuo Kaijin…” one of the lesser mutants stammered the creature’s name.

 

“Traitorous filth,” Swordfish Mutant said.

 

“But…but…forgive us,” one of the lesser creatures stammered. “Kamen Rider Black has been revived. I’ve heard he’s even more powerful!”

 

“So you run? Cowards!”

 

The Swordfish Mutant fired head spikes that stabbed through two of the creatures, knocking them backward. The third creature tried to run, but Swordfish Mutant threw a volley of razor-sharp scales that sliced through the creature’s back.

 

The three mutants collapsed, their energy overloading and exploding with bursts of flame.

 

***

 

His work done, Swordfish Mutant returned to the Gorgom lair and kneeled at the feet of Shadow Moon.

 

have you taken care of the traitors?” Shadow Moon asked.

 

Swordfish Mutant nodded.

 

“Those fools,” Shadow Moon said. “Can’t they tell I’ll win? I will defeat Black Sun. You…you must take care of that other traitor. The first. Now go.”

 

***

 

Whale Mutant led Hikaru higher up the cliff but stopped. The creature’s body trembled.

 

Hikaru looked ahead, and in the distance, he saw a dull-gray skyscraper stab up from the mountainside. 

 

“That’s it,” Hikaru said. “The Gorgom are there.”

 

Hikaru tried to move forward, but Whale Mutant held him back.

 

“What is it?” Hikaru asked.

 

Sousei-Ou,” Whale Mutant said. “He’s…he’s there. He…he’s more terrifying than Shadow Moon…”

 

“Pull yourself together,” Hikaru said. “If we don’t defeat the Gorgom, we won’t be able to protect this planet. The oceans…”

 

Hikaru suddenly felt a telepathic flare that drove him to his knees.

 

So, Black Sun, the Creation King’s voice drilled into Hikaru’s mind. You have finally arrived. Now come. Come…and settle things with Shadow Moon once and for all.

 

Swordfish Mutant suddenly leapt from the river beneath the cliff before Hikaru could recover. But the villain’s target wasn’t the Kamen Rider. Swordfish Mutant grabbed hold off Whale Mutant, leapt off the cliff, and plunged back into the river below.

 

Kujira Kaijin!” Hikaru shouted after the whale creature.

 

But the Whale Mutant was already out of sight.

 

***

 

Swordfish Mutant carried Whale Mutant in a headlock and leapt from the river. They landed on the rocky shore, and Togeuo Kaijin bashed a punch across Whale Mutant’s face. The Swordfish Mutant snapped a kick upside Whale Mutant’s head, and the impact whipped the whale backward.

 

Whale Mutant crashed against the rocks. Swordfish Mutant lifted Whale Mutant by the head and kept his hold tight while bashing an elbow and kick against the creature’s body. Whale Mutant struggled to break free from the villain’s hold. But Swordfish Mutant tightened his grasp and pommeled away with punches and kicks.

 

Whale Mutant finally gained enough footing to push the Swordfish Mutant back.

 

Swordfish Mutant leaned forward and fired spikes from his forehead. The spikes punctured through Whale Mutant’s hide with bursts of spark that forced him to the ground.

 

***

 

Hikaru climbed down to the shore and searched frantically for Whale Mutant, but he couldn’t find the creature. A part of him found it odd that he cared so much about the mutant. Then he remembered he had more in common with that mutant than with most of humanity. He and Whale Mutant were both escapees from the Gorgom. They were both twisted abominations. Pawns, in a sick and twisted game they were tired of playing.

 

Kujira Kaijin!” Hikaru shouted.

 

“Rider!” he heard a weak voice shout from the distance.

 

Hikaru ran towards the voice.

 

***

 

Shadow Moon stood patiently in his lair. He held his ruby-bladed sword at the ready. Black Sun would soon arrive. And this time, he would truly die.

 

Lightning suddenly flashed around Shadow Moon, teleporting him away.

 

The evil Rider appeared in midair within a dark cavern and fell to the ground below. Green-tinted mist covered the ground, too soft to be stone. He pulled himself to his feet and looked across the wide cave. He couldn’t see the walls hidden within the shadows, and stalagmites descended from the ceiling far above. 

 

“So…” a rumbling voice spoke with enough force to shake the cavern. “You’ve finally arrived.”

 

Sousei-Ou,” Shadow Moon said. “Where is this place?”

 

“My true palace,” the Creation King said. “The true lair of the Gorgom.”

 

“What?” Shadow Moon shook his head. “Why, Sousei-Ou…why are you pulling me from the battle? Are you trying to help Black Sun?”

 

“Don’t be foolish, Shadow Moon,” the Creation King said. “Look to the shadows.”

 

Shadow Moon looked above, and a blurred disc of energy formed to show Shadow Moon the fight between Swordfish Mutant and Whale Mutant.

 

***

 

Swordfish Mutant bashed a kick against Whale Mutant’s chest with a burst of spark. The swordfish grabbed hold of the whale, lifted the creature overhead, and crashed him against the ground

 

Kujira Kaijin!” Hikaru shouted as he ran onto the scene.

 

Hikaru leapt through the air and called upon the tainted power that ran through his veins. “Black Sun!”

 

He transformed into his armor and leapt towards the Swordfish Mutant with a flying punch.

 

But tendrils of lightning shot down from the skies, whipped around Black Sun, and teleported him away.

 

“Rider!” Whale Mutant called out.

 

***

 

Kamen Rider Black reappeared in midair and crashed onto the cave ground. He pulled himself to his feet and looked to see Shadow Moon standing nearby. He nearly spoke the name of his brother but buried that name deep inside. Instead, he called the villain by his true title.

 

“Shadow Moon…”

 

“Black Sun…we will settle our scores here.”

 

Shadow Moon looked to the images above, and Black Sun followed his brother’s glance.

 

The images showed Swordfish Mutant relentlessly pound against Whale Mutant with a flurry of punches and kicks. The blows forced Whale Mutant onto his back. But Swordfish Mutant lifted the creature up, only to bash him back down with a powerful hook punch.

 

Kujira Kaijin?”

 

“Watch what becomes of the traitor…”

 

***

 

Swordfish Mutant hurled a volley of scales that exploded against Whale Mutant with bursts of spark, ripping into his body.

 

Whale Mutant staggered backward, and Swordfish Mutant lunged forward with a kick that knocked Whale Mutant to the ground. Swordfish Mutant stomped repeatedly on the fallen creature’s chest.

 

Whale Mutant rolled aside and climbed to his feet, his strength fading, his bones and body broken. “Rider…protect the ocean…”

 

Swordfish Mutant lunged at Whale Mutant and slashed his claws, which tore through Whale Mutant with bursts of spark. The impact whipped Whale Mutant backward as secondary explosions sparked through his body.

 

Whale Mutant crashed backward, his energy overloading and exploding with a final burst of flame.

 

***

 

Kujira Kaijin!” Black Sun shouted.

 

“Are you feeling guilty, Black Sun?”

 

Kamen Rider Black rolled his hands into fists and glared at his former brother. “Damn you…Shadow Moon.”

 

Black Sun dashed forward to attack, and Shadow Moon returned the charge.

 

Kamen Rider Black swung a punch, and Shadow Moon swung his blade. Black Sun’s punch sparked against Shadow Moon’s armor, and the villain’s blade sparked across the Kamen Rider. The dual impacts knocked both opponents backward.

 

“Wait!” the Creation King’s voice shook the ground. “Both of you! First…before this fight…you will see me as a truly am.”

 

The cave trembled, and the two Riders looked into the shadows to see a man-sized heart descend from the ceiling. Black bone covered the heart, made of gray tissue that pulsed with crimson-tinted energy beneath the skin. Tendrils extended around the living organ as if gripping hold of its tissue.

 

Black Sun could barely believe his eyes. “This…this is the Creation King…”

 

“I grew beyond the need for a body. My reach is everywhere. I am every place I would ever wish to be. I am all. This form you see before you is an anchor. An anchor that is fading,” the Creation King said. “When this form dies, one of you will become my new anchor and possess all of my power: the power of the Creation King. The power to rule the world. And the entire universe.”

 

“The entire universe?” Shadow Moon asked.

 

“A battle has started that will allow the humans to control of the universe, if they so wish,” Sousei-Ou said. “The next Creation King will wrestle that power away from the humans and reshape the planet into one ruled by creatures. Humans will be annihilated.”

 

“No!” Black Sun shouted.

 

The Creation King’s laughter pulsed through the shadows. “Give it up, Black Sun. This is something that has already been decided upon. Listen carefully: this is your last chance. Abandon the humans and return to the Gorgom. Fight with Shadow Moon. And the winner will be the next Creation King.”

 

“I’ll never become you!”

 

“Then there is no other way,” the Creation King said. “Shadow Moon…my life has only few hours left. You must defeat Black Sun completely this time.”

 

Bolts of lightning surged from Creation King and washed across Shadow Moon, nearly knocking the villain from his feet. The lightning washed across the villain’s armor and seeped into his body.

 

“I will lend you my power.” Creation King fired another burst of lightning surged into Shadow Moon. “Squash Black Sun like a bug. Destroy him utterly. Tear the King Stone from his body.”

 

Creation King fired another lightning burst, and these strikes teleported Black Sun and Shadow Moon away.

 

***

 

Black Sun landed in a field of flowers in the mountains outside the Gorgom lair. He pushed himself to his feet and looked up to see Shadow Moon facing him from further down the field.

 

“Shadow Moon…” Black Sun said. Rage twisted in his gut and tightened his throat. His pulse thundered through his neck. “You’re not Saske. You’re not…you’re Gorgom. You destroyed everything I ever had.”

 

Shadow Moon leapt into the air and angled his descent towards Black Sun. The villain’s buckler fired bolts of jade-tinted energy that exploded around Black Sun with bursts of flame, kicking up dirt as Kamen Rider dove and rolled aside. 

 

The villain landed and stepped back into a fighting stance. “The power of Sousei-Ou is already flowing through my body. I can defeat you easily…and grasp the whole universe in my hands.”

 

Shadow Moon leapt upward again, and his buckler surged with bolts of pale-green energy that tore across the landscape, splintering through trees and ripping through dirt and rock. Wildfires erupted and rushed across the grass.

 

The villain landed, and Black Sun ran over to face his former brother.

 

Kamen Rider snapped into a fighting stance. “Stop it!”

 

Shadow Moon merely tilted his head back and laughed. 

 

“Shadow Moon…” Black Sun’s body trembled with rage. “You are nothing. You are nothing!”

 

Shadow Moon leapt through the air towards Black Sun, and Black Sun leapt through the air towards Shadow Moon. The villain slashed his sword, but Kamen Rider somersaulted over the blow.

 

The two Riders landed back-to-back and turned to face one another.

 

Black Sun immediately pounced through the air with a flying punch.

 

Shadow Moon swung his sword, which fired a blade of red energy that sparked against Black Sun and whipped him from the air.

 

Black Sun crashed against the ground and quickly rolled back to his feet. He rolled his hands into fists and charged at Shadow Moon. Shadow Moon…the one who took Saske. The one who must die.

 

Shadow Moon thrust his palm forward and fired a bolt of golden energy that sparked against Black Sun and whipped him onto the ground.

 

Kamen Rider Black rolled onto his feet and stepped back into a defensive stance, just as Shadow Moon leapt forward. The villain somersaulted through the air over Black Sun while slashing the Rider across the back with a burst of spark, knocking the Rider forward. Kamen Rider Black stumbled and collapsed to his knees, but quickly pulled himself up.

 

He turned to face Shadow Moon and stepped back into a defensive stance.

 

“What’s wrong, Black Sun?” Shadow Moon asked as he walked closer to the Rider. “Is this the limit of the power you possess?”

 

Shadow Moon lunged forward and chopped his blade towards Black Sun’s head. Black Sun gripped the villain’s arm and twisted down, but Shadow Moon bashed a knife-hand chop against the Rider’s neck. The blow knocked Black Sun off his feet.

 

Black Sun crashed against the ground and rolled forward before rising to his feet. The Rider clutched his wounded chest.

 

“It’s not over…I won’t lose…not to you…”

 

Black Sun leapt through the air with a flying punch aimed towards his former brother.

 

Shadow Moon thrust forward his sword, and the blade fired tendrils of orange energy that grasped onto Black Sun, strangling his body. The energy tendrils intensified and swung Kamen Rider Black onto the ground hard.

 

The tendrils released, and Black Sun staggered to his feet, smoke sizzling from his armor.

 

“Fool,” Shadow Moon said. “You don’t know when to give up. Very well…I will use an attack best suited for the likes of you…”

 

Shadow Moon placed his fists together above his belt buckler, and the buckler flashed with jade-tinted energy. “Shadow Flash! Battle Hopper!”

 

“What…?”

 

Kamen Rider Black heard an engine whine in the distance, and he looked to see Battle Hopper ride onto the scene. The motorcycle skid to a halt near Shadow Moon, and Shadow Moon mounted the vehicle.

 

Shadow Moon laughed, opened the cycle’s throttle, and sped towards the Rider.

 

Black Sun shook his head. “That’s not possible…Battle Hopper!”

 

Battle Hopper throttled against Black Sun, hurling the Rider backward. The motorcycle landed and swerved around to face the Kamen Rider.

 

Shadow Moon laughed and aimed his sword at the Rider. “Have you forgotten, Black Sun? Battle Hopper is a machine created by the Gorgom. Created for the next Creation King. It’s only natural I can control the mechanical beast.”

 

“Battle Hopper!” Black Sun shouted. “Break free! Obey me! Battle Hopper!”

 

“It’s no use.”

 

Shadow Moon hovered his hand above his belt buckler, and his King Stone pulsed with jade-tinted light, tightening his control over the motorcycle.

 

“I’m coming for you.”

 

The villain throttled forward, tires screeching, and bashed against Kamen Rider. The impact whipped Kamen Rider backward, and Shadow Moon swerved around to make another pass. Shadow Moon leaned forward and opened his throttle to full while aiming at Black Sun.

 

Kamen Rider staggered to his feet and stepped back into a weakened fighting stance. “Battle Hopper!” he called out. “Stop!”

 

Battle Hopper throttled past Kamen Rider while bashing him aside. The Rider crashed against the ground and tumbled backward.

 

Black Sun tried to push himself to his feet, but he couldn’t rise.

 

Shadow Moon skid the cycle to a halt and faced his former brother. “Battle Hopper is now mine…”

 

The villain throttled forward for another attack.

 

Kamen Rider pushed himself into a crouched fighting stance, despite the pain that shot through his every nerve. He couldn’t let himself fall. Not to Shadow Moon. And he couldn’t let Battle Hopper remain in the villain’s control. The motorcycle was the closest thing he had to a companion in his fight against the Gorgom.

 

“Give it up, Black Sun!” Shadow Moon shouted.

 

Kamen Rider Black placed his fists together above his belt buckler. “King Stone Flash!”

 

His buckler pulsed with crimson power that flashed across Shadow Moon and Battle Hopper. The light washed through the sentient motorcycle, nearly knocking the vehicle off balance. The blast was intense enough to force Battle Hopper from Shadow Moon’s control.

 

The motorcycle popped a wheelie that hurled Shadow Moon into the air. The villain crashed against the ground, and Battle Hopper sped towards his true master: Black Sun.

 

Shadow Moon lunged forward and slashed Battle Hopper across the side, ripping through armor with bursts of spark. The villain pulled his sword back for another strike, then stabbed the blade through Battle Hopper’s head with a massive burst of spark.

 

The motorcycle crashed to the ground and hobbled as if in pain, smoke sizzling from its wounds.

 

“Battle Hopper!” Black Sun shouted.

 

The motorcycle lunged to its wheels, throttled forward, and smashed against Shadow Moon with massive bursts of spark and flame, enough force to throw him upward.

 

Kamen Rider Black attacked while his former brother flailed through the air. 

 

Black Sun leapt through the air and slammed a flying punch against Shadow Moon’s chest. The impact whipped the villain’s body backward, and he dropped against the ground hard. Shadow Moon rolled aside and stumbled to his feet, just as Kamen Rider Black leapt through the air to attack again.

 

“Rider Kick!” Black Sun aimed a flying sidekick towards Shadow Moon’s chest.

 

The kick pulsed with crimson power and smashed against Shadow Moon’s chest with a burst of spark that hurled him backward. Shadow Moon slammed against the ground and tumbled across the dirt.  

 

“Lord Shadow Moon!” a voice called out. Black Sun looked to see Swordfish Mutant run towards his master.

 

Kamen Rider tightened his fists at the sight of the creature who had killed Whale Mutant.

                                                                        

“Rider Punch!” Black Sun leapt through the air with a flying punch that pulsed with crimson power.

 

The punch slammed against Swordfish Mutant with a burst of spark that hurled him backward. Swordfish Mutant crashed against the ground and tumbled across the dirt. He stumbled slowly to his feet, and Kamen Rider leapt through the air with another attack.

 

“Rider Kick!”

 

Black Sun’s flying sidekick energized and slammed against Swordfish Mutant with enough force to hurl him through the air. The creature’s energy overloaded and exploded with a burst of flame and smoke.

 

The smoke from the explosion cleared, and Shadow Moon was nowhere in sight. The villain had retreated. Black Sun cursed beneath his breath. Why…he thought to himself. Why can’t we just finish this...why can’t this be over…

 

Black Sun remembered Battle Hopper, and looked to where the cycle had fallen. The Kamen Rider ran towards the fallen vehicle, which smoked with damage.

 

“Battle Hopper!” Black Sun leaned towards the fallen vehicle.

 

Battle Hopper’s eyes flashed weakly, and the vehicle whined as if trying to speak.

 

“What are you trying to say?”

 

Th…thank you,” the machine spoke for the first time in a weakened, dying voice. “Thank you…Kamen Rider…”

 

Sorrow and rage clenched Kamen Rider Black’s throat. He had saved this machine from the Gorgom. He had given Battle Hopper a chance to be more than just a lab experiment turned evil. Black Sun had more in common with Battle Hopper than with humanity.

 

“Battle Hopper!” he shouted.

 

The vehicle’s eyes slowly dimmed, and the machine went still.

 

Black Sun tightened his fists. Battle Hopper…

 

The Rider slowly rose to his feet, and he looked to where Shadow Moon’s red-bladed sword had fallen. Kamen Rider Black slowly lifted the sword and stood over his fallen companion. He owed it to Battle Hopper to defeat the Gorgom.

 

“Watch me, Battle Hopper,” Black Sun said. “I will avenge you…”

 

***

 

Kamen Rider Black walked from the scene of the battle and entered the Gorgom lair. Mist covered the floor, and shadows concealed the ceiling and walls. Strands of white bio matter stretched from the shadows and formed web-shaped patterns, like arrangements of twisted coral.

 

Black Sun stood in the center of the room and held the red-bladed sword at his side. He said nothing, knowing Shadow Moon would sense his presence.

 

The villain stepped from the shadows and slowly walked closer to his former brother from behind.

 

Kamen Rider Black turned to face his opponent. Saske…no…Shadow Moon.”

 

“Black Sun…this is our final showdown. I will send you to Hell.”

 

The villain stepped forward, but cringed and grabbed his wounded chest while dropping to his knees.

 

“The victor has already emerged,” Black Sun said.

 

“Silence!” Shadow Moon shouted as he climbed to his feet. “I hate you, Black Sun. I will kill you…slowly…”

 

The villain shifted into a weak fighting stance, and his legs wobbled beneath his own weight.

 

“Stop,” Black Sun said. “This is over. Your body can’t take the strain. You’re beaten.”

 

Shadow Moon leapt through the air with a flying-double sidekick. “Shadow Kick!”

 

Black Sun leapt through the air and past Shadow Moon while slashing the villain across the gut. The sword sparked through the villain’s belt buckler, damaging the King Stone within. The Stone surged with jade-tinted power that sparkled like a severed power cord.

 

Shadow Moon crashed onto all fours, smoke sizzling from his damaged armor. He slowly pushed himself to his feet and turned to face his former brother.

 

Secondary explosions suddenly sparked through his gut, forcing him to his knees. He crashed onto all fours, his body failing. Another explosion sparked through his chest, nearly knocking him backward. He weakly lifted his head and looked towards his fallen brother.

 

“Black Sun…” he whispered in a tone the Rider had never heard from the villain. The tone was one of defeat. “That sword…the Satan Sword…I won’t be defeated without that blade in my hands…please…”

 

Black Sun slowly walked towards his fallen opponent and looked to the sword. Shadow Moon collapsed to the side, barely managing to keep one hand raised.

 

Kamen Rider Black kneeled at his former brother’s side and granted the villain his dying wish. Shadow Moon’s hand fell, but Black Sun caught the villain’s wrist and placed the hilt of the Satan Sword in Shadow Moon’s palm. The villain was too weak to grab the blade, so Black Sun wrapped the villain’s fist around its handle.

 

Shadow Moon suddenly tightened his grip, twisted the sword, and aimed the blade at Black Sun’s throat.

 

But he fell to his back, barely able to rise his head. “I can’t…I have no energy left,” he said weakly. “Black Sun…I am dying…but don’t think you’ve won. You will live out the rest of your life in misery. Believe me...because you have killed me…Saske…you will live forever in misery.”

 

The villain laughed, softly, until his body went limp.

 

The lair suddenly rumbled, and Black Sun rose to his feet, eyes darting back and forth across the lair.

 

“Black Sun…” the Creation King’s voice said from the shadows. “My life is coming to an end.”

 

An orange-tinted globe of energy suddenly shot into the room and hovered near Kamen Rider Black. The Creation King’s voice came from the floating orb.

 

“You did well, Black Sun,” the voice said. “Now hurry. Extract the King Stone from Shadow Moon’s body.”

 

“You…” Black Sun. “Because of you…so many have died…”

 

The orb floated madly across the room, then shot into the shadows and burst through the wall with a massive explosion. Kamen Rider Black ran after the orb and dove through the opening in the wall. He somersaulted through midair and landed in the chamber where he had met the Creation King.

 

Black Sun looked up, and he saw the mutated form of the Creation King ahead.

 

“Black Sun.” The heart pulsed with each word. “Black Sun…it’s not too late…”

 

“Shut up…shut up!”

 

The ground crumbled beneath the Creation King, revealing a deep hole that glowed with heat.

 

“This crevice leads to the center of the Earth,” Sousei-Ou said. “If you do not become the next Creation King…I will drop down this crevice and use the last of my energy to destroy this world.”

 

Black Sun shook his head. “That’s impossible…I won’t let you!”

 

Black Sun leapt through the air with a flying punch, but he slammed against an invisible energy barrier that sparked against his armor and whipped his body backward. Kamen Rider Black crashed against the ground but quickly rolled to his feet.

 

“There’s very little time…” the Creation King said. “Will you let the Earth be destroyed? Or will you submit to my will?”

 

Kamen Rider pounced forward with a flying sidekick, but the barrier slammed against his body and hurled him backward. Black Sun crashed against the ground and skid backward.

 

“Are you really that unwilling, Black Sun?”

 

Black Sun rolled his hands into fists. He had to break through that barrier. He needed a weapon. He thought of the red-bladed sword. If I’m truly a candidate for the next Creation King...that sword and I have a connection.

 

“Satan Sword!” Black Sun shouted.

 

The sword flew from the grasp of the fallen Shadow Moon and shot downward towards Black Sun. Kamen Rider Black gripped the blade and stepped back into a fighting stance.

 

“This is the end, Sousei-Ou!”

 

Black Sun hurled the blade forward like a spear. The blade punctured through the invisible energy barrier and plunged through the mutated heart with a burst of spark. The wound overloaded with bursts of energy and sprays of black ichor, as secondary explosions erupted through the creature.

 

“Black Sun!” the creature cried out with pain. “So long as there is evil in the heart of man...I will return! Remember that! Remember that, you-”

 

The Creation King exploded with a massive burst of flame and smoke that shook the cavern. The shockwave knocked the support from the Gorgom lair above, and the structure collapsed with massive bursts of flame that shook the countryside.

 

***

 

Rain poured near the ruins of the Gorgom headquarters.

 

Hikaru stood in the rain while holding the Satan Sword in one hand and his brother’s King Stone in the other hand. He looked out upon the ruins and narrowed his brow. The Gorgom had destroyed his life. They had destroyed his brother.

 

Saske…” he whispered. “Saske!”

 

Hikaru hurled the sword towards the ruins, to where his brother’s body rested beneath the rubble.

 

He rolled his hands into fists.

 

Hikaru could never go back to Kyoko. He knew that. His work was not complete. The Gorgom leadership was dead, but its minions still lived. They would scatter, but Hikaru would hunt them down. Even then, even after every last one of them was gone, he could not return to his former life. That life was gone. Hikaru was gone. All that remained was his pain. And resolve.

 

He knew. His story would never end. Not really. His conflict would never resolve, wrapped neatly in a bow. His story would go on, in torment.

 

He was the Black Sun. And the Black Sun never set.

 

END