The next morning, Rainbowshine looked over pictures on a desk. Many of them were of the same dank, dark cave, but she then came to several of the cement hallway, a symbol of a globe surrounded by the alphabet and adorned with wings on several walls. The next picture was of several ponies in white suits dealing with Gaia Memories.
“Definitely a Gaia Memory factory...” the mare replied with an annoyed sigh. “And Shou decided to just rush in and get the evidence alone...”
The Pegasus detective was currently laying asleep on a couch, his fedora over his eyes. A pot of gingerroot tea was currently being made nearby.
“And he didn't tell the chief!” Akiko replied dramatically, producing a slipper and going to hit a sleeping Shou with it...until Rainbowshine pulled her back by her tail.
“Blech! Seriously, change your shampoo!” Rainbowshine gagged. “He told me he used Trigger to change his Cutie Mark; let him sleep.”
The younger mare blinked, cocking her head. “Why?”
“For the same reason using Metal to swap out his Cutie Mark typically leaves him physically drained,” Philip started, standing nearby with his book floating in front of his muzzle. “When using Trigger, his natural ability to analyze his surroundings for clues is increased, as is his focus and mental clarity. However, the cost of this is that it puts his body under a large amount of mental strain trying to keep up. As such, he normally is left mentally fatigued after changing back.”
“And he has a headache like a salt hangover,” Rainbowshine remarked with a bit of pity.
Akiko blinked in confusion. “A what?”
“Uh...basically, he has a nasty headache for a few hours,” Rainbowshine replied. 'You really are a schoolyard filly, aren't you?' she thought with a sigh. “Anyway, yeah, with this evidence I can bust that factory...but there's another problem.”
Akiko blinked. “What?”
“I've got to call my boss and get the Guard sent in,” the mare explained in annoyance. “I've got a lot of pull, but I'll need reinforcements to bust a factory, and we can't afford to lose our chance.”
The wisteria mare gave an annoyed sigh. “Because if Memory Factories were easy to find, we'd have wrecked them all by now. We're lucky to find one period. The only one that was destroyed before now was...a year ago.”
Philip nodded, tapping a hoof to his chin. “While destroying one factory will not disable their ability to manufacture Gaia Memories tremendously, many factories are tasked with developing individual Gaia Memories for mass production. Destroying one might delay production on the ones in development at this particular one.”
“Not to mention that if we capture anything of value we might get some intel,” Rainbowshine replied. “But the problem? Until we take out this factory, Gina's still going to be in harms way. So Shou will still need to play guard duty...and I'm going to have to fill out so much paper work...” the mare gave an annoyed sigh. “So yeah, in the long run this is great, but short term? It still a headache...”
Akiko sighed. “Oh...That's sad.”
Akiko gave a frightened eep and jumped up to the ceiling in surprise as Sprinkle Medley was now standing directly behind where she'd been standing. “Medley?!”
“Huh?! What?!” asked Shou, the pegasus stallion jumping up in surprise and looking around, fedora being launched up and somehow landing perfectly back on his head.
“Hey Akiko! Long time no see! Sorry, been working really hard at the weather factory!” the mare exclaimed with her typical energy. She then looked to Rainbowshine. “Oh! Hi Rainbowshine! Hi Shou! Hi Philip!”
Rainbowshine didn't seem phased, just giving a small grin. “Hey Medley,” she said, giving a small wave.
Akiko flapped her wings, lightly landing back on the cloud floor, looking at the still closed door. “How...the door...what...how did you...”
“I have a key!” Medley said happily.
“You startled me!” Akiko protested.
“I know it's fun!” the hyper pegasus replied with a smile.
Shou rubbed a hoof into his forehead. “Medley is useful in cases involve weather.”
The cheerful pony gave a nod. “Yep! It's my thing!”
The pegasus detective trotted over and got a cup of gingerroot tea, rubbing his head. “Ugh...So Medley, what do you need?” he asked, taking a sip.
“Oh! Well my boss at the weather factory sent me to ask if you can investigate a robbery! He thinks a Dopant was involved!”
The Pegasus detective promptly spat his tea out. “WHAT?!” Medley had only lost a little of her cheerful tone, though that was enough to tell Shou she was serious.
And the sound of somepony clearing his throat was enough to tell him his tea hadn't just landed in some random direction. “Sorry, Rainbowshine...” he said, turning to look at the now surprisingly wet wisteria pegasus.
Rainbowshine gave a glare then promptly shook her wet fur off, getting the detective wet in return. “It's fine.”
“Ugh...” muttered Shou, brushing himself off. 'Why is it when you spit something out in surprise there's always at least twice as much in your mouth as you remember swallowing?' he questioned mentally. “...You were saying Medley?”
“Well something stole a LOT and I mean a LOT of storm clouds from the factory!”
Shou took another drink, this time making sure he actually swallowed before continuing. “I see...” he said, trying to retain his composure. “So, what makes your boss think a Dopant is involved in this crime?”
“Oh, because something punched a hole straight through the door...or something...” said Medley, scratching her head. “I wasn't there. Anyway, all I know is ponies can't do that!”
Shou rubbed his chin. “Anything else?”
“Well there was ice on the floor!”
“Ice...” the detective replied, rubbing his chin. “...Hail is an Ice based Dopant...but why would he...”
Suddenly, an alarm went off, Philip producing his Stag Phone. “It's almost time for Councilmare Gina's appearance at an upperclass party, Shou.”
Shou jumped a bit. “Oh! Right...darn it...” he quickly swallowed his tea and headed for the Hardboilder.
“I'm coming!” Akiko yelled, chasing after.
Rainbowshine facehoofed. “I'll come along this time...having a little back up never hurt. And somepony has to keep the schoolyard filly from getting hur-ow!”
Akiko glared at her, slipper in her mouth. “I'm not a schoolyard filly!”
“And yet you stopped chasing Shou to hit me on the head with your slipper,” the wisteria mare pointed out flatly.
The young pegasus stared for a few moments. “Ah! Shou come back here! I'm the chief!”
Rainbowshine slammed her hoof into her forehead once again. “...I wonder if facehoofing this much will make my forehead hard enough to count as body armor...”
Chain Link looked at several Gaia Memories held in a tray by scientist's telekinesis. Next to him stood a white unicorn stallion with a long blond mane and tail, two bangs of which hanged down the sides of his face. While he was presently wearing a white lab coat, his Cutie Mark (a plus, minus, and equals symbol, all composed of ice) was plainly visible. “Looks like research is going smoothly...” the pegasus remarked.
“Hmm, yes,” the unicorn replied, icy blue telekinesis levitating the Memories for a closer look. “Still, as far as Gaia Memory factories go, this one's production is sorely lacking.”
Chain Link grumbled. “Yeah, Cold Facts.”
The unicorn tapped his chin with a hoof, bright green eyes looking the factory over. The room they were presently in was a dimly lit chamber, the sound of machinery echoing through the area. The staff seemed rather tense, catching quick glances at their superiors nearby. “I would wager it is the shadow of discovery hanging over this place, yes? The risk of impending shutdown?”
The scientist holding the memories for examination jumped slightly. “Y-Yes sir...”
“Thought so. Well in that case, I think I am going to go investigate another factory worth my time,” Cold Facts replied, looking more bored than serious as he started to trot off. “A lack of progress bores me. Nothing new to really experiment with.”
Chain Link rolled his eyes. “It's always with the experiments with you...” he said, turning and heading after him, their hooves clopping against the hard concrete echoing through the hallways.
“I am a scientist. Experiments are what I do, yes,” the unicorn replied with a rather proud grin. “Though I do admit, my superior enjoys his far more than I do mine.”
“Ugh, don't remind me of that freak,” Chain Link replied, looking unnerved. “Even by this business' standards that guy's a psycho.”
“Oh come now, afraid of somepony who takes his Gaia Memory research that seriously?” asked Cold Facts, giving a chuckle. “Then again, I will admit, he crosses lines I will not. But the data he's gathered on Dopant physiology alone is invaluable to production over all. I believe it is worth putting up with his eccentricities, yes?”
“Doesn't change the fact the guy is a wackjob...” the pegasus replied, giving a disturbed look. He then checked a clock on a wall as they passed. “I'd best get going. Rex needs a babysitter.”
“Oh yes, I seem to recall he is not the brightest tool in the shed. He's a competent assassin, but his combat skills are lacking. And given how long he's had that Memory, I'm curious how his sanity has been effected, a bit unsafe for one so...weak of mind...though I wonder, is he truly the one in need of an overseer...”
Chain Link narrowed his eyes. “And what do you mean by that?”
“Simple. While the boss obviously believes you have much potential, I remain unconvinced you are truly worthy of that valuable Gaia Memory,” Cold Facts replied, trotting off towards a research area.
The stallion growled. “I'm your superior, scientist, you'd best show me respect.”
“Superior in rank, not in seniority. And certainly not in usefulness,” was the simple reply. “Kirihiko Sudo has more of my respect than you because he survived Mrs. Saeko. I recommend you remember this organization is founded on 'survival of the fittest.' If you desire respect, prove yourself worthy of it before demanding it. Now I have important research to return to. Good day.”
Chain Link slammed a hoof into the wall in rage...then his hoof began to tremble slightly. “...Survival of the fittest...he's right, I'm not going to last five seconds if I don't make myself useful. And stay useful.”
“Wow...” Akiko muttered, looking over the airship ballroom they were presently in. Upper class ponies trotting around it. A massive dinner set out nearby with foods she'd never heard of before, and the smell was making her mouth water. A huge, golden chandelier hung from a metal chain high above. “I've never seen so many fancy ponies before...”
Shou gave a chuckle. “Thus are the perks of being a detective. Just remember, we're here on guard duty, schoolyard filly-ow!”
“Stop calling me that!”
“I've still got a headache you know...” Shou muttered, rubbing his head. He then turned back to his charge and her daughter currently standing in front of a large, reinforced glass pane set in the floor, allowing them to see the land far below in a manner quite similar to a glass bottom boat.
“That's Hurricane Tower down there, Hope,” Gina explained, pointing to the child next to her that seemed to have her full attention. Shou trotted closer so he could actually see through the pane. From here what appeared to be the ruins of the observatory atop the tower were visible, what was left of them anyway.
'Her eyes aren't on the ponies in the room, just no her daughter...good,' Shou thought with a smile.
Hope looked closely. “...And that's what we want to fix up, right mama?” she asked, pointing a talon at the Tower.
“Yes, Hope...it is...”
“...Think we can do it?” the child asked, seeming for a moment to be nervous, or sad. Shou couldn't really tell which.
“I know we can...that's what you want to do right?”
The child nodded. “...Daddy wanted it...”
“Hey...” Shou said, kneeling down to get on eye level with the little child and giving a wave of his hoof.
“Hi, Mr. Ka-”
Shou put a hoof to his lips and shushed gently. “Ah! Careful. This is my secret identity, I can trust a good girl like you to keep that, right?” he whispered.
Hope nodded, doing a little beak zipping motion. “Okay, Mr. Shou...Thank you for saving mama from that mean monster.”
The detective gave a smooth smile and tipped his hat. “You're welcome...” he then looked down to Hurricane Tower. “So...your daddy wanted to fix that place up, huh?”
Gina's eyes widened. “Shou...” she said somewhat warily, eying the detective like any protective mother worth her salt.
Hope's smile disappeared and she looked down sadly. “Y-Yeah...D-Daddy said it was really important...that it was like me...”
Shou raised an eyebrow. “Like you?”
Hope nodded. “He said it was a repra-reprasan...”
“Yeah! A rep-prestation of all three pony tribes being friends. He said the pegasi made it, but the unicorns liked to watch the stars from the top and the Earth Ponies made bread there.”
Shou looked back to the observatory at the top of Hurricane Tower. “Yeah, I think I heard something about that...The blades turning ground up the grain...”
The tiny hippogriff nodded. “Yeah! And daddy said I was like it because... because I was a rep-presenation of ponies and griffins getting along...” the little filly-chick looked back at her pony hindquarters. “Cause I'm half-and-half...”
“Kinda like me when I'm...” Shou looked around for dramatic effect. “Well, you know.”
The child nodded, getting a little more cheerful. “Yeah! Except you get to split down the middle, I just have a pony's butt...” she said in that cute, but blunt fashion only a child would say that sentence in.
Shou gave a chuckle. “Would you rather the two of us flipped which way we're divided up?”
Hope gave some thought then made a 'yuck' face. “No!” she exclaimed, sticking her tongue out at whatever mental imagine a small filly-chick's mind could cook up for that idea. Her energy then faded, looking down at Hurricane Tower with sorrow in those little eyes.
The left half of Double frowned. “You miss him, don't you?”
Gina put a wing on her daughter's back as the child nodded. “Y-Yeah...” Tears started in her eyes. Gina gave a harsher glare to the detective.
“...I'm not going to say you shouldn't miss him, you should...” Shou explained with a sad sigh.
“B-But it's okay, right? He's...he's in a good place...” Hope tried to reply, but that did little to stop her tears.
“...Yeah...but that doesn't mean you shouldn't miss him...” the black pegasus replied. “But I know one other thing, Hope.”
The little hybrid sniffled, looking up with hurt eyes. “What?”
“...I know he's proud of you for wanting his dream to get done,” Shou explained carefully, making a mental note not to tick Gina off much further, considering the intense glare the pegasi was receiving. “And wanting to help your mama. You're a very brave girl.”
Hope blushed a little. “T-Thank you...you're a superhero though, you're a lot braver than me...”
“...You're afraid of that mean monster's shots, aren't you? Is that why you think that?”
The hippogriff chick nodded, giving a gulp. “Y-Yeah...I...when daddy...when he...”
“...But you still go with your mama despite that,” Shou pointed out, raising one hoof and giving a smirk. “And that's brave.”
Gina gave a smile, lowering her head to be on eye level with her child and lightly wiping away her child's tears with a handkerchief. “He's right, Hope...you're very brave...Thank you...”
“Uh...t-thanks...” the tiny hippogriff replied, finally giving a sincere smile. “And I just want to help you, mama...”
“Now there's the smile I've wanted to see,” the left half of Double said, patting the girl lightly on the head. “And you want to know another thing?”
“What is it Mr. Shou?”
“I'm gonna kick that nasty monster's flank if he tries to hurt either of you again, count on that,” Shou explained, giving a confident look.
“Really?” Hope asked, finally giving genuine excitement, mixed with a reasonable amount of fear.
“Yeah. He made you and your mother cry,” the detective said, giving a serious look. “And no one gets away with making this city or anypony, griffin, or hippogriff in it cry on my watch.”
“...Thank you...” the foal said, giving a smile.
Shou tipped his hat. “Glad to be of service...”
Akiko watched this with Rainbowshine. “Shou is good at talking to ponies, isn't he?”
Rainbowshine gave a small chuckle. “Shou might be halfboiled, but when he says he doesn't want to see the city cry, he means it...He really does try to help everypony he can.”
The young mare nodded, though then got bumped into by one of the nobles passing by. “Hey! Watch where you're going!” she grumbled and got herself to her hooves...and noticed something through the window. Getting up, she trotted over to it, seeing a large number of black clouds beginning to roll in. “That is odd...I don't think there is supposed to be a storm today...”
Rainbowshine's eyes widened. “...That's because there's not! Shou!”
Shou jumped up, looking in the direction Rainbowshine was pointing. “Storm clouds?” he trotted over and looked through the windows. He noticed the clouds weren't moving like the wind was blowing them. “They're moving kind of odd...but no pegasi or griffons moving them...” the pegasus eyes went wide. “Get down!”
He turned and tackled Gina to the ground, Rainbowshine doing the same to Akiko, several shots of ice firing out of the clouds and piercing the window, throwing the room into panicked screams.
Watching from the crowd, Chain Link smirked. “Credit where it's due, not a bad plan, Rex...” he whispered and slipped away. “Let's hope it works, for both our sakes.”
“Everypony! Get below deck!” screamed Rainbowshine. The nobles didn't need told twice.
“Well now we know what he stole all those clouds for...” Shou muttered. “Come on, Gina! Let's get you and Hope to safety,” he stated, then smiled to the child. The poor thing was trembling from the sound of the shots. “Then I'll go give this guy a tailkicking! That sound good?”
The small hybrid looked up at the left half of Double...and slowly nodded, returning the smile.
Grabbing Gina, who grabbed her child, Shou prepared to pull both into cover...when glass shattered behind him.
Instinctively covering Gina, he heard Hope scream.
“HOPE!” Gina yelled, the two turning to see the Hail Dopant snatching the child by the hind leg, the Dopant quickly retreating back on a long path of ice back to the now dangerously close storm clouds.
“Meet me on the roof griffon lady if you want little pony back!” called the Dopant with a now somewhat unhinged laugh, disappearing into the storm holding the child captive.
The Council'mare' snarled in fury and attempted to fly straight after, only to be held back by Shou. “LET ME GO! I'VE GOT TO GET HOPE!”
“Hang on a minute! It's a trap you know!” Shou replied.
Gina slammed the back of her head into Shou's face, knocking him down. “I ALREADY LOST SKYQUAKE! I'M NOT LOSING HER TOO!” she roared and flew after the Dopant.
Rainbowshine growled. “What's that griffon thinking?!”
Shou got back to his hooves, touching one to his face where he'd got hit. “She's a grieving widow, she doesn't want to lose what she's got left...”
He quickly ran after her and leapt out the window, flying up and putting on the Double Driver mid jump.
“Come on!” Rainbowshine called to the Guards in the room, charging afterward and taking off with them in toe.
“Hey! Wait for the chief!” called Akiko, joining in.
Philip set looking through his book. “Why is it Hope's situation makes me feel strange?” he asked, looking at his slightly trembling hoof. “This is most unusual...” he said, shuddering again and the trembling becoming worse. “Could it be...my-”
He looked down the Double Driver forming around the unicorn's waist.
'Philip! Let's go! Hail's got Hope and Gina's shot off after him!'
“A-Alright...” the unicorn muttered, shaking.
'Something wrong, partner?'
“N-No...was just thinking...Let's go...”
He produced the Cyclone Memory.
Shou pushed the Cyclone Memory in and inserted the Trigger Memory himself.
Double's armor formed in a swirl of wind around him. He seemed to gain much more speed and agility in the air than he previously had, wings having a lot more ease keeping him in the air..
“These are storm clouds,” Philip's voice stated.
“Yeah, the same ones that were stolen from the Weather Factory!” Shou's voice replied. “Hail was planning this...be on guard! No telling what's coming!”
Hail stood on the deck of the airship, Hope struggling to escape his claws as any frightened child would do.
“Hehe, struggle all you like, little freak,” Hail stated, voice unhinged. “Won't change a thing.”
“Let me go!” the child screamed, trying to kick him as best she could.
“When mama griffon come for you,” he muttered. “Then again, hail falls on everyone. Might include you too. Just like when I killed daddy pegasus.”
The child's eyes went wide. “You...you took daddy...” Tears welled up in the child's eyes.
“That was me,” the assassin chuckled, his insane laugh seeming to be to the beat of hail hitting a roof. He then fired hail into the nearby roof, causing her to jump in fear. “Remember the sound?”
“...So it really was you...”
“Mama!” called Hope, whimpering, tears of fear streaming down her face.
Gina was glaring daggers at the Dopant. “You...you killed Skyquake...you took my husband from me!”
The Dopant gave a deranged laugh. “At the time, killing pony was just business...but now...” He fired a hail shot into the deck between Gina's front legs, causing Hope to scream in horror and began to cry harder. “I'm kind of enjoying myself!”
Gina snarled in fury, claws digging into the haul. “Skyquake...” she growled, glaring daggers. “...How could you?!”
“Why does anybody do anything?” the canine Dopant questioned with a chuckle. “Gems and bits! Now hold still, stupid griffon!” he said, holding his hand forwards in preparation to fire, keeping the other holding Hope in place...only for a high pressure air shot to slam into his hand and throw his aim off.
“Ah ah, don't you know better than to talk like that to a lady?”
“What?!” the Dopant asked, turning to see Double standing on the roof of the airship, Trigger Magnum in hoof and aimed right at him.
“Kamen Rider!” called Hope, managing a smile despite the terror she was clearly in.
Double slowly approached, keeping his weapon aimed right on him. “Especially a lady you hurt.”
“Careful, Shou. It appears Hail's Memory corruption has reached an advanced stage,” Philip's voice warned.
“Yeah, I noticed. And this guy was already dangerous,” was Shou's response.
The icy Dopant laughed, holding Hope right in front of himself. “What half-and-half freak going to do? Shoot me through little girl?”
The two-in-one detective didn't say a world, merely removing the Cyclone Memory and producing the Luna Memory.
Double opened his driver without letting Hail out of his sight.
As the green Cyclone half was replaced by the yellow Luna half, Double straightened his aim.
Gina gasped. “Shou!”
Hail took a step back, putting his hand to Hope's head. “You wouldn't! Half-and-half freak good guy!”
“Trust me...both of you...” Double said in a hushed tone. “You believe in me, don't you?”
Hope watched, tears and fear still in her eyes as Double held a gun in her direction.
“I'm gonna kick that nasty monster's flank if he tries to hurt either of you again, count on that.”
The little filly-chick nodded.
Gina saw her daughter's nod...and hesitantly gave one of her own.
With that, a blast of yellow energy with a small trail behind it erupted from the gun, flying straight at the Dopant, and the hostage in his grasp.
“What?! He actually fired?!” asked Hail in disbelief...right before giving a surprised yelp when the shot curved sideways before it could hit the small child, slamming into the side of his head in a shower of sparks.
The monster fell to the roof, giving a canine whimper and holding his smoking head. “How?!”
Hope gave a scream as she was thrown from the monster's grip and into the air, only for Gina to do a wing assisted dive and catch her daughter.
“Are you okay, Hope?” the Griffon asked, hugging the child close.
“...I'm fine mama...are you?”
Gina smiled, giving child a nuzzle. “Yes...thanks to the Kamen Rider...”
Double gave a small chuckle in Shou's voice. “And that's what the job is about, right partner?”
No response came.
“Huh?” Double's right half jolted, nearly knocking him down. “Oh...sorry, I was distracted for a moment.”
The armored warrior noticed Hail getting back to his feet as Gina and Hope got to cover beneath the ship's bridge. “Hey! You!”
The Dopant snarled in fury. “What?! Half-and-half freak?!” The next moment, Hail suddenly felt like he was being glared at, even though his enemy's face was presently a visor.
“Now, count up your sins!” called both voices, the rider pointing a hoof at the monster with a flourish.
Hail roared in fury, opening fire with an onslaught of icy bullets. Double retaliated with an onslaught of yellow energy shots, countering his, then firing several shots in different directions, all of which curved to hit home on the Dopant at once, knocking him backwards across the airship deck in a shower of sparks.
“You know, I'm a forgiving pony,” said Shou's voice, a dead seriousness about it. “But excuse me if it takes me awhile to forgive you for the horseapples you've pulled.”
The monster gave a furious snarl, firing several more times, only for Double to do a wing assisted spin jump to dodge, firing when he came back around, the curving shots slamming into Hail's chest and staggering him.
The Kamen Rider then did several more curving shots, doing a roll to dodge still more in retaliation as his own hit home. Double spun around, doing a spread shot with all the blasts converging on the Dopant and sending him crashing to the wood.
“Stupid half-and-half freak!” screamed the Dopant, sending a freezing blast of cold air at the Rider to force him to dodge, then leaping back into the clouds.
The two-in-one detective noticed the storm clouds lowering themselves down to below the balloon supporting the airship. “Uh oh...”
“Oh boy...” muttered Rainbowshine as she and Akiko landed on the roof with the Guards, looking up at the low hanging storm clouds.
Suddenly, hail bullets slammed into the armored warrior from behind, knocking him to the roof. He turned and aimed, only for the ice shots to come from another direction, forcing him to roll out of the way. “So that's why he stole these clouds!” Shou's voice exclaimed, the Double Rider having to dodge more icy projectiles but taking a few more to the chest, knocking him to the ground in a shower of sparks.
“It appears in a storm cloud such as this his movement speed increases, we are at a disadvantage,” Philip pointed out.
As ice bullets continued to rain down, Akiko and the guards took cover, the Guards using their armor to keep Gina and Hope protected.
“Do we always get shot at this often?!” asked Akiko in annoyance.
“Tell me about it!” exclaimed Shou, doing a roll to evade still more shots. “We need HardTurbuler!”
“I agree...Where's the Stag Phone?” Philip's voice asked.
Double's left hoof raised. “Uh...” he then had to duck another bullet. “...Still patrolling Gina's house...”
Rainbowshine slammed a hoof into her forehead. “Shou, you can be such an idiot sometimes!”
“Hey! Cut me some slack, I had to rest from using Trigger!” yelled Shou's voice, right as several shots from Hail floored him again. “Dang it!”
“Wait...” Akiko asked, cocking her head. “He needs the phone to call his bike?!”
“Yeah, it's not like he has a transmitter embedded in his brain or something,” Rainbowshine muttered in annoyance.
“Ah!” the young mare exclaimed, going into her saddlebags and presenting her Stag Phone in her mouth triumphantly. “I've got mine!...How do I call it?”
Rainbowshine stared for a few moments in shock. “...Credit where it's due, that was smart, type in this code...”
“What?” Double asked, looking over...and getting himself shot a few times with hail. “Stop shooting me while I'm thinking!” he yelled, holding a hoof to his smoking chest in pain.
Suddenly, the black and red HardTurbuler rose out of the clouds nearby.
“Yes! I did it!” exclaimed Akiko proudly, fluttering a few feet into the air in excitement. It then began emitting a busy signal. “Ah! I still don't know how to hang it up!”
“Good work, Schoolyard Fi-OW!” yelled the two-in-one rider as a slipper was thrown with pinpoint accuracy and hit him square in the face, followed by a barrage of ice bullets slamming into his back.
“I'm not a schoolyard filly!”
“Ugh...let's just finish this guy!” Shou's voice muttered, the Rider dodging another barrage of shots and leaping onto the HardTurbuler. The craft took off into the air, heading above the clouds. “You know, I hope one day we get to use HardSplasher, but not many situations were it'd come in handy come up in Cloudsdale...”
Hail emerged from the clouds, opening fire on the Rider. Double turned sharply to the right, dodging the bullets and opening fire with the built in guns of the Ride Machine, but Hail dove back into the clouds and reappeared quickly in another spot, sending more shots. The two then swung around each other, Hail through the clouds and Double on the HardTurbuler, dodging the others' shots and returning their own. However, the moment Double tried to raise the Trigger Magnum to fire a tracking shot, Hail dove back into the clouds.
“Darn it!” yelled Shou's voice, swerving hard to the right to evade more shots, this time behind him. “We still need to get a bead on him when we're actually firing. We can't get a target!”
“We need to catch him off guard...” Philip's voice replied. “Or anticipate where he's going to show up next.”
“Until then we're a boat with a shark circling us....Wait! That's it! Time to switch up who's the shark!”
A few moments later, Hail burst out of the clouds, ready to fire...then stopped when he noticed the two-in-one Kamen Rider was nowhere to be seen. “Huh? Where did the half-and-half freak go?!”
The monster spun around just in time for the HardTurbuler to burst out of the clouds behind him, Double with the Trigger Magnum in hoof atop it. An onslaught of yellow energy bullets erupted from the weapon, arching through the air and slamming into Dopant, getting a series of sharp yelps.
Before the Dopant could recover, Double's right hoof fired off the HardTurbuler's guns, blasting the monster repeatedly and driving him back through the clouds.
Zipping down under the clouds, Double and the HardTurbuler slammed into the kaijin from below, carrying him up into the air and causing him to fall off of the front of the Ride Machine.
“Consider this your payment for killing Skyquake,” Shou's voice said with venom in his tone. The Rider jumped off of the Turbuler and did a dive at the monster, firing a barrage of tracking shots that all hit home on the creature at once. As the smoke and sparks cleared, Double flipped forwards and drove a powerful buck straight into Hail's chest. The Rider's momentum drove both straight through the clouds and slammed Hail hard into the deck of the airship, breaking some boards.
“We missed everything...” Akiko muttered with a pout.
Rainbowshine gave a sigh and put a hoof on her shoulder. “Nice job with the Stag Phone, rookie.”
“Thanks!” the young mare replied with a wide smile. “Now if only I knew how to hang this up right...” she admitted, the Stag Phone still making a busy signal.
“Let's wrap this up,” Shou's voice said as the Dopant began to get back to it's feet, grabbing the Trigger Memory.
As he prepared to insert it, the deck suddenly quaked and splintered up. “What?!”
A piston fist erupted through the deck, slamming into Double and sending him flying back. The Industry Dopant soon followed in an explosion of splinters and saw dust.