Dragon Knights Fan Fiction ❯ Dragon Knights Sentai ❯ Crossover ( Chapter 7 )
Welcome back to chapter 7 - the Crossover. Glad you made it safely. We're now past the halfway mark...
There are no warnings for this chapter and hopefully it won't seem too far-fetched.
Go on, start reading.
Small children ran along excitedly, convinced that the circus had come to town. When they discovered that the motley train of trucks and caravans was actually a film crew, they squealed even louder. Now they could be discovered and be famous and brag to all their friends. Alfeegi scowled at them from the passenger seat of the catering truck, where he'd fled after Lykouleon arrived. The crew were going to shoot several scenes where the Dragon Knights fought a legendary demon of the mountain, but there was one problem.
"We can't use it," Tetheus had stated, shaking his head at the sequined chicken suit that Ruwalk had displayed. "A chicken isn't cool enough to be the demon of the mountain."
"Demon of the chicken coup, maybe," had added Alfeegi, picking at the shiny discs, which were being shed onto the floor. "Whose idea was it?"
"My bad," Lykouleon had admitted, clambering into the trailer as it started to pull out. "Oops." He had wobbled his way to a seat and flopped down before addressing Alfeegi. "I hear that you're quite the internet star. My son's installed Dancing Alfeegi wallpaper on every computer in the house."
That was when Alfeegi moved to the front of the truck. As he brushed past Tetheus, the director turned in his seat and shouted down the aisle to Ruwalk. "Why'd you listen to him?"
He shrugged and called back, "Habit, I guess. I've known him so long that I didn't consider not doing as he suggested."
"After the gold lame period costumes, didn't you think that you should start to question his taste?" whispered Cernozura in his ear.
He leaned over and softly replied, "After that debacle, I was offered a job in a couture design house. It didn't end badly for me." He poked Cernozura in the side. "Lykouleon's a good sort. He's done what was expected of him all his life: studied at the college his parents chose; married a woman that he didn't love; now he's realising that he has a choice and it's gone a little to his head."
"A little?" she replied archly. The coach shook going over a stone and she bumped into him. "Sorry."
"It's okay." He smiled. "Our illustrious producer might have gone heavily off the rails, but he's done a lot for me and I owe him. Besides, the worst he does is be infuriating. I've worked with Nadil and he actively enjoys making life harder for people." A huge yawn burst out of Ruwalk then, taking him by surprise. "Excuse me."
"If you're tired, why don't you have a nap on my lap?" she offered. "There's a long journey ahead of us and although we had to get up early, it doesn't mean that we can't make up for lost sleep while we have the chance."
He grinned and stretched out on the long seat, turning until he found a comfortable position to doze in. Cernozura stroked his hair, until the heat and gentle rumbling of the truck started to make her drowsy too.
"Where's Kai-Stern? Has anybody seen him?" yelped Lykouleon, looking around properly and disturbing the two down the back. "Alfeegi," he said, stomping up to the production manager, "have we left Kai-Stern behind?"
"No," replied Alfeegi, glaring out the window. "He's at the site."
"Why'd he make his way out there on his own?"
"Because I just got the filming permit before Nadil applied for one and I don't want him stealing our sites, that's why." He smiled a grin smile and huddled into his coat. "Kai-Stern owes me and that's why he's the one who has to stake out the ground in the cold morning breeze, in a bikini, playing a banjo."
Lykouleon nodded and smiled and backed away. "That gives me an idea," he said, settling in beside Tetheus and the chicken. "Doesn't Nadil's show have a cool-looking lion as one of its main characters?"
"Yes," admitted Alfeegi, listening in despite himself. "Why?"
"I think that I may have a solution to our problem."
Lykouleon finalised the details with Nadil on his mobile phone, just as the convey pulled into a sleepy mountain town. Ruwalk woke up as the truck rolled over a speed bump in the parking lot of a hotel. "Hmmp?" he murmured, rising from Cernozura's lap.
"We're here," she said with a start, gathering her things before leaving the truck and joining the rest of the group in the middle of the parking lot.
"Right, Nadil's shooting a little ways away from here," Lykouleon said, once the troops had gathered. "He has three of these youkai sentai, one of which is a lion with a really good costume. That lion is our demon of the mountain."
Lykouleon took a deep breath. "Nadil and myself have agreed to shoot a cross-over!"
Cernozura threw a book up in the air. It landed behind her with a thump. "Why do I even bother writing a script?" she asked, rhetorically.
Ruwalk grabbed her hand and squeezed it with a comradely grin, while Tetheus gave her a tight nod.
"Look," said Lykouleon. "Give everyone a camera and tell them to keep shooting. I want footage of his actors that we can use if we need to, um, edit the story slightly from what we agreed. They're offering us full use of the lion and his unsuited self, which should fit in with what we've planned."
"Why would Nadil do that?" asked Tetheus, his eyes narrowed and a finger stroking the tip of his nose.
"The cross-over benefits both shows. It'll boost ratings. His show lacks exposure and ours will gain credibility for helping him out. As well as that, lots of niche fans, with big wallets and little sense have latched onto his little copy. We should show them why the original is the best."
"And?" added Tetheus, his finger paused.
"And I've traded Rath to him for his lion," admitted the producer. "No big deal. He can handle the extra work involved."
The group headed into town, Alfeegi stayed a few paces behind walking alongside Tetheus. "There's a man who was definitely an only child." Tetheus snorted in reply. "What about you, Mr. Director, sir?"
"I have siblings, a brother and sister." His pace slowed as he spoke and the others pulled ahead of them.
"How are they?" asked Alfeegi, uncertain but curious.
"I don't know, we've ... lost touch." he said, plodding along.
Alfeegi continued to probe. "Did something happen?"
Tetheus looked ahead as he replied. "I am the oldest son. When my parents died, I became the head of the household and so quit school and started working. I promised mom to look after my brother and sister and that they'd finish school and go to college. That takes money and I spent so much time working that we barely saw each other. I moved from job to job and was working as a salesman when the lease came up on our house. The landlord decided to sell it and we'd to find a new place to live."
"That's tough," muttered Alfeegi.
"My brother said that he'd find somewhere while I was on a business trip." He stepped around a large pile of fresh dog poo and continued. "He was only sixteen, but I'd faith in him and he called my mobile phone the night before I was due to come home. He'd found a beautiful home for us and would send the details by text message. That night, my battery was running low, so I switched the phone off to conserve power. The following morning, it wouldn't turn on. The phone had suffered water damage a month earlier, when my sister had thrown it in the toilet to keep me from leaving again."
"Tetheus..." said Alfeegi.
"Life doesn't always work the way we'd like it to," he said ruefully, running his hand through his hair. "I got home with a broken phone to find an empty house and no sign of my siblings. I lived in a hotel for a week, leaving notices in newspapers and shop windows, trying to track them down. I even staked out our old house, until new owners moved in and turned it into a brothel, but never saw my beloved brother or sister again. I think that's why I became a director. I thought that if I got famous, they'd know how to get in touch with me and we could meet up again, but nothing."
Alfeegi commiserated as best he could on the walk in, but there was nothing in his experience that came close to Tetheus's and he ended up feeling awkward and unhelpful. Tetheus squeezed his shoulder and thanked him softly, before changing the conversation back to more emotionally neutral topics. Things heated up again when they reached the main square and found Kai-Stern in short sleeves, talking to a man in a lion suit. The head of the costume was on the ground beside him.
A crowd surrounded the chattering pair and joined in eagerly. Everyone reached out to pat or shake Gil's hand, while Cernozura rummaged through her bag for a laptop and opened it. She balanced it precariously on her knee and checked through the hard-drive until she found her rough first draft which had incorporated Gil as the Fire Dragon Knight. "Yes!" she exclaimed. "I can mash this together with the pre-crossover script."
One person stood back from the love-in. He watched in stoney silence, arms crossed, until Ruwalk detached himself from the group to join him.
"It's not you, Rath," he said. Rath turned and started to walk away. Ruwalk dithered for a moment, but caught up. "At least, it's not you, per se." He sped his pace to match Rath's speaking all the while, in gentle, level tones. "Gil was the original Fire Knight, we all loved him and while you've won us over and the character of Rath is yours, the Fire Knight will always be Gil. It's not because he's a better actor, or a nicer guy, his personality just suits that role perfectly, even better than yours. Casting directors look to match actor to role. It's rare that two people synch up perfectly. We'd found one and we were just gutted that we had to give him up."
"I see," replied Rath, giving nothing away.
"Gil deserved a break. He deserved this role," Ruwalk continued, pressing a little harder. "You'll always be able to find work; it may be harder for you to feel that you've done it on your own merit, but that'll come in time. This role would have made Gil." He stopped; Rath kept walking.
While Tetheus and the crew set up for the first shot, Lykouleon, Alfeegi and Kai-Stern poured over the photos for the rest of the locations.
"And this is where the climactic battle could take place," said Kai-Stern, peeling from the pack, a photograph of a treacherous mountain peak, complete with crumbling stone and danger! rockfall! signs. Alfeegi looked it over and grunted.
"Where does the camera go?"
"I can see how good it'd look - Rath in mighty battle with Gil - but how're we going to film it if we can't fit a camera on that ridge with them?"
"Uh." A bead of sweat formed on Kai-Stern's forehead, then mysteriously disappeared again. "Oh, well, we could use a helicopter. Loads of film circling the battle and so on. It'll look awesome."
"We need more notice than that to hire a helicopter," replied Alfeegi. "The first problem is that we haven't budgeted for it and the second you might have realised if you were listening properly while you were waiting for us."
The other two frowned and concentrated, until the whup whup whup of helicopter blades echoed through the cafe.
"So there is a local helicopter service!" Lykouleon smiled. "Problem solved."
Alfeegi smiled too, although his wasn't genuine. "They're not local and they've been chartered by Nadil."
"We could put up scaffolding," said Kai-Stern, slowly, working the idea out in his head. "Or we could build a bridge from one to the other peaks, like this one!" He peeled another photograph from the pack and gave it to Alfeegi.
"Excuse me, please."
The production manager stood up and walked off. The bell tingled merrily when he opened the door and again when he closed it. He took five steps, then screamed and collapsed into a small ball.
Kai-Stern and Lykouleon watched through the window.
"He'll come up with something," the producer said, returning to the photos.
Somehow, Nadil's crew and Lykouleon's crew bumped into each other at every turn. They smiled and were incredibly polite to each other, but somehow, lenses got broken, cameras were hurled over precipitous cliff-tops and Nadil and Lykouleon themselves spent a lot of time together laughing heartily and making japes.
Tetheus rarely took the camera off Gil. They filmed him eating, dozing off in a chair at the inn, a cameraman even followed him into the toilet, although he ran out sharpish. Alfeegi weaved through the confusion without paying any attention, alternatively pleading down his mobile phone, or screaming into it. The crew tried their best, surrepticiously gaining illusive footage of Nadil's big two: the twins. Even though it seemed that every member of Lykouleon's crew had been issued with a camera of some sort, a few with bare seconds of memory on a mobile phone, Nadil's team bristled with them; at least ten brandishing top of the range steadicams. They filmed nearly as much Dragon Knights Sentai as their rivals, even catching Rune picking his nose and Rath cursing as he broke yet another sword. He claimed that the mountain air corroded the wood and everyone nodded along, wary of the gleam in his eye. A call was made and Lykouleon's secretary was despatched from headquarters with a bag of replacements, to arrive later that day.
Strangely, Nadil's army completely missed Thatz's antics. He pottered about, chatting to everyone and although small items went missing shortly after he left, no-one put the two together. He spent a very fruitful day, interrupted by occassional filming, until he bumped into an old aquaintance, herself burdened with gains.
"Kitchel?" asked Thatz. "What are you doing here?"
"Delivery!" said the girl, quickly, shaking a brown bag at him and smoothing a short skirt. "Err, you?"
"Working," replied Thatz, shortly. "Nice to see you again."
"Yes!" agreed Kitchel.
Alfeegi blundered between him, oblivious to the look Thatz gave him. "Look, pal," he shouted into his phone, striking the air to emphasise his point. "I don't need you. Sixty feet of bridge I can get almost anywhere."
Thatz glared at him a little more, then looked back at Kitchel, but the girl had vanished. He frowned and moved away. "I can't let her know why I'm here," he muttered. "She'll think that I've gone soft."
Kitchel bit her knuckles from behind the wall that separated them. "I can't let him know that I've sold out," she hissed. "Being a thief is fun, but it's not as important as a steady job and a good pension." She cocked her head. "Funny, it seemed more alluring when Lykouleon said it."
Filming continued into the wee hours. Rath was returned for a good night's sleep, but Gil snuck out for extra shoots. Lykouleon and Kitchel spent eight hours yawning, brewing coffee and passing out caffeine sweets. Ruwalk ran up and handed out new pages from Cernozura to the crew as she finished them and rubbed her muscles when the carpal tunnel acted up. The hustle and bustle carried on until morning, while Rath slept on, dreaming of validation and the seductive promises of his father's greatest rival.
Kelly's Heroes ref.
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Dragon Knights Sentai is fanfiction based on the works of Mineko Okhami.