It’s My First Time Working Late Nights at a Convenience Store, and If I Keep Getting Demon Lords, Kappa and Other Oddballs as Customers, I’m Giving My Two-Weeks’ Notice
Tonight’s my seventy-second shift.
Great... It’s that sentai team from last night. I think I can guess why they’re here.
“Citizen! Good to see that you’re hard at work this evening. We discussed this yesterday evening, but... Have you seen that monster wandering about?”
“Nope. Can’t say that I have.”
“You know, Red... This guy’s prooooobably telling the truth.”
“Green, you’re going too easy on him. He’s a filthy traitor who’s sided with the competition. It’s entirely possible that he’s not.”
Dude, I’m not that evil. ...Seriously, what does the red ranger have against people who prefer the masked rider series?
“Calm down, Red. What reasons would a regular citizen have for harboring a creature like that?”
The blue ranger crosses his arms, seemingly the cool-headed voice of reason.
See! That one gets it!
“Maybe our enemies are forcing him to raise it in secret, did you think of that?”
Hey, man! Don’t just assume that people are lackeys! Why would an evildoer force their lackey to work late nights part-time at a convenience store? And does “enemies” include the masked rider?
Blue ranger, you’d better not stand for this nonsense! Come on, call the red one out on this, too!
“...Fair enough. Hey, kid. You’re going to have to show us evidence that you’re not a monster sympathizer.”
...Nope. The blue one’s just as much of a blockhead. Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?!
“Buuuut, what if he really IS a regular guy? He could even be the kind of upstanding citizen who helps little old ladies cross the street, for all we know.”
The green ranger steps in front of me, waving their hands in a placating manner. Well, it’s nice to know that someone’s in my corner.
“Can’t we just agree that the monster’s not here? I’ve got better places to be.”
The yellow ranger plunks her hands on her hips, tapping her foot impatiently.
“...Me too. Being awake this late isn’t doing my skin any favors.”
The pink one cups her helmet with a sigh, and the two defectors turn towards the automatic doors.
“...Tch! You all know what’ll happen if we don’t hurry up and find that thing!”
The red ranger stomps, like a toddler having a tantrum.
“Is, uh, what you’re looking for really that dangerous?”
“No, but it’s a creature unlike any the world has seen before. Best to defeat it while it’s still a child, before it destroys everything we hold dear.”
Well, that seems like a bit of a stretch.
I mean, I really can’t see something that tiny being that powerful.
The five-person team steps to either side of the doors, to let the customer in.
...Problem is, it’s the gremlin from last night. He’s so big now, he barely fits in the store. His head is practically brushing up against the ceiling tiles.
“What the...?! Isn’t THAT the creature?!”
The blue ranger cries out, pointing up at the scaly figure.
“Shit! Where the hell did it come from?!”
Huh. Looks like the red ranger’s language gets a little less PG when he’s caught off guard.
“D-Don’t worry! With our powers combined, there’s no monster we can’t beat!”
The green ranger dramatically pumps his fist in the air.
“Yellow! Pink! Get ready!”
The two considerably less motivated ladies shuffle into place.
“There we go.”
The gremlin didn’t come alone, though. The long-haired guy in the black coat (also from yesterday) pops out from behind him. This time, he’s wearing a black top hat that conceals part of his face.
I’m guessing he’s in his early thirties? Either way, he’s got a strangely mature vibe for someone who just casually popped out from behind a freaking monster.
“Huuuuuh?! Rider, is that you? Pft! What’s this season’s theme again? “Knight of the Void”? You still a solo act?”
The red ranger suddenly advances on the new arrival.
...Hm? Did he just call him “Rider”? Wait, is this guy...
“Yeah, and it suits me just fine. Unlike you losers, I’m not so weak that I need a whole damn team to take down my enemies.”
Mutters the man in black, in a deep, gravelly voice.
“...Isn’t that another way of saying you have no friends?”
Dude! Back off, Red!!
Blue nods firmly in agreement.
“Hey, I’ll be your friend! (Honestly, I’ve always wanted to.) ...C’mon, we’re all part of one big, happy, superhero family, right? We shouldn’t be bickering like this — we oughta be paaaaals.”
The green ranger slings his arms around both Red and Rider’s shoulders. I mean, he’s got a point. Ultimately, aren’t their goals the same? If they all worked together, the world would be a more peaceful place. As a concerned citizen, that solution gets my vote.
“Like hell I’d wear those lame suits. They’re a freaking eyesore. At least my costume’s built for genuine day-to-day use. And it’s way cooler.”
Oh my gosh, so it really IS him!! The masked rider, in the flesh!! Man, I wonder if he’d sign my... Nah, better not ask. I get the feeling he’d turn me down.
“You don’t GET it, do you? Sentai heroes are all about the classic suits! Pink’s the one who designed them, ‘cause she’s a huge nerd! Are you saying that her costumes suck? Right to her face?!”
Yeeeah, that’s not a very superhero-esque way of phrasing that. That can’t be doing their reputation any favors.
“I-It’s fine, it doesn’t really bother me.”
“Hey. Yellow. Laugh again and I’ll shove that helmet where the sun doesn’t shine.”
Yeesh, even Pink’s losing her composure. ...Uh, hang on...
“Heh! So, your real personality finally rears its ugly head. Sorry, but I already know your suuuuper noble reason for joining the team, Pink. You just wanted to be the token female, didn’t you? Too bad you didn’t get your harem, you selfish skank.”
Even with the helmet, you can tell that Yellow’s sticking her tongue out at Pink.
“Oh, yeah? Well, I’ll bet YOU wanted to be the PINK one! It’s a shame you’re not sweet, lovely and gentle enough to be WORTHY of the color! Why don’t you just go home and stuff your face with fries, you oily hag? We all know it’s what you’d rather be doing!”
Ladies, as sentai heroines, you ought to be better than this!
“Aw, c’mon, guys! Can’t we all just get along?!”
The green ranger is desperately trying to keep what little peace is left.
“...Green, you know you can’t stop this train wreck.”
Blue rests a sympathetic hand on Green’s shoulder.
So, this...happens all the time? Yeeesh, that’s bleak.
“Um, if you don’t mind my asking... Why ARE you hanging around that gremlin? ...Mister Rider. Sir.”
The masked rider shrugs — but he does answer my question.
“My bike’s busted. I’ve been taking care of this guy, though, and now he’s big enough to ride. It doesn’t feel half bad, actually.”
The masked rider’s coolness mostly comes from how he chases down his enemies on that badass bike of his, right? Does it still count if it’s not a motorcycle? ...Actually, isn’t going after monsters ON a monster cheating?
“Anyways! We demand that you hand that dangerous creature over to us.”
The red ranger creeps closer and closer to the gremlin, getting ready to grab it.
“No can do. This dude’s my ride.”
With that, Rider effortlessly hops on the creature’s back.
“P-Chips, let’s blow this joint. We’ll get our coke and snacks at some other store.”
...At least give the not-a-motorcycle a suitably hardcore name.
The Knight of the Void and his suspicious steed hightail it out of the store.
“Quick, after them!!”
The sentai team races out behind the unlikely duo, but only the green ranger pauses long enough to bob their head in apology for the intrusion.
...Yeah, he’s way too nice to make it on that squad.