Strider Hiryu

In the year 2048, a rancher in a small Eastern European country named Kazakh reported unusual phenomena in the sky. He said that he had seen several "red dots" which moved rapidly through the atmosphere and finally disappeared behind a mountain. These "dots" made no noise whatsoever, according to him. Several days later, however, beings of uncommon strength made their presence known in Kazakh's capitol city. Brandishing all manner of alien weaponry, they leveled the city in a few days and brought General Mikiel under their control. They proceeded on to the other European nations, decimating them as they had Kazakh. In mere weeks, all of Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia was conquered and brought under the rule of one being...

This diabolical person was Meio, a Grandmaster, a being of nearly godlike powers who had studied the biorhythms of the Earth from his home on a distant nebula. He coveted this planet's sheer force of will, and built the Third Moon, a space station between the Earth and its natural moon, as a place of residence. From here, he intended to rule the various Earthbound civilizations and further observe the planet's life cycles.

Meio failed to take the Striders into account in his master plan, however. This small organization was an assembly of highly-trained warriors who were each descended from the ancient ninja clans of feudal Japan. Their base of operations was a small island named Moralos, which was located in the South Seas. When news of the Earth's conquest reached the Striders, they sent their best to investigate: Hiryu, the youngest one to ever reach the rank of A-Class.

He assassinated General Mikiel and fought his way through the frozen Siberian tundra, the flying battleship Balrog, and the Amazonian jungles of South America, finally making his way to the Third Moon. He battled with Meio there and killed him. Little did he know how significant an event that was: to date, he is the only being in the universe who has fought a Grandmaster and lived to tell the tale. The fact that he won only increases his importance.

Hiryu buried Meio's body in the Amazonian jungles and returned to Moralos, where he continued his training for some time. Some years later, he heard a rumor that there was an interest in Meio's burial site, and he went to investigate. He found the site heavily guarded and being probed by a gigantic drill. After dispatching the soldiers and destroying the drill, he encountered his fellow Strider Hien.

Hien had been seduced by the power that Meio held. He had bargained with Meio, to the effect he would gain considerable personal power if he freed the Grandmaster from his sarcophagus. This he did, but it was still not enough to prevent Hiryu from defeating him and pursuing those who had taken Meio's body. Upon Hien's defeat, Hiryu told him to fight back with all his strength upon their next meeting, then left the Amazons to track down the grave-robbers.

Light Sword Cypher claims responsibility for stealing the Grandmaster's body, and for attacking Moralos and forcefully dissolving the Striders. This invoked Hiryu's wrath even further, but we paid him no mind, as we greatly underestimated his abilities. It took his unexpected victory over Herzog Schlange and the reborn Ballog before we began to consider him a threat to us.

In the end, we were unsuccessful in keeping him away from the resurrected Grandmaster and his ultimate weapon, Cadeuceus. He trampled Hien a second time, though Hien fought with the full force of the powers Meio had granted him. Our plans for resurrecting the Grandmaster matter little now, as both Meio and Cadeuceus were destroyed.

The Striders re-formed after this, due mainly to Hiryu's own efforts. They flourished on Moralos, but once again became corrupted in the process. One of their own, Matic, sold them out to increase his own power. This was the Zain project, in which many innocent people, some of them Striders, were brainwashed by Yggdrasil, the Demon Tree. In the Norse legends Yggdrasil was the tree that connected the mortal realm with the underworld, and that is an apt description of this device. It penetrated into the minds of those it captured and caused them to act in ways that contradicted their basic natures.

No one escaped from this project unscathed, not even Hiryu. He was initially driven away from the Striders by this, due to the fact that he had been forced to kill his own sister. She had been affected by a Zain device, though Hiryu did not know it at the time. He retired for a year, then was forced to resume his duties. His friend Kain had been taken hostage by the very agency that he had worked for before he became a Strider. In Kazakh, no less. That fact alone was enough to pull Hiryu out of retirement.

Hiryu rescued his friend with the help of another Strider, Sheena, a mutual friend of both Hiryu and Kain. Upon his rescue, Kain killed Sheena in an excruciatingly violent manner, and Hiryu was forced to knock him out. According to the commander of Kazakh's armies, Kain had been exposed to a Zain terminal and was now under the control of Yggdrasil. Hiryu removed the control device from Kain's neck and suddenly remembered that his sister's neck had been affected in a similar manner.

Hiryu hunted those responsible for bringing about Yggdrasil's existence, his pursuits leading him to a lab in China, the African jungles, and finally a skyscraper in Los Angeles. He learned of Matic's treachery and fought his way into the very heart of the LA skyscraper with Kain's help. Though torn and bloodied, he battled Matic to a standstill, finally earning the respect and backing of his fellow Striders. Matic attempted to control them all through Yggdrasil, but his own creation turned on him, devouring him completely. The Director of the Striders offered Hiryu his old position, but Hiryu declined and struck out on his own.

Recently Hiryu was summoned into an alternate dimension to combat the being known as Onslaught. This telepsychic being was formed by the corruption of Charles Xavier's mind due to his attempt to purify the mind of Eric Lenscherr, also known as Magneto. With the aid of other heroes from parallel worlds, Hiryu was able to defeat Onslaught. Preliminary reports suggest that he has become more skilled as a result of this trial, and that his time in the other dimension granted him some powerful new techniques. As he has not been heard of since his return to this dimension, such suggestions are merely conjectural, however. Only time will tell......