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Aptom is a major antagonist turned anti-hero in the anime/manga, Guyver: Bioboosted Armor. Aptom is a battle creature that hunts down other Zoanoids created by Chronos (except Lost Numbers). By absorbing small amounts of DNA from other Zoanoids, he can replicate their forms and powers, as well as mix the attributes of several Zoanoids in one body. He can regenerate himself even if only small pieces of him are left. Since discovering this ability, he begins killing Zoanoids to take their powers and bio-matter in order to become the most powerful battle creature and became a renegade from Chronos. In time, he comes to ally himself with the Guyvers in various battles.
Aptom was one of the Lost Number Commandos along with his two compatriots Somlum and Dyme. These two close friends were killed in battle with Guyver I. This leads Aptom to have a vendetta against Sho Fukamachi, though over time, Aptom questions his own motives and considers Chronos' part in his suffering.
He was originally developed as a Zoanoid with the ability to morph into different types of Zoanoids and possess the power of the type he morphed into. Unfortunately, the project failed and he became a Lost Number. Dr. Barcas was interested in Aptom's abilities and carried out further experiments on him which inevitably freed Aptom from the mental control of the Zoalords and gave him the ability to rapidly evolve. Aptom was also gifted with other unexpected abilities, including the ability to regenerate himself even from the smallest remaining piece of his tissue and the ability to clone himself, each clone having its own consciousness. He has since gone through several different chosen forms.
His first appearance in the OVA - as in the manga before it, and the TV series after - took place alongside his two comrades and fellow Lost Numbers: Somlum and Dyme. Aptom was very fond of Somlum and Dyme, having bonded with them over the shared hardship of their lives as Lost Numbers. They were seemingly his only two friends; Zoanoids seemed to be fairly indifferent to him, and Hyper Zoanoids held him and his kind in contempt, mocking them behind their backs and likely to their faces as well.
Needless to say, this inspired a great deal of bitterness on Aptom's part toward his "employers". Despite the fact that he was one of the Zoanoids created by Chronos, he felt no affection for the company. Only the fact that his friends worked for the company seemed in any way capable of keeping him there.
However, the fact that they were placed on the front-lines of Chronos' battle against Guyver I meant that they would eventually find themselves in a life-threatening situation such as the one that they were placed in on the night that Chronos decided to kidnap Sho's father, and take him into their custody as part of a two-pronged effort to break Guyver I's will to resist. This plan, however, only succeded in riling the boy up. After killing Somlum and Dyme, right in front of their wounded comrade Aptom, it was revealed to the boy that his friends and father had been in danger, with his father being spirited away while he was fighting Aptom and his two cohorts, succeeding in accomplishing the aims that Chronos had sought.
Luckily for Sho, however, a mysterious man with a large gun had been tracking him since before the fight began. With his help, Sho was able to escape. Aptom, missing an arm and ordered to retreat by Richard Guyot, made a vow of personal vengance on the Guyver I that night. From then on, whatever it took, he would kill Guyver I.
However, with the injuries he had sustained, Aptom was forced to undergo reprocessing at the hands of Dr. Barcas, something that the old Zoalord would come to regret a great deal in the future. As his body was regenerated by the processing fluid, and his physiology was altered by Barcas to serve a new purpose, Aptom had ample time to reflect on his bitterness for Sho, and to stew over what the boy had done to his two comrades. All of this served to make him one of Sho's most relentless foes.
Once he had been released, his powers improved and with a few additional surprises provided by Dr. Barcas himself, Aptom wasted no time in hunting down Sho once again.
Sent to spy on the actions of Richard Guyot, Aptom caught up with Sho just after he had been put through one of the worst experiences of his young life. Aptom was quick to capitalize on the psychological trauma that he knew the boy would be suffering after such an event. Not wanting to kill the boy at his weakest and feeling that the memory of his comrades wouldn't be avenged properly if he did so, Aptom instead goaded the boy into overcoming the mental block that he had formed against summoning the Guyver, by the simple expedient of threatening to kill Mizuki if he didn't transform.
As planned, this lead to Sho's regaining the resolve to transform into the Guyver and fight. Contrary to what Aptom likely intended, however, Sho turned his Mega-Smasher on the rogue Lost Number, obliterating most of his body and reducing him to a single, severed lower-arm. This was seemingly the end of Aptom, and the Lost Number Commandos with him.
However, that was not to be and with his regenerative powers enhanced to levels heretofore-unseen in a Lost Number, Aptom was able to reconstitute his head, upper-torso, and left shoulder, thus surviving an attack that had killed several Zoanoids - and a fair few Hypers - before him. He would have been left to his own devices, to find some way of dragging himself back to Chronos to get treatment for his wounds, if not for the timely arrival of Team Five, who had been drawn by the Mega-Smasher's light and that of Aptom's own bio-lasers. Hiding himself in a tree, Aptom pounced on the form nearest to him: Elegen.
Clinging to the eel-like Hyper Zoanoid's back, Aptom did something that he had never done before: he began to absorb a living Hyper Zoanoid. This action brought him to the direct attention of Dr. Barcas for the third time since he had been sent out from Relic's Point after Guyver I. This time, he wouldn't be going back; Aptom had had it with being treated like a disposable lab animal at best, and while he was absorbing Elegen, he made it clear to Barcas just what he intended to do.
Taunting the old Zoalord with his newfound powers and independence, Aptom even challenged the remaining members of Team Five themselves. Thanks to the powers that he had added to his already-considerable arsenal, Aptom was able to beat off - but not permenantly defeat - the four remaining members of Team Five. He then left, with a final warning that he would return, and that Gaster would be his next target when he fed.
Dissapearing into the forest, leaving only his taunting laughter behind, Aptom set out to seemingly test the limits of his newfound independence.
Eating any and all Zoanoids that he came across - including several groups that had been sent out fot the sole purpose of hunting him down - Aptom swiftly gained Dr. Barcas' complete antipathy.
Taking a few moments to consider his next course of action, Aptom decided that - since ordinary Zoanoids weren't giving him new powers or any more strength than what he had previously gained, and since the remainder of Team Five hadn't shown up no matter what he'd been doing - he was going to try for something more powerful: a Zoalord; Richard Guyot. As he made his way back toward Chronos' base at Mt. Minakami, leaping through the trees as opposed to making his way through the forest on foot, he was halted in his progress by a sudden flash of bright light.
The figure hidden behind all the light had a strong - high overpowering - aura of authority. This was something that even Aptom was able to recognize, though as a Lost Number it didn't affect him nearly as badly as it did the five Zoanoids that had also encountered the newcomer. Sensing that this new apparition posessed great powers, Aptom was determined to claim those powers for his own.
To that end, he made a hasty - and ultimately foolish - attack on the newcomer.
He was handled rather quickly by the newcomer who was unknown to him another Zoalord named Archanfel. Despite the fact that he was uneasy about attacking, due to the forceful presence that all Zoalords have to any Zoaform of lesser stature, Aptom was still able to move forward with his attack, quite unlike the five Zoanoids, who by that point had already been killed.
Left in three pieces by Archanfel's energy blast: his head, right arm, and the remainder of his body, Aptom was forced to make use of the Zoanoid corpses scattered around him. This would be his first time creating clones of himself, but not the last.
Unwilling to forgive Archanfel for nearly killing him, Aptom headed for the last place that he had seen the Zoalord going when he had thought himself through with Aptom, into Mt. Minakami. Making his way past the guards, likely with both the aid of his disguises and his "fusion predation" ability, Aptom was able to settle himsel(ves) into one of the control rooms for Relics point, the very one that, as it happened, the three remaining members of Team Five were ensconced.
Given Aptom's tenacious nature, and his dedication to his promises, it is not likely that this was simple happenstance.
Waiting until the opportune moment, taking advantage of the chaos consuming Relics Point, Aptom made his second strike against the remaining members of Team five by eating Gaster alive, presumably while the other struggled but was unable - for whatever reason - to escape. With the help of one of the other clones he had created after his close encounter with Archanfel, Aptom was able to ambush Derzerb and ZX-Tole, and would have succeeded in his plan to absorb the former, had it not been for a quick warning from the latter. His clothes seared off by the heat of Derzerb's transformation, Aptom landed on the floor, naked and somewhat worse for wear.
It would not be the last time such a thing happened.
Facing the transformed Derzerb, and the furious ZX-Tole who was not long about transforming himself, Aptom was quickly disposed of by a barrage from the latter's bio-lasers. However, that had been accounted for, and Aptom had ensured that he would have several chances to attack and absorb the remaining members of Team Five; he still had two other clones waiting in the wings. The second clone, wearing the form of Gaster, decieved Derzerb - and even ZX-Tole himself, for a short time - into thinking that he was their ally. Once he grabbed for Derzerb's arms, he revealed himself to ZX-Tole; but by then it was already too late.
With his infectious cells already invading Derzerb's bloodstream, not even ZX-Tole blasting Gaster's body out of existence with his full complement of bio-lasers was enough to stop him; nor to save Derzerb from what happened next. Aptom, using the genetic information that he had collected from the other two members of Team Five, combined Derzerb's base form with Gaster's bio-missile launchers and liquid-explosive dischargers, and Elegen's electrical-whip tentacles and electricity manipulation abilities. This was the second such combined form he had adopted, and his third form overall.
Taunting Zx-tole, Aptom revealed that the creature he had fought was indeed the real Aptom, but that it had been merely one member of the group of cloned bodies that Aptom had under his control. He did not, however, reveal just how many bodies he had cloned in such a fashion. Telling ZX-Tole flat-out that he would absorb him next, Aptom launched a frontal assault on the sole remaining member of Team Five.
ZX-Tole himself was only barely equal to the challenge as Aptom's combined form possessed far greater speed and agility than his bulk would have suggested at first. Wounding Team Five's leader with the liquid explosive he had obtained from Gaster, Aptom managed to disable his forehead-mounted bio-laser. Then, with the aid of a barrage of biological missiles, Aptom knocked ZX-Tole down several levels, leaving him lying in a crater on the uppermost level of Relics Point's central shaft.
However, just as it appeared that ZX-Tole had been beaten at last, he revealed the final weapon that he had kept in reserve. At first, Aptom was dismissive of this latest and last gambit, seeing it as nothing more than the Hyper Zoanoid being able to create cold air in an attempt to slow him down. However, nothing could have been farther from the truth as Aptom realized when the heat and light that ZX-Tole had absorbed with his wings came blasting back out at him, converted into the energy for ZX-Tole's Blaster Tempest.
The energy unleashed by the Blaster Tempest left Aptom with three-quarters of his body gone, clinging with tenacious strength to a crumpled scrap of reinforced concrete. When he climbed back up, hampered as he was by the loss of his left arm and so much of his own biomass, it was to find himself confronted by ZX-Tole. Thinking Aptom defeated, ZX-Tole began preparing to fire his wrist-mounted bio-lasers.
However, Aptom had been prepared for even this, and had his third and final replicant-body lying in wait under the floor. As the last of Aptom's clones latched onto him, driving assimilation tendrils into his left leg and preparing to infect his entire body from there, ZX-Tole severed the afflicted apendage and burrowed into the floor to escape. Aptom was supremely unconcerned with this, since he still held the severed limb and with it all the genetic sampling he would need.
Combining the forms of all four members that he had managed to absorb from Team Five, though ZX-Tole's characteristics were predominant, Aptom found his attention drawn to the lowest level of Relics Point; and the clash of great and terrible powers that was beginning there.
Even as Aptom watched, unable or unwilling to leave, the Relic that Relics Point had been named in honor of was activated. Rising to the surface, powered upward by the massive energies that it had absorbed from the magma chamber beneath Mt. Minakami itself, the Relic was also equipped with a shield made of energy-waves so powerful that they were nearly solid. Aptom found this out the hard way, as he was knocked from his perch in the rafters following the Relic's appearance beneath him.
Leaving Relics Point behind, Aptom made his way back to the surface and escaped from Chronos' sphere of influence through some still-unspecified means.
Aptom ventured far from the Minakami area and arrived in Tokyo, where his enemies were also present. Cronos now controlled the city after initiating their plan to take over the worldand Zoanoids were soon commonplace among the general public. With his immunity to the Zoalords' telepathy, Aptom was able to roam freely without Cronos becoming aware of his presence, though they undoubtedly suspected he was still alive.
A year after X-Day, Sho Fukamachi's allies were in hiding in Tokyo, taking cover in the house of one of the Segawas' schoolfriends, Natsuki Taga. Aptom had discovered their hiding place but made no attempt to interfere with them. He believed that one day, Sho Fukamachi - who had been missing since the destruction of Relic's Point - would return to protect his friends. Still eager for a rematch with the Guyver, Aptom decided to watch over Sho's friends until he returned. One day, however, Mizuki Segawa had tried to return to her family's home since her parents had no idea she was still alive. She was spotted by two inspectors from the Cronos Regulation Bureau and they recognised her from wanted posters that had been put up all across the city. Natsuki had gone out to find Mizuki and took her home and as the inspectors began following them, Aptom ambushed the two Zoanoid inspectors and consumed them. Doing so, however, had alerted Cronos to Aptom's presence in the city and Dr. Barcas had a surprise in store for him should he ever re-surface.
A day later, Aptom was approached in Shinjuku by ZX-Tole, who had been re-optimized by Dr. Barcas and transformed into a Lost Number: Neo ZX-Tole. Both Lost Numbers fought in the skies above the city, but ZX-Tole had been enhanced with the abilities of his former Team Five comrades and his body had been infused with a specialised virus that would prevent Aptom from invading his cells. The battle was ferocious and the city suffered considerable damage, with Aptom almost being killed. He only survived when Sho Fukamachi - ressurrected as the Guyver Gigantic - appeared and used his new powers to finally destroy ZX-Tole. Weakened from the battle, Aptom had to consume a nearby Zoanoid that was monitoring the whole event in order to regenerate and escape. Now that Sho had returned, Aptom promised he would be back to settle the score once and for all.
Alliance with the Guyver
Although Aptom had previously vowed revenge against Sho, he would find himself conflicted and questioning himself over whether his vengeance would have any meaning. As time went on, he would continue assaulting Cronos operatives and consuming Zoanoids, ultimately helping Sho and his friends in their efforts to undermine Cronos' rule, though not intentionally. After the reappearance of Masaki Murakami, who was now under the control of Archanfel, Aptom made the conscious decision to help Sho fight his former friend. While he hardly considered Sho a friend, he had previously protected the Segawas and Onumas before Sho had returned, finding some sense of purpose in that. Ultimately, Aptom would decide that it was Cronos who truly deserved his wrath as they were the ones responsible for all the suffering that he and his Lost Number comrades had endured, and so he continued to assist Sho and his allies in defying Cronos.
With the many abilities he had obtained by absorbing the Hyper-Zoanoid Team Five and other Zoanoids, Aptom was truly a force to be reckoned with. However, Cronos would develop their own means of countering him, including the development of the Enzyme III which was immune to Aptom's cell invasions and also Cabraal Khan implanting his own Zoalord cells into Aptom through a Zoanoid intermediary, allowing him to temporarily seize control of Aptom.
Powers and Abilities
Regeneration: Aptom has a powerful regenerative/healing ability that is rivaled only by the Guyvers. He can regrow large portions of his body like a hand or a leg and he was even able to regenerate from only his hand.
Cellular Assimilation/Duplication: Aptom's primary and most terrifying ability is that he can absorb and incorporate the DNA of other lifeforms into himself. Once Aptom has sampled the DNA of a living creature, he is able to duplicate that creature's appearance and abilities. This isn't simple mimicry as Aptom literally becomes what he absorbs. He is also not limited to one form and can combine the aspects of many different forms or powers to make an even more powerful form. Lastly, Aptom does not need to infect and assimilate an entire organism to sample their DNA. All aptoms needs in order to dulplicate a creature is to absorb a piece of them (like ZX-Tole). While his ability to assimilate is powerful, it has a flaw in that Aptom cannot absorb or sample anything thats biology is regulated and controlled. Aptom cannot absorb a Guyver because the control metal would differentiate between the Guyver's cells and Aptom's cell and immediately expell Aptom's cells. The Zoacrystal for Zoalords functions in much the same way.
Aptom was originally intended to be able to morph into any Zoanoid, but the facsimiles he turned into lacked the strength of the originals. After he was re-optimized by Dr. Barcas, he became able to sample the genetic codes of any Zoanoid that he made physical contact with (this also worked with the Guyvers). He also gained the ability to rapidly regenerate any damage inflicted and morph into composite forms composed of the traits and abilities of multiple Zoanoids. His different forms are listed below.
- Lost Number - In his original Lost Number state, Aptom challenged Guyver-I by morphing into a facsimile of the Guyver itself. It was visibly different from the genuine article, possessing a circular maw filled with fangs and had none of the metallic parts normally present on a Guyver, such as the control medal. Aptom attempted to copy the Guyver's head beam and high-frequency arm blades, but Sho was able to slice through Aptom's blade with his own easily.
- Composite Form 1 - In his second battle against the Guyver, Aptom created a composite battle body that merged the strength and shock-absorbant skin of Gregole, the lasers from Vamore, and the corrosive blood of Enzyme II. Sho was able to defeat this form with the Mega-Smasher, but was unaware that Aptom was capable of regenerating from even the smallest portion of his body.
- Composite Form 2 - Aptom produced this form by combining the genes of three of the Hyper-Zoanoid Team Five: Elegen, Gaster and Derzerb. In this form, Aptom possessed the impenetrable skin and heat absorption/discharge abilities of Derzerb, the electrical whips and iono-charge levitation powers of Elegen, and Gaster's liquid explosives and bio-missiles. Aptom fought ZX-Tole in this form and was almost destroyed by ZX-Tole's Blaster Tempest, but part of his body survived and one of his duplicates managed to partially assimilate ZX-Tole, allowing Aptom to gain yet another power.
- Composite Form III - This form combines the attributes of every Team Five member (except for Thancrus since he was killed by Guyver-III long before Aptom was re-optimized). This form is more slender than the previous form and sacrifices Derzerb's hyper-dense musculature in exchange for ZX-Tole's impervious carapace, wings and multiple bio-blasters. He can also produce and launch a greater number of bio-missiles and can use Elegen's and ZX-Tole's combined energies to produce barriers to deflect incoming attacks.
- Chaos Mode - This is by far Aptom's most horrific and, at the same time, ridiculous form. It appears to be an amalgamation of random Zoanoid body parts hastily mish-mashed together into a single body. This form is the result of Aptom assimilating the Hyper-Zoanoid Gastal, who had been implanted with genes taken from the Zoalord Cabraal Khan. Khan had intentionally sacrificed Gastal to Aptom, hoping that Aptom would consume the DNA of a Zoalord and then become vulnerable once more to Zoalord telepathy. However, Khan did not fully understand how Aptom's body worked at the time and so his attempt to control him failed.
- Evil Form - This form occurs when Zoalord Cabraal Khan figured out Aptom's unique genetic structure and assumed full control over him. Cabraal powered up Aptom, due to his belief that Guyver-I and Bio-Freezer weren't able to free him from his control. This Aptom had many new weapons such as the Molecular Accelerator, a weapon that accelerate the molecular motion of its targets to cause a form of disintegration; the High Frequency Vibration Lancer, the ability to turn invisible and electric shocks emited from its three horns on the left side of the head. The Molecular Accelerator was shown to be costly as the user was left vulnerable in the moment of the blast because the user must be in a concentrated state; in this form, the user can fire it from its right side only. Partly due to his absorption of so many Zoanoids by this point, and to Aptom being controlled by Cabraal, his appearance is haphazard and "mishmashed", with very little symmetry.
- OmegaBlast Mode - This is Aptom's most up-to-date form. He looks to have the characteristics of his third composite form mixed with Bio-Freezer and a few other Zoanoids. He has the ability of Bio-Freezer, Stealth ability, Molecular Accelerator and High Frequency Lancer.
- It is very likely that Aptom's powers and abilities are a nod to or perhaps inspired by The Thing from the film of the same name directed by John Carpenter. Their powers and abilities are very similar as both Aptom and The Thing can absorb their victims and incorporate the genetic information as well as create duplicates.