It's just an all-around miserable thing to suffer through, and that has understandably hindered my progress. Tiredness compacted on top of that meant no blog, and also no writing. So now I need to write three chapters today, and post my blog entries, which I'll do...
...As soon as the dang site loads.
In the mean time, to vent my frustration with my computer, I might as well talk about what little WAS done.
For my novel, I caught a few repetitions that I can eliminate, and I also did a little work on Red Hood Rider.
Mainly, detailing why D.D. and Sky Shinobi didn't need power upgrades: because thanks to their natures and plot positions, they've already gotten it, pretty much.
For starters, Whitney earned the name Sky Shinobi because beyond her basic guns, and beyond mere ice shards she can lob at enemies (something that is versatile and deadly by itself, which is why it is pretty much all we get to initially see), she also has always possessed these powers--
-The ability to slow/stop time on any scale: locally, globally, applied to only certain objects, applied to lots of things, she basically has near-mastery of time.
-This is an ability she subconsciously uses all the time, even in normal battles, but it's actually a power she can deliberately focus in on and use, and that being, the ability to predict precise chains of events, which basically makes her a master of cause-effect relationships: shoot the wall to ricochet the bullet to hit the mirror and be bounced back onto the target's exposed unguarded head from behind, that kind of thing.
-And then, an extension of her ability to manipulate time (not being able to reverse it limits her, because her powers deal with slowing things, not speeding them up), she has localized space-warping, which mainly takes the form of limited teleportation.
Each by themselves would be a powerful ability, and she's been able to do all three since her introduction--and when they're tied together, the results show. The name basically comes from the fact that she could launch surprise air attacks, then suddenly vanish, a shinobi striking from the sky swiftly and accurately. By selectively slowing down time by seeing what she needs to slow down and by how much (her second ability), and by warping things as they need to be warped, she is capable of dispatching nearly any foe by surprise.
But she does have another ability beyond this, and she shares it with D.D.: manipulation of thermodynamics. Basically, instead of being limited to just ice, she has this ability, and that makes her theoretical power on par with Vili's electromagnetism (plus speed). In particular, imagine dealing with someone who can break the second law of thermodynamics. Whitney can. The only limitation on that power, similar to Vili's, is on her knowledge (read: my knowledge) of it, basically allowing her to do a lot. She doesn't really use it much; the ability is mainly D.D.'s, but there's a reason (well, SEVERAL reasons) she's a battle partner with D.D.
Speaking of D.D., her own powers make her the strongest physical attacker, able to floor opponents no matter how strong they are. This carries some required secondary powers, too: she's second only to Vili in speed, because power includes powerful muscles, including leg muscles. And because she needs to not break every bone in her body whenever throwing a punch, she has the third-strongest endurance of the Riders, behind Vili (who needs it for similar reasons) and Sally (the queen of endurance).
She does possess the power to transfer her strength to others, even without conduits like Hannah or Amy, amplifying their power, but this requires direct contact and the fusion's not perfect.
Obviously, her flames make her a very powerful combatant (fire is a VERY destructive force), and she has a lot of abilities based around that, but some of the less obvious ones are the most powerful, among them being things like forcefields, barriers, and walls (she does things like walljump off of barriers she's created, allowing her to attack from the air and change direction mid-strike), but that's not her strongest power.
Another trait she sort-of has is that while she's the strongest physical attacker, she's also the most powerful in raw damage output magic attacker.
Her strongest power is a mini-nuke, akin to Ruby's Nova technique, but being far more compressed (capable of being sized down to a single molecule and unleashing that explosive force), thus, versatile: she's able to fling them around as both defense and offense, lay a minefield, shoot them as bullets (akin to Gary's technique), and so, SO many more. Admittedly, she gains this one (along with thermodynamic manipulation) only AFTER an important storyline event happens to her (she had the powers listed above more or less already, though she does amplify them notably during this same event such that instead of sort-of being there, they're now prominently there), butstill, it's a very strong technique.
A final power of hers that she has is the Behemoth Blade. (Think a large Buster Blade for the smallest of the magical girls, and you get the mental image--small girl, huge sword.) Exploiting her power and speed, she can throw it around as if it were paper, yet it's very much not--it's actually got mini-nukes merged into the blade, such that every time she clashes with something, she's capable of vibrating the blade and letting a flurry of mini-explosions hail outward. (Incidentally, the sword is also great at channeling her other fire techniques, too.)
Because of these powers from both, they don't need the same upgrade that Vili does. (I had always planned for Whitney to be that strong from her intro, albeit only hashing out the details of WHY yesterday; the same applies to D.D., having her powers expand being part of the plan at one specific event and then hanging there for the rest of the story because she no longer needed a power-up, again the details being just written up yesterday.)
Of course, one of the things about some of these abilities is that, yes, they kinda encroach upon Hannah's territory. For instance, D.D. being the most powerful magic attacker. Hannah has more raw magic, making her the most powerful magic user, but her own nature and techniques mean her attacks are more PRECISE rather than powerful, though she later begins to expand, adapt, and morph her techniques. (Hannah is up there with Sky in not needing an upgrade. Her base powers are strong, but she eventually gets control over things such as GRAVITY. Which, mind you, is...another fundamental force, and is every bit as powerful as it sounds. The thing holding her back is her mental state, not her physical abilities.)
And to be fair, the techniques are heavily borrowed--they're a team, after all, and watching their teammates do a technique using their powers, it's not at all unreasonable for them to go, "Hmm, can I do that using my own powers?" And I was very upfront about this from the get-go in my conceptualization of the series, that nine times out of ten, the answer is "Yes".
...Yes, I realize that basically all eight of the Riders are insanely overpowered. Keep in mind, though, that these abilities develop over the course of three years or so, during which time they're constantly fighting, training, and evolving their abilities, as they face foes who get progressively better and better at neutralizing previous strategies and abilities. And worth noting is that a fair amount of the time, even these godlike abilities fail, with the Rider LOSING. (Albeit almost never without some sort of interference, I'll admit.)
It's fair game for the genre, because it's a natural evolution.
So Ruby can gain godlike attack/defense abilities augmented by illusions,
Sally can gain some incredibly deadly attacks,
Gary can develop a wide array of devastating moves,
Hannah, D.D., and Sky can develop the abilities I touched upon,
Vili could have the potential to surpass everyone above in theory,
And Amy can not only amplify all of the above, but also act on her own by weaponizing Hard Light (which makes her able to do nearly anything, limited only by her creativity).
It's fair because they go up against enemies that evolve. That's just the kind of world they live in. They're not even considered close to being the highest-tier of superhero/villain.
Also, it actually kinda has an in-universe explanation, highly-spoilery, dealing with the end of Red Hood Rider.