Netbattles and Chill

With the remaining ColdHead being a solitary target, Courser seemed to take a more lax approach towards clearing it up, with his split visages each playing a different role in the matter. One of them took point with the blue dome with a not-too-innocent grin, while the other... kept watch, for lack of a better word. The first one pulled out a knife to attempt to wedge the virus's maw open, with varying success. Prying it open was successful, sure, but at one point, he missed a seam entirely, and the shiv merely embedded itself into the steel dome, cracking it in the process. Maybe it was a bit too much force. Nevertheless, Courseman opted for the brute force approach soon enough, and the ColdHead stayed stock still as it was smashed with a gigantic hammer.

"HOORAY! THANK YOU!" the Prog from behind the two Coursemen cheered. Out of nowhere, the sound of a high-capacity diesel engine started up, and a massive yellow mobile crane came driving up from around the earlier bend, with the hard-hatted Prog happily manning the driver's seat. In front of the crane, the image of a grinning Prog-face was painted. "TIME TO GET TO FIXING!" it said, stopping just short of running the Coursers over. He would notice that the crane was carrying what looked to be a single giant bridge, fully assembled, painted in black and yellow warning colors.

-- Viruses --
ColdHead EXColdHead EX (ColdHead)

ColdHeads alternate actions between attacking and guarding. These are the only actions ColdHeads may perform, and the first action of every battle is always guarding. ColdHeads will not break from this pattern unless forced to by status effects. ColdHeads cannot be lifted or thrown, even with Rageclaw.

Area: SciLab, Sharo, Hades Isle

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 60 Aqua + Break + Small Ice Terrain Change
Attack Accuracy: C
Attack Description: Fires Cannonball. Breaking. Creates Ice Terrain.
Element: Aqua
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): IceBall1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
- Iron Body when not attacking.
A: DELETED
ColdHead EXColdHead EX (ColdHead)

ColdHeads alternate actions between attacking and guarding. These are the only actions ColdHeads may perform, and the first action of every battle is always guarding. ColdHeads will not break from this pattern unless forced to by status effects. ColdHeads cannot be lifted or thrown, even with Rageclaw.

Area: SciLab, Sharo, Hades Isle

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 60 Aqua + Break + Small Ice Terrain Change
Attack Accuracy: C
Attack Description: Fires Cannonball. Breaking. Creates Ice Terrain.
Element: Aqua
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): IceBall1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
- Iron Body when not attacking.
B: DELETED
BasherBasher (Basher)

Basher viruses are the top-tier of the stationary gunnery viruses with an unmatched single-shot damage output among the normal viruses. They are also the rarest of their class, and appear only after battle 5. They also never appear in large numbers in a normal battle, meaning the ratio of total viruses to Bashers should be at least 4 to 1. The attack cycle of Bashers is 2 actions long, regardless of which attack they use. The first attack requires one action to charge before firing, and the second attack executes twice in succession. If they are stunned, they resume their attack cycle where it was halted once the stun wears off. They don't move, and don't dodge.

Area: Sharo

HP: 120
Primary Attack Damage/Effect: 60 Fire + Break + Panel Break x3 Targets, 1 Action Charge
Primary Attack Accuracy: A
Primary Attack Description: The virus selects up to 3 targets, and spends an action charging up the main cannons. It then fires a Magnum blast that reduces most Network constructs to ashes with a single shot, usually leaving a blast crater where they once stood. It may target empty panels and objects as well as enemies.
Secondary Attack Damage/Effect: 10 Fire x3 Targets + Double Attack
Secondary Attack Accuracy: A
Secondary Attack Description: Fires a 3-shot spread from the left arm cannon, then follows up with an identical attack from the right arm cannon just after. Each cannon shot requires an action, and both attacks must occur one after the other.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Magnum1 (Rare), Zenny
Special: Immobile
- Main attack destroys panels, reducing enemy evasion by 1 Rank.
: DELETED
Megalian-AMegalian-A (Megalian-A)

All Megalian-A viruses are equipped with Omnishoes, and fight from the air. This virus type will spend an Action Dodging, and then Attack the following Action. If there are more than one Megalian (family does not matter) the viruses will work together, alternating their attack Actions or attacking as a group (mod's discretion). When attacking, both the head and the base can be damaged separately (if the Aura protecting the base has been destroyed).

Area: Beach, Sharo

HP: 130
Attack Damage/Effect: 40 Aqua + Break + Piercing + Group attack.
Attack Accuracy: B (special)
Attack Description: Lines up with a target and launches its head at the enemy. Accuracy decreases with each hit.
Element: Aqua
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): AuraHead1, Barrier, Zenny
Special: Omnishoes: capable of free flight.
- Dodges every other Action. Attacks when not dodging.
- Has a 10HP Aqua Aura (Pierced and destroyed by Elec attacks).
- Can be attacked while head is extended.
A: DELETED
Megalian-AMegalian-A (Megalian-A)

All Megalian-A viruses are equipped with Omnishoes, and fight from the air. This virus type will spend an Action Dodging, and then Attack the following Action. If there are more than one Megalian (family does not matter) the viruses will work together, alternating their attack Actions or attacking as a group (mod's discretion). When attacking, both the head and the base can be damaged separately (if the Aura protecting the base has been destroyed).

Area: Beach, Sharo

HP: 130
Attack Damage/Effect: 40 Aqua + Break + Piercing + Group attack.
Attack Accuracy: B (special)
Attack Description: Lines up with a target and launches its head at the enemy. Accuracy decreases with each hit.
Element: Aqua
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): AuraHead1, Barrier, Zenny
Special: Omnishoes: capable of free flight.
- Dodges every other Action. Attacks when not dodging.
- Has a 10HP Aqua Aura (Pierced and destroyed by Elec attacks).
- Can be attacked while head is extended.
B: DELETED

-- Navis --
Courseman.EXE: 100 HP (Snow) (Shadow, Self-Slow)

-- Other --
Mr. Prog: 100 HP (PPC Equipped: MetHelmet, 30HP Barrier) (Vehicle Equipped: ProgCrane)
ProgCrane: 1000 HP (Snow)
Needler2HP: 80
Properties: Normal, Mobile
Object Damage: 80 Null + Impact + Break
Damage Method: Ramming attack, Telekinesis, Throw
Attack Damage: 40 Null x 2 hits x 3 Targets
Accuracy: A
Description: Summons a gun platform that attacks up to 3 separate targets each turn with its trio of double spike cannons. It can also perform a defense piercing kamikaze attack.
Duration: Until destroyed.
Element: Null
Special: This chip's accuracy cannot be boosted or reduced by any means, including RP quality.
- This object may ram a target instead of firing needles, but is instantly destroyed in exchange.
- This object may dodge by trying to ram nothing, but if it hits something in this way, it is still destroyed and deals object damage.
Trader Rank: C
: 80 HP (Snow) (30 HP Barrier)

-- Terrain --
20% Normal
  • No effects.
(Roadway through the snow)
30% Snow
  • Non-Aqua Elementals get -10% Evasion and reduced movement speed.
  • Wind attacks: +100% Source Damage. Imbue Aqua if Null. Change terrain hit to Ice for 1 turn after turn hit, then back to Snow.
  • Aqua attacks: 25% Freeze chance, change terrain hit to Normal if triggered. Boost chance to 100% if Ice-type.
  • Fire attacks: Change terrain hit to Ice, generate Frosty Mist: -10% Accuracy for Non-Aqua Elementals, +10% evasion against Non-Aqua Elementals, Freeze1 effect for any Aqua or Wind attacks.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Aqua + Freeze1.
(Everything else up to the ravine)
10% Ice
  • +10% Evasion to all. Non-Aqua Elementals get -20% Accuracy.
  • Aqua attacks: 25% Freeze chance, change terrain hit to Normal if triggered. Boost chance to 100% if Ice-type.
  • Elec attacks: +100% Source Damage.
  • Fire attacks: Change terrain hit to Sea.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Aqua + Freeze1.
(Two patches on either side of Courseman)
40% Missing
  • Permanent bottomless hole.
  • Doubles dodge penalties for bad RP.
  • EJO if you fall in.
(Ravine)

-- Encounter 9, Victory!! --
Rewards: 3850z, 15 BugFrags (Exact Kill (+2): Basher), +1 Basher Bounty
As Courser let the hammer fade away and turned back towards the corner where the Prog had been hidden, his outfit faded back to its normal colours and styles and the shadows fell away from his body, leaving the navi standing more clearly in the open again.

“Time for another quick run, Jen, I've got a moment to question the prog here, so I should be fine. Got the list?” Beside him, his monochrome decoy shook its head at his back then disappeared with a mostly hidden smile while Courser began to walk back towards the bend. He nodded briefly at Jenny's quick murmur of agreement.

“All clear, little guy, you can...” He was cut off as the prog brought out its version of 'bridge repairs'. He stood to the side and watched it drop down the entirely new replacement bridge with a vaguely amused eyebrow. “That's certainly... efficient.” He wandered across to the edge of the ravine and looked down briefly before turning back.

“I'm guessing you don't know what destroyed it in the first place, or where it goes, do you? I've been following some pretty strange anomalies out here for a little while now...” He shrugged and looked back towards the far side then folded his hands behind his head in a relaxed pose.

“I'm probably going to go take a peek over and see what's there, but any reports you've got would be good...”

((Post one without operator))
"STEADY DOES IT..." the Prog said, as the bridge was lowered into place, perfectly fitting into place of the ravine. After doing its work, the crane raised its hook, and the loud engine slowly whirred to a halt while the Prog hopped out. "DONE!" it proudly announced, while Courseman went to inspect the place for itself. When Courseman turned back, he would find the crane already gone, with only the Prog there hovering by his side.

"SORRY! I HAVE NO RECORDS STORED ABOUT HOW THIS AREA WAS DESTROYED. I WAS ASSIGNED TO REPAIR THIS AREA WHEN IT WAS DAMAGED. THIS PATH GOES UP TO A VOLCANIC SIMULATION RESEARCH AREA, REGISTERED UNDER SHARO NETWORK ADDRESS 88:FF:11:AA:12:9A. DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS?" said the Prog, all with the same smiling face it always had.
Courser could only raise an eyebrow at the Prog's bridge repair, but eventually he nodded and shrugged. It was a long shot to hope that the repair program would have any information beyond its direct orders, but it was still worth checking.

“Right you are, little guy. Volcanic simulation and research, you say... I wonder if that has anything to do with the mass of artillery viruses, or the black-inked modified ones... Jen, you back yet?” there was no immediate response, but Courser shrugged and turned to go, waving to the prog as he left. “I'll probably go check that out then. Be careful...”

He kicked off and began gliding across the bridge and towards the area that the repair program had described to him, surfing the water current quickly now as it made gradual, drawn-out s-curves. One clone moved alongside him, crossing and complimenting his path as they went, and they both kept their eyes open to different sides as courser began to search for any sign of a connection between whatever was up here, and the odd virus population he'd encountered. It might be nothing, but it might be something as well – there was no telling until he checked.

“Whew... courser, I'm back and settled again, and everything is all processed! Find anything interesting while I was away?” Jenny's voice came through to him slightly out of breath again and courser grinned.

“Not yet, though be ready, the prog said there's some kind of facility up ahead here, past the ravine. Volcanic research. It might not have anything to do with anything, but the Basher turrets that we've been hunting are kind of out of place in Sharo, and their base code is fire aligned, so I thought it was worth checking.” He heard Jenny offer a quick affirmative and begin shuffling things back out of her bag and setting up as he continued to search.

((Second post without operation – Operator now returned))
((Ready for Battle 10))
Skating his way around the bend, the path led up a winding incline by the side of the mountain. The further he went, the scent of sulfur started to permeate the air, rising from a few cracks splitting the side of the mountain. Something he noticed as well was that the white road was now stained with some sort of trail of black soot. Besides that, despite the cold that generally characterized the Sharo networks, the temperature was starting to rise little by little, such that the snow that usually covered the area was replaced by white CyberPanels and dark red soil. Eventually, he reached the end of the road, where the incline opened up to an open gate in some wire fencing. The fence protected from what looked like quite a sheer drop on both sides of the clearing.

Further ahead was a tall grey barrier wall encircling some inner area, most likely a little over twice CourseMan's height. Despite the large red "no entry" signs propped up alongside it, something seemed to have melted clean through what appeared to have been a security checkpoint station close to the wall, creating a very large hole in the wall, that was as wide as the wall was tall. Beyond the breach, thick opaque clouds of gas obscured whatever lay beyond, but whatever was back there, CourseMan could certainly feel the heat radiating from it. Par for the course for a "volcanic simulation" area, most likely. There was also something stranger that CourseMan might notice; on either end of the hole, alongside upturned and melted barricades, the remains of a pair of Basher viruses lay unclaimed. The multi-barreled turret viruses had been thoroughly disabled, with their metallic bodies warped from being melted, probably by whatever had invaded the area.

Before CourseMan would be able to decide whether to investigate further into the area, loud pneumatic discharges could be heard echoing out from the breach, accompanied every time by a slow, metallic stomping. A cloud of gas blasted out from the hole, obscuring whatever was making its exit. Stomp, stomp, stomp, a slow, methodical approach. A massive shadow, reaching the top of the melted wall, appeared within the cloud of gas. Then, the gas suddenly cleared, blown away by jets of steam.

Standing there was a heavily-armored iron giant, its square grey features almost entirely caked in rust. Glowing red vents all about its body hissed with trails of vapor, the biggest source of which were two large towers jutting out from its back, around a cylindrical base covering the majority of its back. Around its large metal feet, a pool of lava trailed back from behind it. Beady eyes peeked out of a square-jawed metal head, as the heat CourseMan felt earlier increased further, clearly radiating out of the new arrival.

"Ahhhhh, nothin' like a hot soak! Can't believe they'd be hiding something like this way up here!"

In contrast with its otherwise intimidating stature, the voice that came from the giant sounded somewhat like a cheerful old man, albeit somewhat robotic. Being otherwise uncovered, a fluffy white towel was wrapped around the lower half of the giant's body. A small hand towel in its gigantic gauntlet-covered hands, the giant used it to wipe down the side of its rust-covered head. Then, he stopped wiping, staring ahead.

"... Hm? Another one? Come back for more?" the giant grunted. He stayed silent for a moment, eyes narrowed slightly. "... Deal with it however I want? Alright, sure, I could use some more exercise now." He threw the hand towel over his head, landing neatly over his neck, and balled up his fists. Even more steam burst forth from his vents, and the heat reached a crescendo, warping the air with its intensity. The giant widened his stance and stomped on the ground, causing it to split open, leaking forth a torrent of lava that quickly spread out around his feet. Around him, the destroyed Bashers and barricades sank into the lava, while he stepped into it up to his knees.

"Come on!" he roared.

-- Aging and Active --
ThermalMan.EXE: 500 HP (Lava)

-- Cool and Collected --
CourseMan.EXE: 100 HP (Normal)

-- Terrain --
40% Lava (Around ThermalMan)
60% Normal (Everywhere else)

Field Effect:
-- Volcanic Activity: At the start of each turn following the first, the volcanic crack will burst forth with Lava, increasing the area currently covered by Lava by 15%. Any non-Fire elementals caught in the vicinity take the same damage as standing in Lava for 1 action.

-- Battle 10, Start!! --
Moving in a graceful compliment with his primary decoy, Courser drew to a relaxed halt as he came upon the unwelcoming complex entryway. The rupture in the inner wall seemed... sub optimal for a simulation facility, or whatever else it was meant to be. His decoy peered at the steam clouds within, watching, while Courser briefly inspected the two destroyed basher turrets.

“Can't make out much of what's beyond there, boss, mind yourself...” The clone stepped into the breach, squinting through the steam and haze, but Courser himself just nodded. The turrets weren't set up like intentional installations, as far as he could see – they were near the rather unconventional hole, rather than an actual entryway. Cautiously, he drew one wave whip and slashed quickly at each ruined virus. Who knew, maybe the wrangler would count them if he was lucky?

As the next crash of sound and the accompanying steam blast shot out from the gap, Courser and his decoy both twisted away to put their backs to either side of the hole in unison. They had a moment to look up as the figure showed itself within the steam clouds, and back off a touch more in opposite directions as the impressive creature emerged.

“Woah there...” The left courser let his water current skip him back into some of a clear space away from the breach in the wall. The right hand one did the same, raising a cautionary hand as he did and speaking up from the opposite side.

“Easy on the magma works, friend! We're just here to look around!” Both CourseMen had huddled away from the metal man's stomping with a flinch, water and mist swirling about their bodies. Each made the display of hiding partially behind freshly focused shields of rushing water, one wave whip from each forming a broad barrier that flowed out from the central boss and away to the edges before cycling back around, but courser himself was ready to leap and split again, if their new friend proved immediately hostile; a glance at the field disposed him to roll left, while the fresh clone would roll right; it would take him closer to the cliff, perhaps, but he had enough eyes on the field to be mindful even if he wasn't watching it himself.

Given the size and apparent power of the iron giant before them, courser was more cautious than usual about not getting caught out or singled out from his decoys; each pair of eyes he had was watching for any indication that his potential opponent could see through the deception, and in the palm of his free hand, a small inky bead of water coalesced, tucked out of sight until he needed it.

“You know, I'm all for a dip in a hot spring with some fun company, but I'm pretty sure that's not what this place was for...” He shrugged and nodded his hear towards the ignored warning sign. Across from him, his clone peeked out carefully from behind his shield.

“Say... you must have seen those Bashers you just melted down, right?” It tilted its head. “We're not looking to fight, really. I'm CourseMan, that there's RiptideMan,” Courser's clone nodded in his direction. “We've been following the trail of all these excessive artillery viruses in the area... you had any trouble with them, or know anything about what's going on? We'd really rather chat than fight!”

While his decoy spoke, Courser flicked his eyes to the area just past the other navi, and the hole he'd emerged from. The erupting lava vents were a pain, but it made him recall the last time he'd used unstable explosives in an unstable area. His clone shot him a quick, incredulous look between talking, but courser continued. Behind the huge navi, steam condensed into dark coloured water and formed a line across the breach in the wall. It pulled tight against the ground, then faded from sight as a small bundle of complicated electronics formed on one side, just within the wall. The first time anything crossed the line of the breach again, the charge would detonate a potent explosive across the impromptu entryway. A little further in, the black, shadowy water appeared again, forming a pool on the ground, before giving rise to the round, bumpy shape of a large sea mine, all black metal and a single red display that showed a number three on its front. It it ended up in lava, the mine would bob on the surface.

It seemed like their new friend was in a tussling mood, regardless, but even as the navi and his duplicates sought to avoid whatever opening onslaught the metallic figure threw their way, they kept up smiles and something of an amiable banter. Each of them was watching carefully for the kinds of offence their target was going to favour; Courser had a lot of tricks up his ever multiplying sleeves, but most of them were double-edged, and using the wrong one could prove disastrous.

“No, really... Anything you know would be helpful! You seem like such a nice old gentleman, after all!” Behind where they were attempting to make the focus of the likely impending battle, the red display on the mine clicked over from three to two.

-=Summary=-

C*) First Barrier: (40Hp Barrier)
C*) First Armour: (10Hp Casing)
C*) Shadow: Moving right and mirroring Courser's behaviour; doing more of the talking than Courser, but it's fairly even
C1) Forked Streams: Trap(Incoming Attack against CourseMan): Multi-Stage: First (Dodge + Decoy(1 round)), Then (10Aqua, Shot-Type x2 Hits).
C*) Forked Streams Decoy, if/when triggered: rolling inwards, towards the inner wall and circling in that direction
C2) Shield NCP: 2-Hit shield
C3) No Peeking: Counter(Nullify or Seeking Attack directed against CourseMan or any of his decoys): (First: (Blind + Disarm, Shot-Type), Then (Decoy(1 round)).
C*) No Peeking Decoy, if/when triggered: splitting and moving towards the centre, back, near the gate where Courser entered the area.
C4) Dynamite1HP: 100
Properties: Light
Object Damage: 100 Null + Blast2
Damage Method: Throw, Knockback, Microburst, Telekinesis, Gust
Attack Damage: 100 Null + Blast2 + Line Attack + Seeking
Accuracy: D (thrown) / A (trigger)
Description: Sets a lightweight laser trip bomb. When something crosses the sensor beam, the bomb detonates a shaped charge that blasts an entire line. It can see through Invisibility. This weapon is very dangerous to use, caution is advised.
Duration: Until destroyed or until it attacks.
Element: Null
Special: Laser TAG: Attack triggers when something moves through the targeting laser beam, no matter who or what that may be.
Trader Rank: D
(100Null, Blast2, Line Attack, Seeking, A (on Trigger)) Trip line across the destroyed inner wall hole.
C5) TimeBomb1HP: 100
Properties: Anchored
Object Damage: 50 + Impact
Damage Method: Telekinesis
Attack Damage: 100 + To-All-Clause (Enemies)
Accuracy: S
Description: Places a bomb on the field that will explode after two turns, damaging all enemies.
Duration: 2 turns or until destroyed.
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D
(100Null, To-all(enemies), S, End of turn after next) Set up a short way beyond the trip line created by the Dynamite.
C*) Fast Barrier: (40Hp Barrier)
C6) Dodge, chat, and watch for the kinds of attacks ThemalMan favours, if he does attack.
The metal Navi paused for a moment, steam venting from his joints. The fists that he had readied at his sides relaxed slightly, and his small eyes narrowed further. He looked back and forth between CourseMan and "RiptideMan", grunting loudly, and his shoulders hung down. Taking the towel off the back of his neck, he straightened up to his full height, draping it over his arm.

"Alright, sure. It's not like I have anything to do while I wait for this place to heat up proper. This godforsaken Sharo place is too damn cold for its own good, makes everything ache." At the mention of a hot spring, he rubbed his square jaw in thought. "A hot spring...? Oh! You mean like those heated water pools; no, can't say I'd be much of a fan of rusting any more than I've already got now. I'll stick to what I know," he said, scooping up some lava in his hands and letting it pour from between his fingers.

Curiously, the towels around his hips and on his arm didn't seem to be burning at all from contact with the molten earth. "Excessive... what? Artillery viruses? Those big turret ones that were here before? Mmm..." he said, looking up from playing with the lava pool to look around the place, presumably trying to find the now-sunken viruses.

Scratching at his temple, he shrugged. "Can't say I noticed if there were that many of them when I got here... These two I found here, yeah, but those got scrapped pretty quickly. I just came here to do what I wanted to do. If you want to look around, be my guest, s'not much here."

While CourseMan began setting up his insurance around the place, the giant retreated a little backwards to the edge of the gurgling pool of lava. It seemed like it was about to erupt a little, but he paid it no heed and reclined against the edge. Once the TimeBomb was set, however, he looked up suddenly, looking to his sides in puzzlement. He didn't seem to notice the bomb itself, though, as it silently set itself up along with the Dynamite trip line, he went back to addressing the two. "Any reason you two're following them viruses? Just out of some sorta civic duty, or someone payin' ya?"

-- Aging and Active --
ThermalMan.EXE: 500 HP (Lava)

-- Cool and Collected --
CourseMan.EXE: 100 HP (Normal) (Barrier: 40) (Casing: 10) (Shield: 2)
(Decoy: To CourseMan's right)
(Trap: Forked Streams)
(Counter: No Peeking)

-- Terrain --
40% Lava (Around ThermalMan)
60% Normal (Everywhere else)

-- Objects --
Dynamite1HP: 100
Properties: Light
Object Damage: 100 Null + Blast2
Damage Method: Throw, Knockback, Microburst, Telekinesis, Gust
Attack Damage: 100 Null + Blast2 + Line Attack + Seeking
Accuracy: D (thrown) / A (trigger)
Description: Sets a lightweight laser trip bomb. When something crosses the sensor beam, the bomb detonates a shaped charge that blasts an entire line. It can see through Invisibility. This weapon is very dangerous to use, caution is advised.
Duration: Until destroyed or until it attacks.
Element: Null
Special: Laser TAG: Attack triggers when something moves through the targeting laser beam, no matter who or what that may be.
Trader Rank: D
: 100 HP (Normal, across breach in wall)
TimeBomb1HP: 100
Properties: Anchored
Object Damage: 50 + Impact
Damage Method: Telekinesis
Attack Damage: 100 + To-All-Clause (Enemies)
Accuracy: S
Description: Places a bomb on the field that will explode after two turns, damaging all enemies.
Duration: 2 turns or until destroyed.
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D
: 100 HP (Normal, slightly behind Dynamite1's trip line) (2 Turns Remaining)

Field Effect:
-- Volcanic Activity: At the start of each turn following the first, the volcanic crack will burst forth with Lava, increasing the area currently covered by Lava by 15%. Any non-Fire elementals caught in the vicinity take the same damage as standing in Lava for 1 action.
As they chatted and Courser sized up the scene, he sent a pulse of shadow to refresh his primary clone and keep it playing the part. It didn't sound like the navi was involved, but his first comments, Courser had to guess to an operator, had sounded like he had more purpose here than he was letting on. He let himself skate across to one side, absently examining the damaged outer fence while 'Courser' took over the conversation.

“Aye, well, we'd love to call ourselves good samaritans, sure, but really? The bounty on 'em's pretty nice. Unusual over-population in the area, so it goes, and there's a pretty decent Zenny reward for culling 'em, once you've hook up a contract before hand, if you follow.” He shrugged and winked at the reclining lava navi, gliding up the the edge of the pool, though of course, the clone didn't deign to dip a toe in.

“Got to say though... this place is looking pretty wrecked up... supposed to be a research and testing facility, or something like that... Now me, I'd never trespass on a private lot like this normally, but Riptide over there...” The decoy nodded his head back behind him. “My mate's a treasure-hunter first and foremost, and a badly damaged research place seemed pretty sweet for finding valuables, so we though.”

While the clone was chatting, Courser crouched down by the fence and beckoned with one finger. A small well of shadow formed close by him, until it became a narrow hole in the ice and snow. Dark waters rose from it an coalesced into the shape of a hard-hatted mole with a shovel over one shoulder. It had a slim armband with Courser's emblem on it, secured around its shovel arm.

“Right, little guy...” He spoke, loud enough for the other navi to hear, but clearly in a quiet tone mostly directed at the new summon. “Place is a bit ruined – watch out for the lava, and be careful of the gentleman over there too... but see if you can't find us some treasure, okay?” The mole gave a lazy, undisciplined salute and ducked back under the ground for now. Courser, as 'Riptide', stood straight again and looked around the area as the thermal activity seemed to be making more lava patches the longer the situation continued. He made efforts to avoid any of the newly forming patches with light footwork.

“Say, friend... Sharo really does seem like a pretty ill-suited network for a gentleman like you. I can't imagine you'd come up here just because you felt like it, and then complain about it... or, if I'm honest... bust up some poor sod's facility just for a hot bath... What brings you up here to do something like that, really?” Closer to the other navi, the one calling itself Courser grinned and stretched, hands behind his head as the appearance of softly swirling waters circled around him in lazy patterns.

“Aye... what d'you know that we don't, mate? Something... lucrative?” The clone arched an eyebrow with a smirk. The real Courser winced slightly as he peeked at one of the newly opened pyroclastic flows in the area, shielding himself from the heat with one hand; the misting water field around his arm shored itself up as the heat seemed to make his hand glow a redish-orange hue for a moment or two before he pulled back from it.

“Hey, Courser! This place sounds like it's getting more and more unstable. We probably don't have long to search it!” His voice was clear but casual; neither he nor his decoy sounded worried by this prospect, so much as noting the danger and moving on with the conversation. Back in the middle of the enclosed area, behind the laser trip line, the black mine clicked its dial over as the red number dropped from two to one.

-=Summary=-

C*) Shadow: Moving towards ThermalMan, still cautious but acting more relaxed now, and chatting.
C1) Dodge (ducking the spotlight in favour of letting his decoy lead conversation)
C*) 'Forked Streams' and 'No Peeking' decoys intended behaviours as before, if triggered
C2) MomograHP: 60
Damage: 15 + Backstab
Accuracy: B
Description: Creats a Momogra virus to aid you. Attacks with a shovel from behind, and has a constant Mole status that ignores terrain solidness when not attacking (unless the panel currently does not exist). Still affected by other effects of panels.
Element: Null
Special: Allied Virus: This virus has one action per turn, and is fully controllable by the summoner. If no orders are given, it will perform actions at random, but will never intentionally interfere with or damage the summoner or their allies. Deleting this virus will grant no additional rewards to either side.
Trader Rank: C
(no tangible combat orders yet, aside from 'look for treasure' – just to be ready)
C3) Dodge
C4) Stall for time and hopefully more information.
C5) Fire+30Status: Fire Element UP 30, Stackable
Accuracy: S
Description: Adds 30 Damage to all hits of a Fire Element attack chip, before any external environment-related or target-related damage modifiers apply.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: C

C*) Fast Barrier: (40Hp Barrier)
C6) Dodge and Stall
"Hmm... Sounds like some good money. You think if I turned in these two I melted down I'd get some of the pay?" said ThermalMan. As he talked, the lava erupted with the sound of a bubble bursting, causing him to flinch slightly and shield his face from the lava. He was, however, otherwise unharmed. "Courser" and "Riptide" managed to keep their distance from the eruption as well, though the area was starting to heat up more now. Over on the other end of the lava pool, ThermalMan lumbered over to the spot where one of the Bashers used to be. Leaning over, he sank his hands into the lava, and grunted slightly as he wrenched out a heavily mangled pile of iron from the bottom of the pool.

"Even if they didn't accept this pile of junk, I'd bet I could make some kind of art piece from these!" he joked, laughing heartily with his deep voice. The mass of metal in his hands ended up next to the pool, just as "Courser" started asking him of his presence in the area. ThermalMan looked back over his shoulder, and shrugged. "Can't say I know anything about that. Got no clue what this place is for. Whatever my operator's got in mind, though, he clearly doesn't want this place around. Didn't take long, either, didn't have anyone around except for--" he grunted briefly, yanking the other melted Basher out of the pool, "--these two." The destroyed virus's remains made a loud clank as it landed next to its fallen comrade.

"Definitely made for a nice surprise to find this little patch'a home nestled in this awful frostbite of a network, though! Gave it a little push and this whole sector should be getting real warm in a bit. Been ages since I got to swim in a flow!" he said, beaming cheerfully. "You two can come along, too, if ya got what it takes! Hahaha!" As the TimeBomb's timer ticked down again, ThermalMan visibly twitched in place, and looked around once more, with suspicion on his face. Looking over at "Riptide", he eyed the Momogra suspiciously for a moment. However, with how it didn't seem hostile, ThermalMan shook his head, and looked back behind him, where the TimeBomb and Dynamite rested.

"Did I miss any viruses in there...?" he wondered aloud.

-- Aging and Active --
ThermalMan.EXE: 500 HP (Lava)

-- Cool and Collected --
CourseMan.EXE: 100 HP (Normal) (Barrier: 40) (Casing: 10) (Shield: 2) ( Fire+30Status: Fire Element UP 30, Stackable
Accuracy: S
Description: Adds 30 Damage to all hits of a Fire Element attack chip, before any external environment-related or target-related damage modifiers apply.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: C
: Active)
(Decoy: Near ThermalMan)
(Trap: Forked Streams)
(Counter: No Peeking)

MomograHP: 60
Damage: 15 + Backstab
Accuracy: B
Description: Creats a Momogra virus to aid you. Attacks with a shovel from behind, and has a constant Mole status that ignores terrain solidness when not attacking (unless the panel currently does not exist). Still affected by other effects of panels.
Element: Null
Special: Allied Virus: This virus has one action per turn, and is fully controllable by the summoner. If no orders are given, it will perform actions at random, but will never intentionally interfere with or damage the summoner or their allies. Deleting this virus will grant no additional rewards to either side.
Trader Rank: C
: 60 HP (Normal, next to CourseMan)

-- Terrain --
55% Lava (Around ThermalMan)
45% Normal (Everywhere else)

-- Objects --
Dynamite1HP: 100
Properties: Light
Object Damage: 100 Null + Blast2
Damage Method: Throw, Knockback, Microburst, Telekinesis, Gust
Attack Damage: 100 Null + Blast2 + Line Attack + Seeking
Accuracy: D (thrown) / A (trigger)
Description: Sets a lightweight laser trip bomb. When something crosses the sensor beam, the bomb detonates a shaped charge that blasts an entire line. It can see through Invisibility. This weapon is very dangerous to use, caution is advised.
Duration: Until destroyed or until it attacks.
Element: Null
Special: Laser TAG: Attack triggers when something moves through the targeting laser beam, no matter who or what that may be.
Trader Rank: D
: 100 HP (Normal, across breach in wall)
TimeBomb1HP: 100
Properties: Anchored
Object Damage: 50 + Impact
Damage Method: Telekinesis
Attack Damage: 100 + To-All-Clause (Enemies)
Accuracy: S
Description: Places a bomb on the field that will explode after two turns, damaging all enemies.
Duration: 2 turns or until destroyed.
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D
: 100 HP (Normal, slightly behind Dynamite1's trip line) (1 Turn Remaining)

Field Effect:
-- Volcanic Activity: At the start of each turn following the first, the volcanic crack will burst forth with Lava, increasing the area currently covered by Lava by 15%. Any non-Fire elementals caught in the vicinity take the same damage as standing in Lava for 1 action.
Despite the increasing instability of the area, courser and his duplicates had a role to keep up. A nervous message from Jenny was quietly put on hold for now; she was in the same mindset as he was, at least. Whatever this navi and his operator were up to, it was clearly in the 'no good' category, even if it wasn't related to Sharo's current Basher problem. He sent another pulse of shadow to maintain his primary decoy, who in turn skipped back from the increasing lava and grinned at ThermalMan with a shrug.

“You may do... Mimimum turn in on the bounties was just two, I think. The wrangle bot gets a bit shirty about the contracts, but I reckon you'd be able to talk 'im around if you brought the proof.” The clone looked back towards the entrance way as further unusual sound made their way through.

“If you missed any, our scout'll let us know in a jiffy.” He turned his head, standing upright and twisting to look back at 'Riptide' “Oi, Rip, what's the word?”

Courser waved a hand at him, wandering a few steps closer as he avoided the increasing spread of lava from within the compound. After a second or two, he crouched again, and the mole virus popped back to the surface near his feet. It chittered at him, waving its paws and gesturing with its shovel in a rapid, almost panicked manner.

“Okay, okay, hush, come on... Cool it, what did you see?” A few more viral sounds escaped, before the navi waved a hand over the virus, causing a thin, misty spray to fall about it and, apparently, soothe it. “Just show me.” The mist hanging around the virus took shapes, forming small shadowy replicas of several needler viruses, with a large, spiky object sitting on top of one. As the mist covering settled back into a blanketing shroud, the mole virus chattered away more, then ducked back under the ground. As this exchange happened, Courser was focused on two places, casting his eye between the mole, and the breached entry way into the structure. While the miniature shadow forms unfolded, a similar situation drew itself from the shadows, on the inside as well. A needle turret lifted itself from the dangerous terrain beneath the ticking mine, hoisting it up like a display piece. Its main gun rotated forward towards the breach, ready to shoot at the lava-bathing navi if he came into sight.

Courser, as 'Riptide' shook his head and stood again, turning to face his decoy and ThermalMan – he was careful to to look at himself in the process, though it was easy enough to manage, with the decoy looking towards the breach, and courser himself focusing mostly on the other navi.

“Sounds like there's a machine or two – automated defences or something – still kicking about, but the little guy was most worried about some kind of fail safe. Emergency cryo blast or something. He doesn't read too well, but it sounds like it's going to do something big, and soon. About a minute or so.”

“Hey! If that thing freezes the whole mountain top there won't be anything left to nick!” 'Courser' called out in response, standing to wave an aggravated arm at his colleague. 'Riptide' glared back at him and CourseMan had to fight off a headspin of dizziness for a few seconds.

“You're the one who knows tech! Get in there and disarm it!”
“That place is full of lava now! I'm not going in there alone with it like that!”
“It didn't look sturdy, just....” Courser glanced towards ThermalMan. “Oi, mate... you like smashing things? Want to help Courser before we're all popsicled?” The decoy sighed with an exaggerated exasperation as 'Riptide' made the appeal. It also glanced at ThermalMan and shrugged, then moved towards the breach with quick steps.

“Right, fine, come on then. Eyes out for the turrets, find the bomb and break it. I'll be just ahead of you, bearing left once we're in, alright? Don't worry if you can't see me, I'll be invisible, but I'll stay out of your way. Let's go!”

As the decoy stepped up to the breach, it made a gesture with one hand, drawing a waving shimmer over its body as it dissolved into shadows. The remaining Courser lifted a hand and waved it towards ThermalMan and the breach, causing the small mole to lift its head out of the ground again.

“Go with them, show them was you saw. I'll keep an eye out from here.” The summon nodded, albeit nervously, and gave a small salute before burrowing over to stay near ThermalMan.

Courser's hope was that the fast pace and his own friendly attitude would be enough to sell the need for action. The other navi seemed to enjoy smashing things in general, and probably wouldn't like the sound of his new volcano getting frozen, or so he hoped. The needler was poised to begin firing at him as soon as he stepped into the breach, and if he crossed the line, either to go for it, or the time bomb itself, the hidden trip laser was waiting. Either way, however, there was only a second or two more to go.

Within moments, what would hopefully be a pair of ground-shaking explosions shook the mountain top – if he'd made his play well, the shaped charge across the breach way and the time bomb would be detonating at almost the same time. If it was a little off, well, no-one was perfect, after all. The momogra gave a startled jump, feigning panic as it lashed out suddenly with its shovel to strike the nearest dangerous thing - ThermalMan, - while the explosions rattled the scene. Courser took a small side step and let his body turn side on to the breach as her drew the heavy bore silver-worked revolver from his belt and squared it at what was, hopefully, ThermalMan's back, then pulled, adding his own cacophanous boom to the fireworks.

“Sorry, friend. Civic duty, and all that...” He let the gun recoil, spinning it over and around his fingers before sliding it back into his belt, while his other hand swept up in a side-swiping motion. From the shadows in the breach, a mass rose and formed into an all-covering wall of freezing water that he attempted to batter the navi with from the opposite angle. “For what it's worth, one of the other 'me's thinks you seem nice.” As the icy wash subsided, Courser let his wave whips uncoil and held his defences forward, just in case the other navi weathered the chain reaction of surprises. No sense getting careless, after all – he was still ready at any moment to dive, split away, and keep up the assault, if needed.

-=Summary=-

C*) Shadow: Stays close to ThermalMan and chats; feigns surprise and relays information to him when appropriate.
C*) 'Forked Streams' and 'No Peeking' decoys intended behaviours as before, if triggered
C1) Talk to Momogra
C*) Fast Barrier: (40Hp Barrier, on Momogra)
C2) Needler2HP: 80
Properties: Normal, Mobile
Object Damage: 80 Null + Impact + Break
Damage Method: Ramming attack, Telekinesis, Throw
Attack Damage: 40 Null x 2 hits x 3 Targets
Accuracy: A
Description: Summons a gun platform that attacks up to 3 separate targets each turn with its trio of double spike cannons. It can also perform a defense piercing kamikaze attack.
Duration: Until destroyed.
Element: Null
Special: This chip's accuracy cannot be boosted or reduced by any means, including RP quality.
- This object may ram a target instead of firing needles, but is instantly destroyed in exchange.
- This object may dodge by trying to ram nothing, but if it hits something in this way, it is still destroyed and deals object damage.
Trader Rank: C
(Summoned underneath TimeBomb, lifting it up, holding fire)
C3) Dodge (as much to avoid lava pools as anything else)
C4) Any required movement for the rp descriptions (else, more dodge)
C*) Needler will fire at ThermalMan when it has a shot at him in the entrance breach, other shots at anything else that seems hostile (40null, x2 Hits, x3 Targets, A)
C*) TimeBomb Detonates
C*) Momogra 'panics' and attempts to backstab ThermalMan (15, Backstab, B)
C5) Magnum1Damage: 120 + Break + Panel Break x 3 Targets
Accuracy: A
Description: A triple barreled gun that blasts through defenses and terrain alike. Rare
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: C
(150Fire, Break, Panel Break, x3 Targets, A) (ThermalMan, anything else that seems threatening)
C6) IceWave2Damage: 100 + Freeze
Accuracy: A
Description: Sends a wave of ice at one enemy
Duration: Once
Element: Aqua
Special: Ice Type: This chip counts as Ice Type for the purposes of potentially freezing targets on Aqua Element Terrain or environments, as applicable.
Trader Rank: C
(120Aqua, Freeze, A), (ThermalMan)
Scratching his metal head, ThermalMan grunted to himself in contemplation. With the reassurance from "CourseMan", the giant eyed the Navi with a sideways glance, and rolled his shoulders with a murmur. "Mmm, you're right. Screw it, if there's anything in there, I'll deal with it if it comes out. Probably drowning in the fire anyway," he mused. As he spoke, the volcanic pool gurgled with more activity, and began overflowing further outwards.

As usual, ThermalMan only shielded himself from being splashed in the face rather than avoiding any kind of damage. While "Courser" was able to keep his distance, it was definitely getting more difficult to keep close to ThermalMan. The iron giant was now a little closer to the center of the lava pool rather than at its edge, thanks to the volcanic activity causing its expansion. "Little fella found something?" ThermalMan called out to "Riptide". Once he reported his findings, ThermalMan lumbered up into a standing pose.

"Aaaah... I'd just gotten to relax, really. What a bother. Turrets, right? Should be fine if I suit up," he said. Lifting his fists, he punched them together, causing hefty brown metal plates to materialize in the air and fall onto his body, folding themselves around his trunk and limbs with a few noisy clanks. Afterwards, he raised his hand to his head. His expression hardened for a moment, and he gestured silently with his head to nobody in particular, before lowering his hand again.

"Okay, let's go," said ThermalMan, moving up to the breach. As CourseMan had hoped for, the huge Navi seemed to have taken the bait somewhat, as he stepped through the breach cautiously. With a bit of hesitation, ThermalMan crossed the trip laser for the Dynamite, and it beeped briefly, causing him to instinctively jump slightly backwards. "Wh--" he blurted out, before the explosion tore open the ground in front of him in a show of pyrotechnics, leaving him unharmed save for perhaps a little ear ringing.

However, there was yet more to come. The loud sound and copious smoke from the Dynamite charge masked the subsequent sound of a barrage of needles from the smoke. As expected, however, ThermalMan's armor deflected one of the shots, while the other whizzed over his shoulder thanks to his earlier evasive action. "Eager, aren't ya!" he exclaimed, as he raised his arm and pointed it forward, his palm rapidly opening up into the barrel of a cannon. A floating green visor appeared in front of his face, looking poised to relay some targeting data to him.

"?! There's something under the turret?!"

Before he could discern the second target under his original one, the "something" exploded spectacularly, this time in a particularly devastating manner. Shrapnel flew out and shredded through ThermalMan's armor in moments, though it still managed to protect him from any actual damage while he retaliated with a shot back at the Needler. The giant's cannon shot landed, destroying the Needler in one go. Before he could celebrate his accurate marksmanship, though, a sudden smack clanged against his metal body, causing him to turn around in surprise--the "little fella" he had called out about before had snuck in a hit on him!

Before ThermalMan himself could react, a wooden pillar shot out of the ground in front of him, spinning the telltale three faces of a Totem chip towards "Riptide". However, as it spat out its plume of fire from its mouth, it was received with a quickshot of two pulses of water from the trickster's hands, while he retrieved his trusty revolver from his belt. The Magnum tore through the Totem's wooden body with ease, and ThermalMan along with it. With holes torn in both of his targets, the Totem disintegrated in blazes, while ThermalMan staggered to a standing position with a cry of indignant pain.

"Arrrrrgh! Should've known!" he roared, trying to dash forward, only to be greeted by the wall of freezing water that had suddenly come up from behind him. The burst of ice snaked through his metal arms as he roared in pain once more. "Give me the big gun!" he bellowed out, clearly enraged enough to not care about keeping operator communications private. As he said so, ThermalMan's rusty exterior began to click and snap, as his joints fused together and forced his whole body to become rigid in a position that kept him pointing forward with both arms. At the same time, his feet spat out some treads to move around with, and his eyes were covered with a large faceplate.

The cannon barrel that was on one of his arms was now much larger, with its barrel count now suddenly tripled in a triangle, in a configuration that would look very familiar to CourseMan. The cannon fired thrice at both of the "CourseMan" figures, as well as the Momogra. The real one managed to swerve out of the way easily, while the decoy and Momogra suffered the powerful Magnum shell head-on. Thankfully for the Momogra, it was protected by the barrier that CourseMan had the foresight to bestow on it earlier, while the decoy simply phased out. After the shot, the barrel froze over. "Ugh, really!? Cheeky bastard!" he cursed.

-- Aging and Active --
ThermalMan.EXE: 95 HP (Normal, next to Lava pool) (SteelBody: 1 Turn) (Frozen: 1 Turn) (Casing: 0)

Totem1HP: 100
Properties: Anchored, Element Shift
Object Damage: 100 + Impact
Damage Method: Telekinesis
Attack Damage: 100 Fire + Line Attack (3) / Healing 50
Accuracy: A / S
Description: Summons a Totem to breath fire and heal you. Attacks once per turn, and switches faces when hit.
Duration: 3 turns, or until destroyed.
Element: Fire / Wood
Special: Element Shift: This Object alternates between Fire element when Attacking and Wood element when Healing.
Trader Rank: D
: DESTROYED

-- Cool and Collected --
CourseMan.EXE: 100 HP (Normal) (Barrier: 40) (Casing: 10) (Shield: 2)
(Decoy (Forked Streams): HIT)
(Trap: Forked Streams: TRIGGERED)
(Counter: No Peeking)

MomograHP: 60
Damage: 15 + Backstab
Accuracy: B
Description: Creats a Momogra virus to aid you. Attacks with a shovel from behind, and has a constant Mole status that ignores terrain solidness when not attacking (unless the panel currently does not exist). Still affected by other effects of panels.
Element: Null
Special: Allied Virus: This virus has one action per turn, and is fully controllable by the summoner. If no orders are given, it will perform actions at random, but will never intentionally interfere with or damage the summoner or their allies. Deleting this virus will grant no additional rewards to either side.
Trader Rank: C
: 60 HP (Normal, next to CourseMan) (Barrier: 0)

-- Terrain --
70% Lava (Around ThermalMan)
30% Normal (Everywhere else)

-- Objects --
Needler2HP: 80
Properties: Normal, Mobile
Object Damage: 80 Null + Impact + Break
Damage Method: Ramming attack, Telekinesis, Throw
Attack Damage: 40 Null x 2 hits x 3 Targets
Accuracy: A
Description: Summons a gun platform that attacks up to 3 separate targets each turn with its trio of double spike cannons. It can also perform a defense piercing kamikaze attack.
Duration: Until destroyed.
Element: Null
Special: This chip's accuracy cannot be boosted or reduced by any means, including RP quality.
- This object may ram a target instead of firing needles, but is instantly destroyed in exchange.
- This object may dodge by trying to ram nothing, but if it hits something in this way, it is still destroyed and deals object damage.
Trader Rank: C
: DESTROYED
Dynamite1HP: 100
Properties: Light
Object Damage: 100 Null + Blast2
Damage Method: Throw, Knockback, Microburst, Telekinesis, Gust
Attack Damage: 100 Null + Blast2 + Line Attack + Seeking
Accuracy: D (thrown) / A (trigger)
Description: Sets a lightweight laser trip bomb. When something crosses the sensor beam, the bomb detonates a shaped charge that blasts an entire line. It can see through Invisibility. This weapon is very dangerous to use, caution is advised.
Duration: Until destroyed or until it attacks.
Element: Null
Special: Laser TAG: Attack triggers when something moves through the targeting laser beam, no matter who or what that may be.
Trader Rank: D
: EXPLODED
TimeBomb1HP: 100
Properties: Anchored
Object Damage: 50 + Impact
Damage Method: Telekinesis
Attack Damage: 100 + To-All-Clause (Enemies)
Accuracy: S
Description: Places a bomb on the field that will explode after two turns, damaging all enemies.
Duration: 2 turns or until destroyed.
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D
: EXPLODED

Field Effect:
-- Volcanic Activity: At the start of each turn following the first, the volcanic crack will burst forth with Lava, increasing the area currently covered by Lava by 15%. Any non-Fire elementals caught in the vicinity take the same damage as standing in Lava for 1 action.
As the smoke and debris settled, Courser found himself having to dart away from return fire anyway; a combination of a little poor luck and possibly playing his part too well. He flashes a grin for his dance partner and shrugged, hands wide to the side as his wave-whips lashed back and forth with the gesture.

“Hey, don't take it to heart, big guy. We've all got to do what we do, right? Here, have one on the house.” He winked and as he did, one of his whips curled up, creating a dense seed of water in its base, before flicking outward and launching the high-pressure bead out across the space between them. It flew direct and fast, but was a casual flick of the wrist even so; it might hit the seemingly immobile tank-man directly, but chances were just as good it would strike down next to him instead; either way, the bead of water was primed to explode into a freshly formed pool of chilled, clean water, large enough to hopefully sink the other navi.

As the pool formed, regardless of its eventual size, a mire of liquid shadows coalesced by the edge, and another image of Courser faded back into sight, crouching down resting forearms on his knees and still grinning. He looked towards ThermalMan and gave a small salute with a pair of fingers just above his eyebrows.

“Don't panic, mate. Boss man might have lost his marbles, but I said I'd stick by you, didn't I? Look, here's the trick... Look at the boss over there. See the way he splits himself up, right? Well, the trick is to be quick. When you go for 'im, he'll split, but here's the thing – boss always tends to dive to his left, see, and send his dupe to the right. That's how you nail him.” The decoy avoided looking directly across at the other Courser, but nodded his head in the right direction all the same. “Oi! And watch out for—”

The shorter shout was cut off as the jittery momogra popped up again on the opposite side, attempting to clang ThermalMan with its shovel; it seemed unlikely that its weapon would have any impact on the heavily armoured navi, but it did its best all the same.

Courser, while this was going on, kept his shield ready, but braced himself for the trickier defence move in his kit; if he was lucky, the big guy would stay wet and frozen and not give him any further trouble, but he wasn't about to rely on that alone. Just in case, he readied another deception: if ThermalMan got himself free of his predicament and decided that he was, in fact, the real Courser, rather than the one crouching by him and giving a pep talk, the attack would meet only mist and vapour, looking for all the world like another dispersed clone while courser himself warped back behind his assailant, ready to deliver a sharp countermeasure. He opted to leave his secondary duplicate behind, for this one – if it triggered, the new decoy would fade back into place, after the attack passed, reappearing exactly where the original had been standing before. It was a disorienting move, all told, but he was gradually getting used to the double switch, and the practice was important.

Whether ThermalMan had managed to push through Courser's various other defences or not, the navi didn't let his grin falter as the wave whip that had first flicked the seed now drew itself in around his hand more tightly, freezing itself into a solid, jagged gauntlet grip instead.

“You know...” He spoke just loud enough to hear and no louder, the teeth of his grin growing more visible “I'm really not the one you should be watching, friend...” In a moment his form flashed forward, long coat flaring as an eddy of water lifted his steps and carried him up and over his opponent in a roll that twisted his body and let him slam his frozen arm down at the top of the other navi's head; unless the iron giant's armour had failed it already, the blow wasn't likely to do any real harm, but it carried with it a pulse wave that Courser hoped would be enough to slam his heavy metal body down to the bottom of the newly formed pool of water, and begin freezing it over in the process.

He landed, letting the current of water beneath his feet turn him about in a small curve and keep him facing the other navi. The motion absorbed his momentum and he kicked forward again, aiming to make a second follow-up before his opponent had much chance to recover. As he darted back in, he turned his shoulder, spinning his back to ThermalMan's pool just long enough to put fresh momentum behind the swing that involved both hands this time; rather than another icy punch, he came around this time bearing a large, long block-buster mallet with an only slightly tapered steel head; if the first strike hadn't planted ThermalMan firmly on the bottom of the pool, the amount of force behind this one certainly might.

Courser released the hammer after the swing, instead skating in one swift motion around the edge of the now frozen and possibly re-shattered pool he'd made, lifting one hand as he did. The gesture was followed by a cracking, tearing sound, as remnants of whatever ice and water lingered tore themselves up and dumped themselves back over at ThermalMan with renewed violence, while a cloud of mist wrapped itself about Courser himself and refreshed his outermost layer of protection.

“Or maybe I am... honestly, it's hard for me to tell sometimes...” Courser let himself skate further around the circle, trying to stick to the edge of water and ice and avoid the irksome lava pools. Any of his remaining clones only glanced at each other, not quite making direct eye contact, and shrugged.

-=Summary=-

C1) SeaSeedDamage: 10 + Small Sea Terrain Change / Medium Sea Terrain Change
Accuracy: A
Description: Lob a seed that create a medium Sea area. Only a small area if it hits an opponent.
Duration: Once
Element: Aqua
Special: Creates Onsen terrain instead of Sea if used in YokaNet.
Trader Rank: E
10Aqua + Small Sea Terrain Change, A (Medium change if it misses him/he dodges)
C*) Shadow: Giving a pep talk?
C2) Mist and Shadow: Trap(Incoming Attack against CourseMan): Multi-Stage: First (Teleport + Decoy(1 round)), Then ((Aqua)LifeDrain 10, Shot-Type), Then (Self-Slow)
C*) Momogra backstab ThermalMan (15, Backstab, B)
C3) ColdPunchDamage: 70 + Impact + Knockback
Accuracy: B
Description: Creates a large icy fist for the user to punch with. Anything it hits is knocked back a sizable distance, even objects.
Duration: Until Overridden/Broken. Breaks after 6 swings.
Element: Aqua
Special: Ice Type: This chip counts as Ice Type for the purposes of potentially freezing targets on Aqua Element Terrain or environments, as applicable.
Trader Rank: D
70Aqua, Impact, Knockback, B (Attempting to submerge and freeze)
C4) Take Aim
C5) BigHammer1Damage: 160 + Impact + Break
Accuracy: B
Description: Summons a giant metal hammer to utterly crush one enemy that stands before you.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D
160, Impact, Break, Impact, A
C*) Fast Barrier: (40Hp Barrier)
C6) PanelShotDamage: 100 + Small Broken Terrain Change + Terrain Effect Bonus
Accuracy: B
Description: Rips up 1 panel and sends it flying at the designated target.
Duration: Once
Element: Depends on Terrain
Special: Terrain Effect Bonus: Adds an additional effect to an attack where applicable, depending on the type of terrain used.
Trader Rank: D
100Aqua, Small Broken, Freeze (if I can get ice), B
"Dammit... I can't ignite anything!"

Clouds of steam hissed from ThermalMan's body, along with a low whining sound. His face became increasingly redder, warped by the heat mirage wafting up from the lava going up around his legs, up to his midsection. However, the heat didn't seem to be affecting the rapidly spreading frost on his cannon arms. As if to mock his current situation, Courser flicked out a SeaSeed towards the rusty Navi, splashing against his legs. Immediately, the lava underneath ThermalMan erupted in a burst of steam, covering him in scalding water. The lava around his feet was replaced with a small pocket of warm water. From the howl that escaped his lips, it didn't sound like he was enjoying it very much, being a Fire elemental.

The armor plating that had broken after protecting him a moment ago reappeared around his person, immediately latching around him yet again. At that point, the decoy that Courser sent out to poke fun at ThermalMan appeared next to him, while his tank treads began revving up, backing out of the pool of water towards the now very small bit of land that still remained unmolested by either lava or water. The safe haven that had been the molten rock was now not a very safe place for him at all, and his heavy body reconfiguring itself to weather blows didn't seem to work as well against CourseMan's methods.

Still, it wasn't like ThermalMan was going to go down without a fight, starting to move erratically from side to side on the tiny outcropping of land that he still had. As such, he managed to avoid the Momogra's jittery shovel slap with a bit of luck, and the icy gauntlet that CourseMan equipped moments later to follow it up also hit nothing but air. "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon!" he could hear ThermalMan desperately repeat, heavily breathing in between words. Unfortunately, Lady Luck wasn't there to grant him a hat trick, and ThermalMan saw the raw end of CourseMan's strongest attack thus far crashing into his arm.

The armor immediately cracked and gave way, and ThermalMan's steeled defense didn't hold against the stalwart steel of Courser's mallet, leaving the golem Navi with the tiniest protection offered by the Undershirt program. Colorful curses escaped his broken mouth, as ThermalMan's locked-up joints finally gave way, leaving him vulnerable to the last attack Courser threw his way. The chunk of water crashed against him with impunity, breaking through his last bit of resistance and triggering the Emergency Jack-Out in a beam of light.

-- Aging and Active --
ThermalMan.EXE: EJO'd

Totem1HP: 100
Properties: Anchored, Element Shift
Object Damage: 100 + Impact
Damage Method: Telekinesis
Attack Damage: 100 Fire + Line Attack (3) / Healing 50
Accuracy: A / S
Description: Summons a Totem to breath fire and heal you. Attacks once per turn, and switches faces when hit.
Duration: 3 turns, or until destroyed.
Element: Fire / Wood
Special: Element Shift: This Object alternates between Fire element when Attacking and Wood element when Healing.
Trader Rank: D
: DESTROYED

-- Cool and Collected --
CourseMan.EXE: 100 HP (Normal) (Barrier: 40) (Casing: 10) (Shield: 2)
(Trap: Mist and Shadow)
(Counter: No Peeking)

MomograHP: 60
Damage: 15 + Backstab
Accuracy: B
Description: Creats a Momogra virus to aid you. Attacks with a shovel from behind, and has a constant Mole status that ignores terrain solidness when not attacking (unless the panel currently does not exist). Still affected by other effects of panels.
Element: Null
Special: Allied Virus: This virus has one action per turn, and is fully controllable by the summoner. If no orders are given, it will perform actions at random, but will never intentionally interfere with or damage the summoner or their allies. Deleting this virus will grant no additional rewards to either side.
Trader Rank: C
: 60 HP (Normal, next to CourseMan)

-- Terrain --
15% Sea
  • Fire Elementals lose 10 HP/action standing, 20 HP/action submerged. Other Non-Aqua Elementals lose 5 HP/action submerged. Nullified for Aqua Elementals.
  • Ice attacks: 50% Freeze1 chance, Changes terrain hit to Ice.
  • Terrain changes between Sea and Onsen do not inflict damage upon submerged entities, nor do they eject submerged entities to the surface.
  • Elec attacks: +100% Source Damage.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Aqua.
(Small bit at the edge of lava)
15% Normal
  • No effects.
(Very thin bit around the lava)
70% Lava
  • Non-Fire Elementals lose 5 HP/action standing, 10 HP/action submerged. Doubled for Wood Elementals, nullified for Fire Elementals.
  • Aqua attacks: Panel explodes, +100% Source Aqua Damage, change terrain hit to Normal.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Fire.
(Everywhere else)

Field Effect:
-- Volcanic Activity: At the start of each turn following the first, the volcanic crack will burst forth with Lava, increasing the area currently covered by Lava by 15%. Any non-Fire elementals caught in the vicinity take the same damage as standing in Lava for 1 action.

-- Battle 10, Victory!! --
Rewards: 4500z, [GolemHit1] Battlechip

---

Even with the immediate culprit out of the way, however, the volcanic spread didn't seem to be stopping. The lava continued to gurgle, and the wire fencing around the area had already succumbed to it, dripping over the sheer drop that it bordered. It seemed like ThermalMan's vision of a warmer Sharo sector was going to come to fruition after all, despite not being present for it!