Casual busting and Catching up

Their trek through the abandoned haunted house continued mostly unimpeded, into a smaller room. While Lyntael played with one of the physical props that were spread throughout the little area, Aurora followed along, watching the gremlin statue she had jostled wobble back and forth. It looked about to fall over, and she nearly jumped for it, but it swayed back into a stable position shortly. Taking advantage of Aurora's distraction with the statue, Sparky took the chance to jump out of her arms, finding his way into a hidden side entrance camouflaged by a fake wall; it was most likely meant for maintenance. "Whoa, boy, don't wander off too far," said Eternalis, who was leading not far ahead.

Don't fall too far behind, Aurora's voice echoed towards him, as she walked past, along with Lyntael, who had found something else she wanted to fiddle with: a nearly upturned carriage that seemed to be the ride through the haunted house. She motioned to see if she could help with the cart, but at the same time, it looked like she was more taking out her feelings on it rather than doing anything productive with it. The reason came to light quite soon, as Lyntael continued with the more grisly details of her story.

Working as a spotter definitely was something she was familiar with. It had been her line of work to provide assistance for someone else, albeit it was her Navi partner instead of a human infiltrator. She had watched many a hapless program breathe their last. Until the incident with her previous partner, it was something she had gotten... acclimatized to. She realized that she had never yet seen a flesh-and-blood human die, much less killed. Programs could be restored, humans couldn't. Aurora wondered, would she take it the same way herself? She didn't quite know whether she wanted to find out.

Even after Lyntael was clutching at herself, trying to console her own state, Aurora could only nod to follow her suggestion of going over the tracks, her mind still occupied. As she realized her silence, she shook her head to clear it of her thoughts. "Oh, sure! Let's head out--hang on," said Aurora, before turning back towards Eternalis and Sparky, who they had left behind a little while back. "Come on, Sparky, let's go!" she called out.
With a glance back towards Aurora, and beyond her to their other companions, Lyntael skipped lightly to turn back around and begin walking one foot in front of the other down the curving length of metal track, her arms drifting out to each side as she went. She remembered the doubt she'd felt, and the borderline self-loathing she'd almost fallen into over Rogan's actions then. Looking back, she could only wonder at why she'd beaten herself up so harshly about it. It was okay in hindsight, she supposed – she knew, more certain than ever now, that she hadn't been wrong about him, not really, but at the time she'd doubted... and that feeling had been hard to bear.

The tracks curved away into darkness, the lights from the landing fading to nothing as the first bend cut them off, but Lyntael continued in the pitch dark with careful steps. Somewhere in the gloom, a sound track of spooky ghost shrieks began to play, but it crackled and cut out into a slowing distortion the grew more abstract with each loop. It almost sounded scarier that way.

“Anyway...” She spoke quietly, still looking ahead into blackness. The track had straightened and now it began to dip on a gradual descent. “I was really upset. I ran away.” She paused, partway down the sloping metal track and looked around to see if she could locate her friends still, then reached out one hand to try to take Aurora's in hers, waving it in slow, blind movements until she found her friend. “Not really, just... just like... like a little girl 'running away' to the playground, but then coming home when it got late anyway.” She felt herself smile softly in the dark, and closed her eyes.

“Rogan worried. He wouldn't admit it, but he did. I was angry at him, and he had said he didn't want disturbed, and so I thought, fine, you know? And I went. I wanted to do something silly and crazy, just to get a reaction out of him. I joined a net faction. I was gone... almost a whole day. When I got back, Rogan was searching for me; he'd stopped everything else, and put all his work on hold... and... and he sounded so relieved, when he saw me come home... he tried to hide it again, but I could hear it, and I knew I hadn't been wrong.” Just as she started walking again, one foot drifting out from the rail in a lazy forward arc, she stopped.

“Oh, drat. I should have brought it!” She had just realised that the wonderful gift that Drago had given to her was still at home in her room. The little carry bag would have been perfect for exploring a run down old place like this. “That was silly of me. I have this cute new messenger bag, that subordinate I was paired with gave me after our mission... not much use hanging on my bedroom door though, is it? Oh well...” She shook her head and squeezed Aurora's hand before continuing to explore. At the bottom of the slope, an array of bright neon lights lit up suddenly, if in incomplete, halfhearted form, showing the flickering and only half-formed impressions of monstrous shapes, while fans blew leathery streamers across the tracks. The effect would likely have been much better in an actual ride car, probably. Lyntael giggled at them.

“So, they're called the Neo-shogunate, or well, the Neo-shogun Empire, I suppose,” she giggled again. “But they say their whole mission is about making the net safer for everyone, so it seemed like a neat choice. Have you heard of them?” Even in the broken and burned out neon lightning, Lyntael could only just make out the shapes and faces of her friends as she looked towards them.
As the track led further into the darkness around the bend, Aurora's brow furrowed. Let's take it slow and keep two eyes out, she pinged to Eternalis, who had just beckoned Sparky over into his arms. The pup was somewhat apprehensive at first, but obliged soon enough, and he trailed behind the vanguard of two girls. The echoes of their steps along the dirty tracks played through their shared mental space for a while, with the footsteps being slow and staggered. In Eternalis's periphery, a small holographic display popped up, and he saw Aurora's field of vision through it. In the darkness, the display showed Lyntael's murky figure stumbling about, before Aurora's hand came out to catch her hand.

Through Lyntael's palm, Aurora felt the beating electrical pulse that came through her strikers while she listened to Lyntael's story. While the electrical pulse itself was erratic at times, it wasn't much different from what she had sensed previously in Sharo. She second guessed herself briefly, did she need to feel it up more? The spontaneous thought made her shake her head, but it was too late, and she could already sense Eternalis's amusement from their mental link.

"Oh, I imagine you snuck off a lot behind his back, including coming to our place, but it's a relief to hear that your operator still cares about you," said Aurora, squeezing Lyntael's hand in turn. "Joining a net faction sounds pretty fun too. Hadn't you joined the NetPolice's Technology division at some point?" said Aurora.

"I did, though I don't think I did much with that membership. I think they do have some stuff at the faction supply that's apparently hard to come by," laughed Eternalis. Despite them not walking too far in, the darkness was already overtaking them, and it was difficult to see much of anything save for the occasional spark off of Lyntael's body. "Honestly though, if you got a messenger bag from signing up? That was more than I got, I remember us having to fetch a drink for one of the officers and they just let us in without much fanfare. It was pretty funny, all things considered."

As he reminisced about his comedic sign-on to the NetPolice, the lights in the tunnel lit up suddenly, giving them a bit of a start. "Well! That's much easier to see in. Maybe we should've tried to get the cart running after all," he commented. As soon as Lyntael mentioned the name of the faction that she had joined, however, he stopped for a moment. "Neo-Shogunate... Isn't that the one we were up against with that big group we had together?"

Aurora's expression looked somewhat conflicted for a moment. Perhaps you shouldn't have mentioned it, she thought, to which Eternalis's reply thought came that he had simply blurted it out without thinking. Scratching her neck for a moment, she turned to Lyntael to explain. "Yeah, we've met them before; we joined a GNA contingent a long while ago that had us fight against an army that they had raised up to take over some Netopian network sector. I... don't suppose you saw anything about them doing something like that?"
I the gloom of the flickering neons, Lyntael glanced across to Aurora and squeezed her hand back, then shrugged softly, starting to walk again, placing one careful foot in front of the other along the metal track. She had crept out before, but that time had been different, or so it seemed. She'd left after a fight, and hadn't come back when he'd needed her, at least not right away. She reflected on the relief she'd heard in his voice when she'd come home at last, but then set it aside in her mind after another moment, and focused on the rest of the conversation.

“I... I'd heard that they tried something like that, a long time ago... some big conflict that didn't work out for them, and...” Halfway up the next slop, the rickety track began to twist in a spiral, while broken neons attempted to flare images of screaming ghost souls up the central column and distorted electronic shrieks and screams played through the dark space. The partially intact lighting seemed to imply that the track would approach a coaster-like drop at the top of the spiral, but Lyntael turned her attention from the 'spooky' displays back with more sudden seriousness to Aurora and Eternalis and studied their features in the faint blue light. Her thoughts skipped back to those little fragments of vision and memory she'd seen, what felt like a lifetime ago now.

“Wait... That war. That was them. That was you!” Her eyes flicked back and forth between them as she back-walked just ahead of the pair; and Sparky, an afterthought added. “That was... That... You guys really trounced them...” for a moment, her features broke towards a mischievous grin, but faltered and dropped again a moment later. “A lot of people got hurt, didn't they?” She bit her lip and rubbed at one shoulder and her neck, then turned back to focus on climbing the spiralling tracks.

“I mean... I guess I think, they might have downplayed it, but they didn't deny it. Just... I was told they'd made a bid for control at one point, but that they'd since reached the conclusion that they could help more people and keep more people safe, this way... it seems like they mostly do diplomatic work now, at least, from what I saw.” She shrugged softly in the gloom, then started a moment later as several of the ghostly soul lights crackled and fizzled, then popped in small showers of sparks that scattered down the track shaft.

“Heh...” Lyntael looked around quickly as the short laugh escaped her. It seemed like there were small alcoves along the rising spiral as well, but they were mostly empty – perhaps they'd been for employee navis to scare ride-goers in earlier, more functional days? “Guess trying to work after all this time is too much for some of this stuff...” She shook her head and kept walking, now tracing her fingertips along the outside wall and leaning in to each alcove as she did. Maybe there would be a back door somewhere, for staff, and they could look at all the under-works.

“Anyway... Drago, ah, DragonierMan, that is... he was the subordinate that assessed me when I joined.” Her train of thought paused and she frowned. “It was odd, because his rank was subordinate, same as me, now, I guess... but really, it seemed like he had more station and influence than most of the rank and file members. Someone said he was in with the 'shogun' himself.... ah anyway...” She shook her head. “He said he and his team were warriors more than anything else, but even they had been doing mostly political and diplomatic missions lately. He said they didn't suit him, but The mission we work on, he seemed to really take to it, hehe...” This time she did giggle in the darkness, remembering the suave figure the dragonier had cut, despite his protestations at being better suited for battle. Now she turned her head, skipping ahead enough around the track to look back at Etenrnalis properly. Beneath them, the rails and their wooden underlay creaked and groaned more the higher they climbed.

“I didn't actually get the presents from the Shogunate itself, that was actually Drago and his team getting me presents after the mission. They came off as all gruff and dangerous, but really, they were very nice! Actually, Drago, Aya, Suzume and Magistrate were just there to supervise me and watch how I performed. It was General Yasu who actually approved me, technically. There was a little questionnaire and everything. Oh, and a uniform!” In the dark, Lyntael felt her thoughts skip back to that particular topic and was glad of the gloom as her cheeks flared into a bright blush again in response. They probably couldn't see in the dark anyway, so she pushed on.

“Yasu even let me design my own uniform, once she gave me my title. It's really... ah...” this time it was a nervous, embarrassed giggle that overtook her words, though feeling safe in the darkness gave her a bit more daring than she might have otherwise felt. She grabbed both of Aurora's hands for a moment and grinned at her, winking in low light.

“It's really cute! I made it myself! I'd love to show it to you, when we go back to my place later!” Biting her lip, she giggled again. Was it possible for someone to hear blushing? The tips of her ears burned as she felt her cheeks heat, and she skipped away again, running a few more steps up the spiral ahead of her friends before turning back to face them. “Did you guys get cute police uniforms when you joined the net police? What sort of missions do they want you to do?”

As she backed off, her feet reached the top of the rising track spiral, where the tracer lights seemed to indicate it would begin to shoot away back downward in a new direction after a short distance. The ceiling of the space showed a progressing pattern of light, now with the flickering remains of holographic images that rushed and flowed, trying to give the impression of tormented spirits fountain up through the column and spreading out above their heads in every directions. Lyntael paused to look at the display while she listened to her friends. It was only supposed to be seen briefly, she guessed – looking at it for more than second or two began to show up the less than convincing imagery for what it was. From what was still intact, it looked like the fountain of souls was being pulled away and down again, into flickering flames at the periphery. Lyntael blinked in the darkness. For a moment she'd thought it looked like forks of lightning and rolling storm clouds, but at another glance she saw her first impression had been right. Just a trick of the almost non-existent light.

As the ancient, dilapidated ride groaned under the weight of new explorers at the top of its high rise, the interior space seemed to shift, then lurch. A static screech of tearing code-work split the space, followed by a sense of ringing and displacement, before exterior daylight split into the space like a rend in space. Something gave, the the broken old ghost ride tore open, part of the structure ripping away and falling sideways under its own weight. Shapes twisted and churned as the tear gave a view out onto the rest of the nearby kotobuki park space – the interior space of the ride was much larger than the small building they'd first stepped into and now that it was breaking, large amounts of the buildings internal space and other objects – props and machinery both – were decompressing and tumbling outward into the open network from the tear, while they were left at the top of a precariously swaying half-tower of sparking metal and splintering wood.

Lyntael heard herself gasp at the first lurch, then shriek as the light poured in. She blinked, squinting, as her hands reached half-blind for something to grab onto and steady herself, and tried to make sure Aurora and Eternalis were still with her.

“Ahh – hey! Is this whole thing collapsing? Aurora! Eternalis! Are you alright?” She shouted over the tearing sound as she forced her eyes to adjust – there wasn't really time to appreciate the sudden view as the breaking structure leaned further.

((Ready for battle 2 ^.^))
"I wouldn't say we trounced them, honestly, their generals put up a hard fight," said Eternalis. Recalling the struggles of the time, the memories of the vast numbers of soldiers the Neo-Shogunate had accrued, and how hectic the defense had been. He had nearly triggered his emergency jackout as well, though once he tried accessing his memories on that particular part, his recollection was "discouraged" by Aurora's mental voice making a half-plea, half-demand towards not doing so. Even through the darkness of the tunnel, Eternalis could feel Aurora's ears turning a little redder.

"It was... rough, yeah. That's how these kinds of conflicts go," said Aurora, idly examining a broken display trying to show a horde of white-sheet ghosts, flickering in and out. "That's good, though, if they've turned over a new leaf. Hopefully they stay that way." Internally, she hoped that it wasn't simply a rosy portrait painted specifically to attract new recruits. While Lyntael definitely wasn't a typical innocent, bright-eyed girl, the fact that she had, by her own account, joined them fresh off the heat of an argument with her operator, may have colored her perceptions somewhat.

As she was pondering things, Eternalis was trying to keep Sparky from running ahead, with little success, as even with the vertical spiral, the pup had no qualms about exploring by itself, being able to fly and all. There was no stopping the little SP zooming up into the rest of the track, and Eternalis hung his shoulders in defeat. Should anything happen, Sparky was connected to his systems, and he could simply recall the pet in a pinch. Thus, he simply lagged behind again, choosing to accompany the two girls.

"That's a fancy-sounding name if I've heard one," he commented, watching Lyntael skip ahead on the tracks, with Aurora joining him at his side. "DragonierMan... I don't think we heard of anyone like that back then. Sounds like he has quite a posse himself, though. Maybe that's why he's doing diplomatic missions."

As soon as Lyntael mentioned her uniform, along with her telltale fidgety giggle, Aurora wryly smiled. "I'd love to see what you've got for your uniform, though I don't believe we got ourselves anything of the sort, since we joined just to see if it was interesting," said Aurora.

"It didn't seem like it would be interesting at all to fetch drinks for NetPolice officers, that's for sure," laughed Eternalis. "I'm sure if we did some chores for them they'd let us test some of the NetPolice's equipment, as part of the Technology division."

Before the two knew it, they were already at the top of the point where the spiral track went up. It was hard to see much, but Sparky was wagging his tail quite hard, waiting for them at the top. "Hey, there you are, you little scamp," said Eternalis, moving up to scoop up the pup, who was happy to jump into his master's arms. As he did so, there was a bit of a creak from where he stood, but it was but a brief moment that he paid it no mind. He tried to peer down at where the track slope went down, but it was a bit too dark to tell. Maybe they could have Sparky give them rides safely down, he mused.

"What kind of title did they give you? From the sound of 'Neo-Shogunate', I'd guess like they'd give you some complicated Electopian title," said Aurora. Before she could receive her answer, however, something snapped in the tracks under their feet, and all of them felt the sudden shift in weight.

"Wha--It's falling apart!?" yelled Eternalis.

Sparky barked in alarm, and Aurora was trying to keep her balance. She heard Lyntael's voice nearby, and went to action. In Eternalis's mind, a firm command--for him to let her take Sparky. He immediately complied, throwing her their SP-slash-ride. "Board form, Sparky!" he commanded, to which the pup affirmatively barked, and a brief flash of light overtook it. Aurora took the transformed hoverboard under her arm and grabbed at the general direction where she had heard Lyntael's voice from, managing to find purchase on what she assumed was her arm.

"I've got you! We'll be fine!" she shouted. Sparky would probably be able to hold the two of them, though how well was a guess. The pup would very likely not be able to hold all three, though, and for that end, she threw out her mental voice towards Eternalis, apologizing. The response she received was: Don't worry about me.

The structure under their feet shrieked and twisted as it collapsed further, and it was anyone's guess as to how it would end up in the next few seconds.

[Ready for Battle 2.]
(+8 Mutual FXP)

Escaping from the rubble and ever further into the collapsing and dilapidated park, the quartet would quickly find themselves in a much cooler place than they had been previously, grass and tile interspersed across the opened area as their way back had collapsed into rubble. Various pieces of attractions and rubble surrounding the quartet as an arena of sorts, they would have to figure a way forward...and thankfully for them, that came after them as across from them on the other side, a massive meta-virus busted it's way through.

The combination of a few Yorts smashed and welded together, incidental (but still deadly) parts from the local Fishy population's wings on it's sides and the Dharma virus' metal plates and pucks welding the rest of the body together (and the jet engines on the back of the virus' body) as it spun some attached pucks around it's body, whirring buzzsaw noises cutting through the area as it spun around, bounding around the sides of the upper part of the area, away from the quartet, dislodging junk and metal as it sheered it's way through part of it. In it's reckless abandon, it had managed to awake a Ratty virus, darker and meaner looking than it's topmost counterpart, as well as a local Gunner virus from atop it's mountain of crap, just behind the Shredder virus' body and near the opening it had created. As the trio of viruses faced down the quartet, small mountains of junk would fall onto the field to create smallish objects to hide behind from the Gunner's wrath, but would prove very unsturdy as cover. Either way, the buzzsaw menace would rev itself up, ready to cut and gore whatever it could get ahold of as the navis and SPs routines for battle started up, but if they really wanted to, they could try and escape from the tunnel the Shredder virus had created...if they really wanted a challenge, seemed that the Shredder virus was the main lynchpin between the other two viruses and they would likely turn neutral or escape if the Meta was deleted...

-- Viruses --
Ratty2Ratty2 (Ratty)

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 60 Null + Blast1 + Homing + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: C
Attack Description: Fires a ratton missile that scurries in a tricky pattern toward an opponent.
Element: None
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Ratton2, Zenny
Special: Gains one free dodge at 50 health, but this only activates if the virus remains alive at this value. Missile has object properties, as an object equal to the damage dealt: if a missile is fired and dodged, it will remain active at 60 HP and attack the opponent again before it is destroyed. Never comes alone, favors pack mentality.
: 100 HP (Normal) (Flanking Shredder to the left)
ShooterShooter (Gunner)

Gunners attack every action, if able. They don't bother attacking enemies they can't hit or enemies they can't damage, but they can select Objects as targets. Their accuracy with the machinegun attack is bad because it scatters everywhere. They are aware of this. They are also aware of the fact that their Vulcan attack pierces objects.

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town, Dentech

HP: 120
Primary Attack Damage/Effect: 15 Null + Spay Fire x 9 Shots
Primary Attack Accuracy: E
Primary Attack Description: Targets an enemy and sprays the area with twin machineguns.
Secondary Attack Damage/Effect: 15 Null + Spread1 x 3 Shots
Secondary Attack Accuracy: A
Secondary Attack Description: Targets and enemy and attacks with Vulcan.
Element: None
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Vulcan2, MachineGun2, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
: 120 HP (Normal) (to the right of and behind Shredder, albeit partially)
Shredder V3Shredder V3 (Shredder)

Shredders are a combination of Yort, Fishy, and Dharma viruses. They appear to be Yorts with 3 body pods instead of two. The pods are black with fishy-fins, and of course feature jet thrusters in the back. In the space between each of the pods is a Dharma's puck that splits and reveals a nasty ring of curved metal blades when attacking.

Area: All

HP: 470
Element: Null

Primary Attack Damage/Effect: (20 Null + Slashing + Break + Piercing) per hit
Primary Attack Accuracy: C
Primary Attack Description: Launches a volley of three blades at one target in sequence. They fly out, and come straight back. They pass through any object or enemy they strike, and may strike twice or even three times at max range. The blade pucks have 1 HP, and Iron Body. This attack cannot damage Shredder viruses.

Secondary Attack Damage/Effect: (20 Null + Slashing + Break + Rebound(5)) per hit
Secondary Attack Accuracy: E
Secondary Attack Description: Launches a spread of three blades that bounce around the field. They carom off of whatever they hit up to a max of 5 times each. The blade pucks have 1 HP, and Iron Body. This attack cannot damage Shredder viruses.

Tertiary Attack Damage/Effect: (60 Null + Impact + Slashing + Knockback)
Tertiary Attack Accuracy: B
Tertiary Attack Description: The virus fires up its boosters, and charges the enemy. When contact is made, the blade pucks extend their blades, and spin, slicing at the target. The virus then airbrakes, leaving the target to fly a short distance ahead.

Special: This virus may summon a RockCube once each turn as a free action.
Special: OmniShoes

Possible Rewards (Per Virus): DashAttack, Yo-yo2, AirHockey2, RockCube, Attack+20, Zenny.
: 470 HP (Grass) (Behind Sheered Junk, a little ways away from Lyntael)

-- Navis -- (Starting roughly at the "back" of the area, but within a movement's range of all viruses, on a fairly large area of Grass paneling)
Lyantel.EXE: 350 HP (Grass) (To the left of the area)
Eternalis.EXE: 600 HP (Grass) (Roughly middle-right of the area)
Aurora.SP: 100 HP (grass) (roughly between Lyntael and Eternalis)
Sparky.SP: 80 HP (Grass) ("Equipped" to Aurora, but not really, may re-equip to Eternalis as a free action)

-- Terrain --
50% Normal
  • No effects.
(Interspersed across the field, with larger patches towards the middle of the area)
50% Grass
  • Wood Elementals get +5 HP/action.
  • Fire attacks: +100% Source Damage, change terrain hit to Soil.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Wood.
(In patches across the field, with a larger patch in the "back" of the area)

-- Objects -- (1-2 Piles of 40 HP "Junk" objects fall down each turn onto the field randomly, but "should" not fall on top of friend or foe)
Sheered Junk: 40 HP (Normal) (In front of Shredder)
Rubble: 40 HP (Grass) (To the left of Eternalis)

Battle Mode: Elite!
Kill the Metavirus to win!
Bugfrags and chips still doled out for unkilled viruses!

Alternatively, you may attempt to escape through the hole the Shredder virus created as it came into the area for a win, but doing so will prove tougher than simply eliminating it!

-- Rogue Battle 2 Ready? Start!! --
Amidst the crash of breaking equipment and toppling structures, Aurora managed to catch the arm she was seeking and felt fingers grip back, along with a buzzing static tingle and the sense of a freshly growing charge from within the girl. Another shriek of tortured metal ripped through the space and then the ground was gone.

Lyntael felt Aurora's hand grab her forearm and gripped back as smoke and sparks played havoc with visibility amidst the collapsing ride. Light was out, she knew that. If they could get open air, they could get away from the rest of the mass falling down. Her heart rate had jumped up at the first sounds of distress from the structure but now she felt her charge rising preemptively to meet it in her chest, pulsing with a familiar sensation. Barriers wouldn't be much help here though. Her eyes darted as she ran with Aurora a few steps towards the rent opening, before everything lurched again and the ground fell out from under them. Lyntael gasped a quickly shouted affirmative back, gripping harder to Aurora's hand even as an instinctive spiral of wind drew in and rushed upwards around them, slowing the sudden drop for the moment it took the other woman to get the Sparky-board underneath them and pull Lyntael onto him with her.

The board dodged and wove out through thee falling debris and high-speed ejections of broken material as the ride's space compression failed completely and began to spray metal girders, concrete rubble, wooden beams and other base construction material from its innards, out in every direction. Even as they swung closer to the ground, out in the open finally and on the far side of the ghost house to where they'd first entered, the space was covered and surrounded by the destruction. Lyntael took a breath and briefly shifted to hug the woman in front of her on the board around the waist with a giggle – unaware both of the static still latent in her skin and Aurora's particularly squishy mid-section, until the latter surprised her.

“Heh... that was something... Where's Eternalis? Did he land okay? He can teleport and stuff, right?” The sudden shock of the situation was more a worry to her than Eternalis; she knew he'd be fine. When Lyntael glanced around a moment later, she managed to catch sight of him, and gave a quick wave. As the remaining code ends spewed out into the main network behind them, a sudden noise ahead made Lyntael's view snap back again and behind Aurora she flinched softly at the arrival of a new, vicious-looking threat. It figured that noise would have woken something up. Her charge was still beating, pulsing with her heart and eager to be used. Lyntael took a breath and set herself, focused above the undercurrent of nervous tension... Again, it was only really mild now... almost like she wasn't all that frightened by the dangerous virus, really. Maybe this was what it was meant to be like?

“Okay... I guess we're doing this now then, right? Okay... I can do this...” She reached up and tapped Aurora on the shoulder and nodded to her before swinging down from the board to land neatly on the ground in front of the largest virus as it swung about the space and veered in her direction. Those blades looked nasty, but if she was careful...

As she took her usual fighting stance in front of it, Lyntael felt her skin crackle and dance with lines of energy, skittering just under the surface, but she focused on the most dangerous target, weaving lightly on the balls of her feet, guard up. Her eyes flicked to either side, assessing, before she darted suddenly to one side, circling partially around the large pile of sheered off junk nearest her to put it between the virus and her. As she moved her wrists and ankles began to glow, then crackle, and she felt the welling of charge straining at her extremities. She breathed, and welcomed it, puling until the charge became a roar in her ears and a burning in her limbs and all the way up and down her spine. Her steps carried her only a short distance to one side, before she vaulted up, one step, two, then leaping clear to crest the junk pile and set her body spinning. Sparks trailed in long arcs off her hands and feet as she twisted, aiming to come in over the top of the virus and drive downward. As her body completed its third twist the trails of sparks drew in, dragged back into her strikers and up through her body, combining into one at her chest before Lyntael came slamming down, left fist first, towards the central divider on the meta-virus. The charge raced out, burning through her like white fire and Lyntael heard her voice scream through grit teeth as her fist hit something amidst a brilliant flare of energy that enveloped everything in the few feet around her leading hand.

The rush of release washed over her for a moment, followed by the aching void of drain and emptiness that felt like a hole torn in her chest. Then, after a moment that seemed longer, the charge pulsed and came rushing back, faster, harder and violently thirsty for the next release. Her body pulsed, sending out a fresh wave of scattering lighting forks as it struggled to rebalance the sudden, massive expenditure; a tiny drop against the strain she felt but she grit her teeth and stood, getting her footing. If that hadn't been enough to put the big virus out of action, she needed to move; the jump had put her right in the middle of it all, but at least if anything had a go at her, they'd be on the receiving end up another violent burst – she could feel the protective charge rippling under her skin and ready to explode at the first provocation.

Summary
L*) Subtype: All attacks containing Knockback or Pull gain Wind-Type.
L*) First Armour: 20Hp Casing (as subtle outfit reinforcement)
L1) Buster Charge
L2) My Pain is Real: (Multi-Stage: (On Set: Self-Slow2), Counter(On Hit): 45Elec, Knockback, Nova3) (Overcharge +1 on Set, +2 on Trigger)
L3) Movement (fancy nimble acrobatics to get into melee range with Shredder)
L4) Buster Charge
L*) Fast Armour: 20Hp Casing Refresh
L5) Full-Charge Buster Strike (480Elec, A) (Overcharge +6), at Shredder
L6) A Manifest Spirit (Multi-Stage: (First: (15Elec, Nova2, A)), Then: (Time Delayed (15Elec, Nova2, Per Turn, for 3 additional turns)) (Overcharge -1 per pulse)

Cooldowns and Overcharge

A Manifest Spirit: 3TCD
My Pain is Real: 3TCD

Overcharge: Begin: 1 (residual), My Pain is Real (Set) +1, (Trigger) +2, full-Charge Strike +6, Manifest Spirit -1, End: +7/(+9)
[LynFXP: 349 > 357]

The chaos that followed in the destruction of the decaying park attraction happened all at once, with Aurora, Lyntael, and Sparky scrambling together just in time to escape the collapse. As Aurora barely came to be able to have Sparky carry them, the board's thrusters roared to life, carrying them out through the tear in space. Debris spraying out from the compressed space shot past them, a hair's breadth away from prematurely stopping their escape, were it not for Sparky's quick strafes and dips.

The pup slowly touched down onto the ground a fair distance away from the destruction, and Aurora received a sudden hug from behind. "Whoa, hey!" she exclaimed, experiencing a few pins and needles from Lyntael's electrical discharge as she calmed down, though it didn't last for too long. Eternalis came to join along soon after, having escaped the wreckage himself and ending up a little closer to the haunted house. The blue Navi jogged over to where the othre three had ended up after seeing Lyntael's wave. Their reunion would be interrupted rather abruptly from the introduction of the massive amalgamation of a virus crashing its way through the wreckage, joined by a couple others.

"Yeesh, were these guys waiting for us to leave?" commented Eternalis. Despite the virus's clear destructive power, he didn't seem too perturbed by it.

"What a freaky design, is that like several viruses welded together?" said Harke.

"Seems like it," replied Eternalis. "Thinking back to that big fight we had with the Neo-Shoguns is bringing back memories, though. Lemme try to match its size!"

Eternalis then thrust his arm skyward, and the slime around his body began to disintegrate into a whirlwind around him. Before long, the color of the swirl began to fade away, turning into a haze of grey that wholly consumed his body. The haze then solidified immediately, turning into an enormous blob shape that came to tower over the other fighters. A pair of grey eyes opened at the front of the blob, and four tiny antennae sprouted from atop his head. "Broadside Cross active! Deploying Towering Guard!" he announced. Then, two enormous metal implements then produced themselves from within the blob, one of which was a nondescript looking box to his left, and a thick steel shield to his right. The shield lumbered as it swiveled towards his front, between him and the viruses.

Aurora's response was to chuckle to herself. "C'mon, Sparky, let's not get caught in that. Let's have at it, Lyntael!" she said, to which the pup barked excitedly, attaching herself to the board as he carried her off. As she did so, a dim field of energy encased her, and she held her hand out towards the ground that she had just left. A hole materialized, from which a wireframe built itself up into the shape of a KillerEye virus. The constructed virus's singular eye waved around for a moment before it pointed its sight stock forward, directly at the Shredder metavirus.

"Launching Bunker Buster!" Eternalis loudly announced. The nondescript box on his left suddenly hissed as it split open, from which two missiles shot up into the sky. High in the sky, the missiles flew outwards in a wide circle before swerving back downwards towards the viruses. As they approached, the warheads of the missiles split open to reveal the shape of a pair of fists, and slammed down into the ground. The earth shook and fractured from the impact, from which there was surely no escape. Eternalis's transformed visage watched from behind the tower shield with a strangely dissonant happy expression, as the huge grey blob swirled about in place, preparing to repair from any received counterattacks.

-- (Eternalis: 1 action @ Sparky)

[A1] Extraction Module @ Self: 20HP Barrier + 20HP Casing + 1-Hit Shield
[S1] Equip @ Aurora
[E1] Soul Cross: Broadside @ Self: Elec/Break Lv1, Blastproof/Smash, +10 Elec

[A2] (All for One) Sensor2HP: 100
Properties: Anchored, ElecBody
Object Damage: 100 + Impact
Damage Method: Telekinesis
Attack Damage: 130 Elec + Beam Attack + Stun 1
Accuracy: S
Description: Summons a Killereye to search for enemies. Fires an eye-beam when it detects them. It can see through invisibility.
Duration: Until destroyed or until it attacks.
Element: Elec
Special: ElecBody: Immune to Elec damage. Special: Laser TAG: Attack triggers when something moves through the targeting laser beam, no matter who or what that may be.
Trader Rank: C
: 100HP Anchored ElecBody Object: (130 + Beam Attack + Stun + Self-Destruct): Laser TAG (Acc: S) @ Shredder V3 (+15 Elem. Affinity)
[S2] Dodge (High Gear: Evasion+10%)
[E2] Towering Guard @ Self: 6-Hit Shield + Self-Slow

[S3] Dodge (High Gear: Evasion+10%)
[E3] GolemHit2Damage: 190 + Break + Panel Crack + Wide Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: A fist of stone falls from the sky to smash an enemy, and create a shock wave that hits two nearby enemies. The area affected by the fist becomes Cracked terrain.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: C
: 190 + Break + Panel Crack + Wide Attack (Acc: C) @ Shredder V3

[E4] Influx Aegis @ Self (Stage 1: Support Base x2 (40), Stage 2: Delay (3 Actions): Support Base x2 (40), Stage 3: Delay (6 Actions): Support Base x2 (40))
[E5] GolemHit2Damage: 190 + Break + Panel Crack + Wide Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: A fist of stone falls from the sky to smash an enemy, and create a shock wave that hits two nearby enemies. The area affected by the fist becomes Cracked terrain.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: C
: 190 + Break + Panel Crack + Wide Attack (Acc: C) @ Shredder V3
As the fight began and the quartet set themselves up for the battle between one another, the Ratty would make the first move, hesitating initially, but quickly turning itself and spat out a bomb in the shape of a small mouse, sending it initially towards the Shooter virus as the bomb would make a turn towards Lyantel and, unfortunately, exploding upon her, tearing away her casing almost immediately after getting it up. But, as Lyantel managed to set herself up for an explosive charge, Aurora, with an equipped Sparky, managed to summon up a little help in the form of the dreaded KillerEye family, summoning the peeper up and directing it towards the Shredder, the eye's beam would immediately travel through everything within it's pervew...as the Shredder itself would barely recognize what was happening, making an attempt to dodge out of the way but getting snagged by the piercing electrical gaze, sizing it's systems up very momentarily (145) as it shook off the damage, parts falling to the floor unceremoniously from the force of the attack.

Eternalis, setting it'self up with a towering shield, was more than prepared for the oncoming assault as the Shooter would take loose aim at the navi area, opening fire almost immediately upon the quartet, aiming mainly at what it perceived to be the most inviting target in Eternalis, the majority of shots missing the navi and it's shield, but still managing to get a couple embedded into the shield's metal (3 hits!) as everything else went too far off to find purchase in the rest of the quartet. As Lyantel made her way to the metavirus without much resistance, though the virus wouldn't take this laying down, a trio of pucks were swiftly thrown out at Lyntael as it spun around, each puck taking off in a different direction as they rebounded off the walls, barely missing Lyntael, but bounding off the junk nearby and right across her back, leaving a light gash across it (20) as the Ratty and Shooter were caught in the crossfire, each taking a puck to the face before the end (20)(20)...but this in turn caused Lyntael's pain to immediately attack back, electricity surrounding her and the Shredder, damaging it immediately (45) as it was pushed back, as well as the Shooter and Ratty getting caught in the blast (45)(45) with the same pushback against them as the boss.

All this happening whilst Eternalis would launch it's Air-to-Face missiles, missing it's partner and crushing parts of the Shredder beneath the massive fist (190), cracking the surrounding paneling...as Lyantel would get the final blow in, ahnniliating the virus' remaining parts with little effort with one final blow to it's body (480), shredding the Shredder and sending it's scrap out and about the area, the Ratty quickly fleeing with it's tail between it's non-existant legs and the Shooter simply giving the peace sign and disappearing, likely to someplace where it wouldn't get involved with a Meta's bullshit. Battle won, the quartet could easily escape now, and probably quickly, as the richochet from the Shredder's blades seemed to make the immediate area JUST a little unstable.


-- Viruses --
Ratty2Ratty2 (Ratty)

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 60 Null + Blast1 + Homing + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: C
Attack Description: Fires a ratton missile that scurries in a tricky pattern toward an opponent.
Element: None
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Ratton2, Zenny
Special: Gains one free dodge at 50 health, but this only activates if the virus remains alive at this value. Missile has object properties, as an object equal to the damage dealt: if a missile is fired and dodged, it will remain active at 60 HP and attack the opponent again before it is destroyed. Never comes alone, favors pack mentality.
: 35 HP (Normal) (Flanking Shredder to the left)
ShooterShooter (Gunner)

Gunners attack every action, if able. They don't bother attacking enemies they can't hit or enemies they can't damage, but they can select Objects as targets. Their accuracy with the machinegun attack is bad because it scatters everywhere. They are aware of this. They are also aware of the fact that their Vulcan attack pierces objects.

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town, Dentech

HP: 120
Primary Attack Damage/Effect: 15 Null + Spay Fire x 9 Shots
Primary Attack Accuracy: E
Primary Attack Description: Targets an enemy and sprays the area with twin machineguns.
Secondary Attack Damage/Effect: 15 Null + Spread1 x 3 Shots
Secondary Attack Accuracy: A
Secondary Attack Description: Targets and enemy and attacks with Vulcan.
Element: None
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Vulcan2, MachineGun2, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
: 55 HP (Normal) (to the right of and behind Shredder, albeit partially)
Shredder V3Shredder V3 (Shredder)

Shredders are a combination of Yort, Fishy, and Dharma viruses. They appear to be Yorts with 3 body pods instead of two. The pods are black with fishy-fins, and of course feature jet thrusters in the back. In the space between each of the pods is a Dharma's puck that splits and reveals a nasty ring of curved metal blades when attacking.

Area: All

HP: 470
Element: Null

Primary Attack Damage/Effect: (20 Null + Slashing + Break + Piercing) per hit
Primary Attack Accuracy: C
Primary Attack Description: Launches a volley of three blades at one target in sequence. They fly out, and come straight back. They pass through any object or enemy they strike, and may strike twice or even three times at max range. The blade pucks have 1 HP, and Iron Body. This attack cannot damage Shredder viruses.

Secondary Attack Damage/Effect: (20 Null + Slashing + Break + Rebound(5)) per hit
Secondary Attack Accuracy: E
Secondary Attack Description: Launches a spread of three blades that bounce around the field. They carom off of whatever they hit up to a max of 5 times each. The blade pucks have 1 HP, and Iron Body. This attack cannot damage Shredder viruses.

Tertiary Attack Damage/Effect: (60 Null + Impact + Slashing + Knockback)
Tertiary Attack Accuracy: B
Tertiary Attack Description: The virus fires up its boosters, and charges the enemy. When contact is made, the blade pucks extend their blades, and spin, slicing at the target. The virus then airbrakes, leaving the target to fly a short distance ahead.

Special: This virus may summon a RockCube once each turn as a free action.
Special: OmniShoes

Possible Rewards (Per Virus): DashAttack, Yo-yo2, AirHockey2, RockCube, Attack+20, Zenny.
: OVERKILL

-- Navis -- (Starting roughly at the "back" of the area, but within a movement's range of all viruses, on a fairly large area of Grass paneling)
Lyantel.EXE: 330 HP (Normal) (To the left of the area)(Self-slow2)
Eternalis.EXE: 600 HP (Grass) (Roughly middle-right of the area) (BroadsideCross: Elec/Break Override!) (Shield2)(Self-slow1)
Aurora.SP: 100 HP (grass) (roughly between Lyntael and Eternalis)
Sparky.SP: 80 HP (Grass) (Equipped to Aurora)

-- Terrain --
40% Normal
  • No effects.
(Interspersed across the field, with larger patches towards the middle of the area)
45% Grass
  • Wood Elementals get +5 HP/action.
  • Fire attacks: +100% Source Damage, change terrain hit to Soil.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Wood.
(In patches across the field, with a larger patch in the "back" of the area)
15% Cracked
  • Changes to Broken when stepped on, chance to fall in when triggered.
  • Burrow: Change terrain to Broken, Null 50 to burrower.
  • Panel Crack attacks, >100 Damage Break/Impact/Drop attacks: Change terrain hit to Broken.
  • PanelShot: Splash1.
(Where the Fist-to-Face missiles landed)

-- Objects -- (1-2 Piles of 40 HP "Junk" objects fall down each turn onto the field randomly, but "should" not fall on top of friend or foe)
Sheered Junk: 40 HP (Normal) (In front of Shredder)
Rubble: 40 HP (Grass) (To the left of Eternalis)

Rogue Battle 2, WIN!

Eternalis and Lyntael get: 25 Bugfrags, 5 FXP, 3000z
Lyntael also get: MachineGun2Damage: (50 x 9 Shots) + Spray Fire
Accuracy: D
Description: Creates a machine gun that fires 9 shots at a single enemy. While inaccurate, its missed shots are capable of hitting others.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Special: Spray Fire: If a shot from this attack misses its primary target, it has a chance to hit something near the enemy instead of completely missing. Good RP increases the chance of triggering this effect.
Trader Rank: C

Eternalis also get: Yo-Yo2Damage: 50 x 2-3 + Slashing
Accuracy: C
Description: Yo-yo hits up to three enemies, two twice and one three times at max, and blocks frontal projectile attacks. User is immobile during usage and lowers their dodge for the turn. This chip counts as a Sword Chip.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Special: Yo-Yo can be destroyed by Break attacks with 40 or greater power.
Special: If two yo-yos collide with each other, both are destroyed at the same time.
Trader Rank: C
The next few seconds with a rapid chain of motion, sensation and reaction; Lyntael grit her teeth with a small, pushed back sound of effort as the first explosion jolted her body but pushed through the smoke of the blast until, ducking past the rebounding blade-pucks, one of them scored across her back; the sharp, sudden line of red across her senses sparked the familiar recoil as her charge responded, arching her form as much from the sudden release as from the blow itself; for the others it was a somewhat familiar sight of bursting lightning from the girl, but Lyntael bit back the urge to cry out, instead turning the lost breath into a growl of effort before the final attack.

When the sound from the conflict settled Lyntael stood up again amidst the wreckage of the Shredder, breathing heavily. She could feel the void, gnawing at her deep inside, just for the moment that it took her to draw another breath, before the charge came howling back up again from the heart of her being, filling her body between one breath and the next and straining already to charge further, to release again; an eager burning. She held it back, eyes shut while the slim line of red across the back of her vest slowly stained its way outward, and let her body pulse in slow, gradual cascades one after another, gradually clawing her way back towards stability.

After a few more moments she opened her eyes and looked back, turning to find the others; she could feel the air moving about the gash in her vest, but it wasn't enough to actually endanger the garment – the straps were still good and it hadn't severed all the way up. A each small pulse her body fought to expend itself more completely, but even though she was close to that edge, it wasn't too much; she could hold it back and calm it down again, without help. She could. Her thoughts were interrupted as she caught sight of Eternalis and blinked a few times.

“I... What the... Hahh... Eternalis..?” She swallowed and tried to breath calmly enough to form words. “You're huge!” Her chest heaved and her body pulsed with sparks every handful of heartbeats. “What... hahh... What is that?” she put one hand to her chest for a moment and looked towards Aurora. “Do you have a 'really big mode' transformation too? I've seen Sparky's, and now this...” Despite the discomfort she was still pushing through, Lyntael did her best to flash a grin and giggle, though it into a still-slightly out of breath pant. She looked about the wreckage that was still threatening to topple over and reached out one hand to the string of data that had clustered around her; as usual, it drew itself into a thing green string of tightly compressed data that traced over her fingers, up her arm and disappeared under her vest until it re-emerged on the other side, settling into a circling pattern around the edge of her emblem.

“We should... ahh...” her words cut off in a small wince and the more pressing pain from the cut across her back and shoulders made itself known again, now that the strain of her charge was subsiding. She rolled her shoulders. “We should get out of this junk pile before it all comes down... that way?” One hand pointed towards the most likely looking opening in the broken structures and Lyntael began to move towards it.
[LynFXP: 357 > 362]
[Z: 57595 > 60595]
[BF: 870 > 895]

Eternalis's missile launcher made a sharp pneumatic hiss as it closed up. The shield with a pair of Shredder disc blades embedded into it looked pretty torn up, having done its job of protecting the squishy targets behind it for the most part. "Operation was a success!" he declared cheerfully in a strange, robot announcer-like tone. The enormous blob's face turned towards Lyntael, who had just remarked on his new form. "I'm huge! Good!" he echoed happily, almost childlike. Aurora zoomed in on Sparky, jumping off while the pup changed back into his regular form. Sparky wasted no time in running circles around the big new form of his owner, while Eternalis's face followed suit in the same circle, making him look almost like one of the attractions the run-down amusement park might have had.

"Can't say I've got one that makes me bigger, no," laughed Aurora. "Used to change into a pair of heavy gloves for Eternalis to wear, but I haven't done that in ages. I'd be able to do a lot more being my own pair of hands." With Lyntael's position, Aurora wasn't able to see her friend's injury on her back, and her exertion wasn't anything she hadn't already seen before. She wondered whether she was becoming more used to seeing her strain herself. Even so... "Oh, yeah, that was a seriously strong blast you did then, I don't think even Eternalis's put out a punch that strong before," she said, reaching out to pat her on the shoulder. "Scared off the other two viruses too, but yes, let's move before this place starts to fall down on us too. Come on, you two, merry-go-round's shutting down!" Aurora called out to Eternalis and Sparky.

Sparky barked out in excitement and ran off to rejoin her, while Eternalis's face kept spinning for a few more spins. One could almost see comical swirls replace his eyes briefly as he stopped spinning, wobbling about in dizziness. "Hey, wait up!" he said, shaking off the blade discs embedded into his shield. The discs crashed onto the ground, surprisingly intact; a pillar of light indicated their automatic conversion into battlechip data into Harke's PET. Eternalis himself was engulfed in a light before morphing back to his usual form, his massive body and armaments compressing down and running off after the two girls.
Much as it was an effort, Lyntael still had a smile and a small giggle for the response from Eternalis, and the temporarily-giant navi's reaction to Sparky's enthusiasm. As they quickly made their way out of the unstable piles of ruined ride construction, Lyntael cast a quick side glance to aurora as she picked her way around the debris. The brief shoulder patch still carried a tingle with it, though Lyntael herself didn't seem to pay it much heed – certainly she didn't flinch away as she often had.

“Thanks! I mean...” she shook her head, the edges of a blush creeping in for a moment despite everything else. “I know you're just saying that. You guys are so strong, and powerful, and you've fought in wars and everything. I know that's not really true... but it still makes me happy. I really am getting better at this, I think.” Flattery aside, she knew that Aurora was just being kind in complimenting her – there wasn't any real way she could measure up to the capabilities of her friends, even if she was trying to improve, but it at least showed that they did think she was getting better, too.

Beyond the still-shifting wreckage, the rest of the dilapidated amusement park stretched before them again, and Lyntael wandered back towards the central thoroughfare, glancing about for other interesting sights. Far off, there was the rickety old ferris wheel ride that looked distinctly unsafe, but before that there were a dozen other smaller side shows and rides for them to explore in their long abandoned state. She wondered if any of the games would still have old prizes tucked away in them, unclaimed. She put one hand out to a slightly bent railing, running alongside the central walkway, then skipped up onto it with a small jump and a flurry of light breeze that made her clothes flutter. Putting one sneakered toe in front of the other, she continued, walking along the rail with light steps as she glanced to her friends.

“I know I am getting stronger, slowly. Sometimes my home feels... cramped. Like there's a strain, or something tense and restricted that I can't quite see. Rogan gets something for the PET, and it goes away, but sooner or later I feel it again. It's better out here, disconnected. I always feel so much more free.” She shrugged, closing her eyes and stretching her arms to either side, but the motion made her wince again and she paused, turning to step off the rail and drop softly to the ground so she could stand still briefly and shift her shoulders.

“Ahh...” wincing again, she reached back, gingerly touching the cut across her back with gentle fingers; she wasn't sure why she did, other than some misplaced instinct to confirm the injury that she already knew was there. It still stung, and the fabric around the slice was damp. When she brought her hand forward again, she looked at the blood on her fingertips for a few seconds, while her thoughts didn't really address the situation directly. “The healing is good though, I guess... ahh... At least this will go away when I go home.” She shifted her shoulders again and tugged at the straps on her vest, trying to find a position where the torn cloth wouldn't agitate the cut itself. She could feel a faint trickle; probably just a single drop trail, creeping very slowly down the small of her back. She tried to ignore it.

“But anyway... Magistrate – I think she must be Drago's house doyen, maybe? She seemed to want to boss everyone around... she ran some tests on me, after my assignment... they wanted to see if they could help me with my, you know...” She glanced up and away and shook her head. The charge had more or less cooled off entirely now as she breathed slowly and calmed herself. As long as she could do things like this, and not let it go too far, she probably didn't need to be as afraid of it as she'd always felt.

“She came to a lot of the same conclusions you did, really... but, ah...” here, Lyntael giggled briefly. “But she used a lot more complicated language and a lot more words, and screens and data read-outs to say it, hehe.” She shrugged and kept walking, shifting her position so she could walk in between her friends, and letting a small skip work its way into her steps.

“We talked about a few things that we could do... but she thought the best way would be to...” she made a face and gave an exaggerated shudder. “She wanted to put these great big metal implants in my arms and legs that would counterbalance my charge... ergh...” She gave another shudder, but grinned even so. “She got really upset when I said no!” The grin became a giggle, before Lyntael's focus was drawn to one of the mostly-intact amusements they were passing. “Hey, look!”

Nearby, the thing that had drawn her eye looked like a shooting gallery, of a sort; it was long, and had many spaces set up as shooting stations along its front counter, with a wide gap for the attendant to work in, and the a multi-tiered display board painted in different colours and made to resemble different network themes. Each 'station' was equipped with a pair of bright blue gloves that would go all the way up to the forearm on most navis, with a clunky, oval design. Most of them were broken, missing or otherwise wrecked, but a few still looked more or less workable. Lyntael darted over, looking around. The side show was off right now, but surely there'd be something, somewhere... the park as a whole still seemed to be operating on some level. She hopped up to lean over the counter, toes coming off the ground as she reached over, looking. There – at the far end, a control panel.

“Over here!” She slipped back and then darted down to the far end, before swinging herself over the barrier and crouching to the console to see if it would come to life. It flickered under her fingers and complained of compromised circuits. Not to worry, they only need it to work for a little bit. She tapped at the screen, overriding a few handfuls of errors as they arose.

“Hey... try find some that work, I think I can get it going!” A few moments later, lights flickered fitfully over the gallery and brief images of viruses showed up in a testing pattern, before it faded back to standby pilot lights again. Lyntael frowned at it, then grabbed both sides of the console with her hands. A charge crackled across her skin and hummed around her for a moment before the whole gallery shuddered and chugged violently, then lit up as a boppy techno-style music track began to belt out of the speakers on either side. Across the gallery virus images began to rise and fall, scroll side to side, or blink on and off... metools at the front-most, green tier, with larger, scarier entities of horrific legend in the darker red and purple tiers at the back. Lyntael popped up to her feet with a broad grin. “Got it!”
"I wonder if you'd probably be much happier with something to expand your homepage a lot more, most likely," said Aurora. "Your place looked pretty comfortable, all things considered, but it might have been too small, too." Still, she was impressed at how much Lyntael made use of the area afforded to her. It was a nice cosy house, with everything put neatly away in its place, she thought, recalling the time they had last visited.

Before she could muse on for too long, however... "Ah, that's..." started Aurora, as Lyntael started to twist about from the wound that she had just now noticed. Her brow wrinkled, and she closed her eyes momentarily, and her mind's voice inquired, could she borrow a little strength? Her answer was a surge of curative energy that swirled from her midsection. The restoration stopped just shy of applying to her own body, as if held just over her. She placed her palm over her middle, and was able to draw it into her hand, confirming that she was able to manipulate the little bit of borrowed healing.

Meanwhile, Eternalis came up to their side, with Sparky cheerily perched atop his shoulder, playing the part of conversation-carrier while Aurora was preoccupied. The pup looked around excitedly at all the next thing that might fall apart for him to zoom around, and carry people off their feet from, and what have you. "I've never heard of a 'doyen' before, though from the sounds of it, this Magistrate person sounds like the sort of people Harke's family might get along with," he grinned.

"Hey, I resent that!" poked Harke. "I don't use complicated words that much."

"Well, still some of the time, then," replied Eternalis with a chuckle. "Hopefully we can find something else that would help that doesn't involve something like that. I can sorta relate to having something jammed in me that I didn't like." Before he knew it, however, Lyntael had already darted off to look at the next thing that interested her: a little shooting gallery, from how things looked. Sparky leapt off of his shoulder to accompany the girl in their shared excited energy. The pup ran over to where Lyntael had discovered the operation console, sniffing curiously at it and barking at it, as if his little yelps would help her in any way.

Eternalis watched over the two with a warm smile. He saw Aurora approaching to his side, and gestured at the stations lined up in front of them. "Check it out, Aurora, you'd probably be pretty good at these," he commented. However, Aurora herself was somewhat distracted, still looking at her hand, and stealing glances at Lyntael. A question cropped up in her mind, unbidden, asking her what she was worried about, to which she replied that she was worried that their friend might rebuff her offer for help again. The other voice in her head reassured her that as long as she was their friend, she wouldn't truly refuse an honest offer.

As the two partners' mental conversation went on, the shooting gallery came to life suddenly once more, though not without its protests. Sparky barked excitedly as he flew about, following the scrolling virus images that served as targets for the game stand. "You sure this thing won't fall apart over our heads?" laughed Eternalis. "How's this thing work, anyway? Let's see..." He then stuck his arms into a pair of the gloves set up on the stand. The virus images on the display blinked out briefly, before rapidly scrolling across it, much faster than anyone could follow. It was a scant few seconds before the display declared a big "GAME OVER" with a score of zero towards the hapless blue Navi.

"What! I barely started! Lyntael, the speed setting's outta whack," complained Eternalis, retreating his arms from the gloves.

Aurora snorted in amusement. "No, clearly you're just bad at the game."
As the game ramped up, Lyntael smirked, then giggled at the consternation of her friend. He was right though, it wasn't working properly. She looked back at the console with a frown.

“Hang on... ugh, it's so old! It's got all these bits that don't want to turn on, because they're damaged, but if I can just...” clearing a few more error complaints and overriding them, Lyntael shook her head and clicked her tongue at the machine, then glanced across to where it connected to several of the game's sub-systems. With another frown she gently nudged Sparky aside and knelt down again, reaching too pull at a connector that warped, then sparked and crackled as she wrenched it up.

At the counter, the electronic grill that had come on across the front of the display, preventing the game's 'weapons' from being fired anywhere but at the target board, flickered off. Lyntael looked up and shrugged, then fiddled a little more. If she could just get it to ignore all of the broken bits and act like everything was normal, now, that ought to...

“Okay, try again!” This time, when the game started up its display, it ran at more or less the right pace, though the virus positions occasionally flickered into new spaces without warning as the game stuttered. She clapped her hands. Perfect. More or less. She swung herself over the counter again and rejoined her friends, shuffling into a position in between Aurora and Eternalis along the counter and reaching for a pair of the probably-historically-inaccurate blue buster gauntlets.

Occasional signs of the side-show's health and safety failures crackled and sparked, or made the dramatic virus-busting music skip or distort every now and then, but it didn't really take away from the experience. Actually, Lyntael thought it might even have added something to it. She shifted again as she took a stance, pausing with one gauntlet on to adjust the back of her vest again; it felt like it was trying to stick. Someone else looking would see that thee cut itself was long, but not deep and had now slowed to a gradual ooze with a single red trickled running down the middle of the girl's back – she'd shifted the vest to keep the fabric away from it, but the back of the garment was already thoroughly stained from the initial bleeding. She shifted her shoulders and back every now and then, as though trying to ignore a discomfort, but her attention seemed focused on the game now.

The game itself was simple but still fun, and the progress of more powerful viruses, as well as the frequency that they paused to make 'attacks' at the shooter, increased as a player's score climbed. Lyntael was grinning, bright-eyes darting as she used both hands independently to target rapid palm-sized white shots at the array of viruses scrolling across the game. Small snaps and crackles close to the trio turned out to be coming from her hair and skin as she enjoyed herself in the initial round. When the first game came to an end, a static, strained sound rippled through the system, and sparks and smoke escaped from somewhere in the back of the system, before the game simply restarted again; it seemed the prize system wasn't connected properly any more. Lyntael paused and looked down at the gauntlets on her hands, and then across to Aurora as something said earlier finally made its way back across her consciousness.

“Hey... before, you said... you became gauntlets, for Eternalis...” She tilted her head, then looked between them, then grinned and raised an eyebrow. “You know if you'd said glove I'd have just thought you were meaning...” She poked out her tongue and laughed, then shook her head again, pulling the gauntlets back on and starting to shoot again. Jokes aside, she was sure aurora had just been talking plainly, but the concept was a decidedly strange one to her. She understood that they could change their forms somewhat, when they used special crosses... and even if that didn't exactly ever happen with her, she still understood it. But Aurora was still Aurora... you couldn't just 'turn into' equipment for someone else, surely... Though... there was Sparky... but surely that was different. She glanced aside towards her friend.

“But really, what's that about...? I can't turn into things!” She only spared one eye for Aurora as she listened to the conversation, keeping most of her focus for the game. She was going to zap that darn life virus this time...