A Meep of Faith

{<<< From Kotobuki Town: Osanajimi Plaza <<<}

{EAX024}

Up until this point, each time that Amy had travelled through a transmission stream she had been ejected at a high speed that required a mid-air somersault to land on her feet. With this in mind, our lady navi was surprised that the data stream was short-lived. As instant as she had left the PET, she found herself sitting on a seat in a near-replica of the cafe she'd observed Eric sitting at. The only difference was that the waiters and patrons were navis, not humans. For a reason she couldn't describe, the whole ordeal didn't sit well with her, and so she slid out of the booth and headed towards the door.

"MAY I HELP YOU?" the door waiter requested, in a tone that sounded all too similar to the Progs that oversaw her homepage.

"No, no thank you," she politely rebuffed as she exited through the front entrance, almost being jostled back into the building by a passing navi. Whilst the store itself was a replica of the cafe Eric had entered, the cafe itself was not in a mall like the real world, and leaving the front entrance resulted in Amy being exposed to a main thoroughfare through the network, with glittery, flashing shopfronts lining each side of the wide path. Although the road looked suitable for multiple lanes of cars, not a single vehicle was to be seen. Instead, in a similar fashion to the real Kotobuki, this street too was filled with navis either leaving a day job or about to start an evening one. The mass of heads moving through the thoroughfare would have made vehicular transport through the same space almost impossible.

"This is intense," came Lily's voice from the back of Amy's dress. "I doubt your Metool friend is here though."

"You're not wrong," Amy agreed as her pedicels extended out into the air. Finding Meep amongst such an active environment was likely to be a challenge, with so many sources of interference in the area.

Or not.

Almost immediately, Amy's antennae detected the matching gamma radiation signature and directed her off to the south, at odds with the main flow of navis walking down the path. She tried to duck and leap through the gaps where possible, but after being knocked into a building wall a third time she was fed up with being polite.

"Shards to this," she cursed as she ducked into an alley in-between two storefronts. An older lady navi gave her a weird look as she did so, but having a chance to breathe was more important than worrying about someone's opinion.

"Are you okay?" Amy knew Lily had been jostled almost as much as she had by the crowd's forceful movements.

"I'm alright. A few bumps here and there, but I'll live."

Amy's eyes diverted down the alleyway. It was darker here than in the street they'd just left, and was littered with garbage bins, debris, glowing furnaces and other items Amy had never seen before. In spite of this, the one positive feature was that the pathway itself was clear of navis. This narrowed pathway seemed a little hotter in temperature in comparison to the main street, and the occasional billow of smoke coming from the surrounding buildings suggested it may have been used for other purposes too.

Regardless, Amy was unfazed and perhaps a little overconfident. "I'm not going back out there," she concluded, taking a brief glance back at the main road before turning her attention back to this side street. A chance glance upwards revealed a number of ladders and stairways that had been installed onto the side of both buildings, likely as emergency exits and maintenance access points. Tiny windows also lined the floors, more likely as entrances for light than anything else. As Amy continued to stare at the network above her, her right hand raised itself into the air as her index finger began moving side to side between the walls.

Lily watched with curiousity. Although she couldn't physically see Amy's front, the combined radar and sonar properties of her own antennae and wings gave her a much wider scope of the area around them, and by using this technique she was able to trace the finger's patch as she realised what was going through her partner's head.

"Yes, I'm sure you could climb to the top of these buildings if you bounced back and forth up the railings and ladders, but for what purpose?"

"Call it a hunch," Amy pondered as her hands reached for the bottom hems of her dress. In its current state it would only get in her way, but with a few tugs towards her torso and some convenient programming from its maker, the inner seam stitching clung together, turning the dress into a long skirt. "That'll make things easier," she surmised, not at all worried about the sudden visibility of her slender legs.

Amy's natural acrobatic nature was put on show as she used the available ladders, railings, ledges and windows to skillfully bounce backwards and forwards between the two buildings. Slowly but surely, she ascended the walls, her hands finally finding the edge of the rooftop. Amy's hands propped her weight upwards, and with a final pivot to place her lower back against the wall, followed by a forceful kick ending in an aerial somersault, her boots found solid footing on a roof.

"Are you considering jumping from roof to roof?" Lily uttered in disbelief. "I don't think we belong up here."

Amy looked back across the divide between the building they were on and the next building towards the south. Had she planned just a little better, she would have rapelled up the other building, but her focus had been based too heavily on scaling the buildings, not which building was the right one to scale.

"I reckon if I get a good run at it, I could do it," she considered as the gap didn't look too wide. She'd jumped larger distances before.

"Amy?" Even Eric was getting a little nervous.

"I suppose it can't be helped," Lily sighed. In response, her wings began to grow in size. Amy was expecting them to grow back to her normal size, but to Amy's amusement, while the lower two wings grew to the size she expected, the upper two wings grew until they were twice as wide as their lower brethren.

"Lily, what are you doing?"

"I told you, you're too heavy for me to help you with flight. However, I believe that I should be able to help you glide across the gaps by forcing a downdraft once you're airborne. That should give you a little extra jumping distance."

"Excellent! In that case..." Amy took a few steps back from the ledge, and with a few breaths to gain composure, the girl's weight was focused forward as she dashed to the building's edge and vaulted herself off the roof. As stated, Lily's wings caught the momentum Amy had created and allowed her to clear the gap with ease, but another problem quickly arose.

"Watch out!" Lily cried out as a large metal duct came into view.

"No worries, we'll clear the duct easy!" she chippered back, tucking her legs upward.

"Not that, the dum-" but it was too late.

The duo passed over the duct, missing the opportunity to spring off its metal surface and instead dived straight into an overflowing dumpster that had been obscured by said duct. Lily's wings disappeared instantly as her ride was completely swallowed by the trashy mess. A rather unsightly explosion of plastic, food waste and other solids and liquids best left undescribed shot out in all directions. The garbage pile rocked back and forth, but it took a minute before two arms erupted from the heap, and a formerly-cyan dress became visible once again.

Amy climbed over the edge of the dumpster, a yellowish-orange slime obscuring a noticeable lack of enthusiasm on her face. The same slime rendered the affected parts of her dress a bizarre greenish hue. Both Eric and Lily remained completely silent as Amy looked around the rooftop for some sort of cleaning solution, but found nothing of use. An angry scream was followed by a solid kick of the offending dumpster.

"Fine!" she seethed as she lined up the next roof. I get it, I deserved that!"

Lily almost uttered the words Are you going to keep going looking like that...? but thankfully her mind was faster than her mouth as the thought never became audible. Without a way to clean herself, the poor lass didn't have much of a choice.

Despite the rather unfortunate experience, the line of roofs did seem to benefit the pair as it led them in the right direction, particular as Amy paid more attention to where she was going. For as long as they stayed close to the Kotobuki main road, the buildings seemed to mostly be of the same height and size. Each roof seemed to house a different set of uses or facilites; dumpsters, ducts, vents, signs, furnaces, chests, cupboards, even the occasional spa. To this end, Amy was at least able to find solace in one of the roofs that had a washing facility; nothing was going to stop her from using it. It took a few minutes for her to clean up the mess from her dress and her body, which was followed up by rapid drying thanks to a heated exhaust vent. It was only a matter of time before once again the pair were roof-hopping towards the south, the occasional head below catching a glimpse of the lady as she glided over the gaps.

But not every roof was welcoming to Amy and her partner, as she found out quickly upon landing on one of the larger roofs. This roof was already occupied...

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Amity.EXE: 210 / 210 HP
Liliana.SP: 60 / 60 HP [Equipped to Amity]

{{{ Roof-hopping always leads to trouble. Requesting Battle #1. }}}
Freshly cleaned off, Amy touched down on another roof top to the sound of a sudden scuttling and shifting of debris. She only had a moment to look around before the other rooftop occupants made themselves known, though. A trio of ratty viruses peeked out from behind one of the air conditioning machine blocks set into the rooftop, squeaking att the strange disturbance; they seemed to be emerging from a discarded pile of other mechanical debris and edging froward to see if Amy was predator or food. One of them reared back for a moment, tilting its head up to reveal a blinking light.

A moment later, a hiss of steam and smoke gave way to a small missile that zipped erratically across the rooftop, vaguely towards Amy, though without any real hope of reaching her. It zigged and zagged to one side, until it collided with another pile of junk, scattering errant metal parts everywhere, and seemingly awakening something else.

From the pile, a broken, static sound emanated, like a distorted start-up tone, and a prog shook itself out of the wreckage. Something wasn't quite right though – this prog looked badly damaged; one of its ear paddles was missing, as well as one of its arms, an open tear sparking every few moments. One of its eyes was cracked and it moved in jerky, sudden starts. It raised up its good arm towards Amy, and it began to sparkle with wild, uncontrolled electricity.

“UNATHORISED INTR- INTR-” The bright, friendly Prog voice broke into static then resumed. “GUEST! ALL GUESTS MUST- MUST- MUST-” Another static crackle. “LEAVE THE PREMISES, OR BE-” The voice broke and cracked again. “BE GIVEN HUGS!!” The Prog, smile bright and with its one good eye sparking madly, began to advance towards Amy, arm outstretched.

-=Viruses=-
RattyRatty (Ratty)

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town

HP: 60
Attack Damage/Effect: 30 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): Ratton1, Zenny
Special: Gains one free dodge at 30 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 30 HP and attack the opponent again before it is destroyed. Never comes alone, favors pack mentality.
A: 60 Hp [Metal] (Back left of roof)
RattyRatty (Ratty)

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town

HP: 60
Attack Damage/Effect: 30 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): Ratton1, Zenny
Special: Gains one free dodge at 30 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 30 HP and attack the opponent again before it is destroyed. Never comes alone, favors pack mentality.
B: 60 Hp [Metal] (Back left of roof)
RattyRatty (Ratty)

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town

HP: 60
Attack Damage/Effect: 30 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): Ratton1, Zenny
Special: Gains one free dodge at 30 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 30 HP and attack the opponent again before it is destroyed. Never comes alone, favors pack mentality.
C: 60 Hp [Metal] (Back left of roof)
DarkProgDarkProg (DarkProg)

DarkProgs are Mr. Progs cruelly corrupted and warped to become expendable soldiers. They appear mostly as normal Mr. Progs, but their face is much more darkly colored, and have glowing white eyes, as well as missing their left arm. They attack by emitting static around themselves. While they are fairly strong attackers, especially in groups, they have poor endurance, which is only exacerbated by the fact their attacks harm themselves. They very rarely dodge, but will often try to move close to the enemy before attacking.

Area: SciLab, Netopia, NAXA

HP: 60
Primary Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Elec + Nova 2
Primary Attack Accuracy: C
Primary Attack Description: Emits some of its life energy as a static field.
Secondary Attack Damage/Effect: Damage x 2, Self-Sacrifice x 2
Secondary Attack Accuracy: S
Secondary Attack Description: Charges up energy within itself. On its next turn, all of this virus's attacks deal +100% Source Damage, and deal twice as much damage to itself. This effect does not stack with itself.
Element: Elec
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): RingZap1 (Rare), Zenny
Special: ElecBody: This virus takes no damage from Elec elemental attacks.
Special: Self-Sacrifice: Every time this virus uses its Primary Attack, it loses 5 HP.
Special: Can use PanelGrab once.
: 60 Hp [Metal] (Mid right of roof)

-=Navis=-
Amity.Exe: 210 Hp [Metal] (Middle, near edge of roof)
Liliana.SP: 60 Hp [Equipped to Amity]

-=Objects=-
Machine Block A: 60 Hp [HardBody] (Air con block, mid left of the roof)
Machine Block B: 60 Hp [HardBody] (Air con block, near right of the roof)

-=Terrain=--
80% Metal
  • Cannot be Broken or Cracked except with Geddon/PanelShot, cannot be Burrowed into.
  • Elec attacks: +100% Source Damage.
  • 100 Damage Aqua attacks: Change terrain hit to Cracked.
  • 100 Damage Fire attacks: Change terrain hit to Furnace.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Elec + Break.

20% Glass
  • Slip Effect: -10% Accuracy, -10% Evasion to all.
  • Non-Ice Aqua attacks causes it to be Wet, doubles slip effect for Non-Aqua Elementals for 1 turn. Wet can expire early with Fire attacks. Can cause slippage for poor RP or heavy impacts on Non-Aqua Elementals, 1-2 actions to recover.
  • 200 Damage attacks: Change terrain hit to Broken. Damage threshold cut in half for Ground, Break, and Impact, to a minimum threshold of 25 when all 3 are present. Null 25 + Slashing + Nova 2 per panel broken, up to 200 (8 panels).
  • Burrow: Change terrain to Broken, 50 Null + Slashing to burrower, Null 25 + Slashing + Nova2 to surroundings.
  • PanelShot: Spread1.
(Four skylights that look down into the building below)

-=Battle 1, Start!=-
Amy was getting used to the shiny panels that met her feet as she touched down from another overly dramatic glide through the air, but was taken aback by the appearance of three new viruses in the far corner as they became aware of her sudden presence. Perhaps Amy would have thought them to be cute, were it not for their rummaging through garbage.

"Eric, I think we have company," she advised as her sensors read their metadata. "What can you tell me about Ratty viruses?"

Her request had come at the same moment that the cafe waiter had placed down Eric's drink in front of him. He'd pushed the Netpendium to the side, but now with Amy's request waiting he was now trying to franctically move the hot chocolate away from him without spilling its precious contents.

A short flutter of page turns towards the viruses section and Eric had what he needed. "'Ratty. They fire missiles at you in an erratic but accurate pattern. Missiles that miss you have the ability to change course and seek you out again.'" Eric didn't like the sound of that. "Sounds dangerous," he added.

"Agreed."

Amy could already feel the static embrace of the turbulence field as it began generating, but based on their conversation last night about its abilities, she wasn't entirely sure it would repel one of these missiles. Time will tell, she told herself.

"Are you sure they're dangerous? They look kinda harmless," she commentated. But perhaps a little too soon; no sooner had she voiced the thought than one of the rats demonstrated what Eric had just mentioned; a rat-shaped missile launched forward from the pack and began to take wild deviations as it screamed towards them.

The panic was short-lived, as one of those derivates sent it into a pile of junk closer to Amy, ending its journey in a somewhat sizeable burst of junk not too dissimilar to the one Amy had created herself minutes ago. The difference this time was that it too awoke a disturance, and as this new entity rose to its feet, Amy's pedicels started surging warning signals to her mind. Sure, it looked similar to the Progs that oversaw The Flower, but there was something very sinister about this one.

"Eric...?" her voice quivered as it stood up, uttered some scrambled phrases at her and began walking forward.

"Don't think, attack!" Lily ordered.

Such an order might have seemed like the obvious answer, but Amy's own programming was staying her hand. This was not a virus, it was a Prog. Her disseminating techniques were more than capable of shredding the outer layers of rogue viruses, but she'd never tested their powers on a Prog before. Were they programmed the same way...? Or would her disruptive coding not prevent its permanent demise?

"Amy, do something!" Lily stressed to her partner, but her voice washed over Amy's ears, their meaning lost and unreciprocated in her stupor.

Lily wasn't going to be a passenger to Amy's self-inflicted paralysis. "Eric, Cannon!" Lily yelled. Amy's internal debate had left her oblivious to the threat now directly in front of her, and Lily sensed her powers alone wouldn't be enough for this obstacle.

Eric was also panicked that his navi had stopped responding, but the week of forced net battles were starting to have an effect on his own operating abilities. It didn't matter if it was Amy or Lily requesting the help, he'd do what he could. "Cannon and Guard1, in!" he confirmed as both chips passed through the reader.

The Cannon took its natural place in Amy's right hand, manifesting as the tubular vehicle she'd become accustomed to, whilst the round Metool shield generated in front of her left side, ready to defend when needed. Perhaps it was the partial obscuring of the DarkProg from her vision that snapped Amy out of her moral crisis. The lady in the blue dress had wasted precious time and now only had moments to formulate a plan to get herself out of this situation.

"Eric, cache the ZapRing and FireHit chips as well," she requested with urgency as the cannon barrel was brought forth to bear against the damaged Prog.

"I hope this isn't the end for you..." she whispered.

No sooner than Eric had slid the two extra chips into the PET as requested, Amy discharged the cannon blast out towards the electrical foe bearing down on her position. The blue smoke that filled the air in front of her was pushed aside by the Metool shield as Amy made a somewhat half-hearted effort to run towards the machine block situated on the left side of the roof. It didn't seem like she would make it in the few steps she could take, but perhaps its presence could stave off some of the directionality from her next foes, whose current home was her focus as she prepared the next salvos.

The ZapRing electrical rod peeked out from her sleeve as she brought it too to bear against the first target. Its crackling ring of electrical energy shot out across the rooftop, but what surprised Amy was the energy that followed behind it. Lily had discharged her own attack as a follow-up to Amy's ring, but it wasn't the usual burst of static energy she'd become used to; instead, it seemed to be almost silent, although Amy could clearly see the effect it had on the air as it travelled away from her. She'd have to ask about that one later.

With the ZapRing discharged, Amy found herself a little energised by the chip now loading into her hand. She'd read about its attacking properties with Eric prior to the battle, and it sounded a lot like her own cleansing gel in the way in which it dispersed with high intensity. Amy's particular flair could be seen in the flaming orb as it grew out of her hand, but by some miracle the blue edges of the otherwise white-hot ball of fire had no effect of her dress, leaving no burnt edges in its wake.

Perhaps this was a safety feature of the chip, but her enemies would likely not receive the same advantage.

Amy's hand gravitated towards the remaining two targets. Another forced palm gesture for effect, and the ball left her hand in the hopes of meeting its target. This time, the normal burst of energy followed in its trail, the crackling sound most welcome as it tore after the flame. Of course, her hand was almost immediately graced with a second ball of intense heat, but this was both expected and desired. It too flew off with a whuffing sound as it tried to chase down her final target.

----------

Actions:
[LA] Turbulence >>> Protect Amity/Liliana (shot/lob potential only)
[A1] [Disruptor] Guard1 (1-Hit Shield, Reflect <60 DMG) >>> Amity
[A2] [Disruptor] Cannon (60 DMG + Knockback) >>> DarkProg
[A3] Feint (towards middle ground, closer to Machine Block A)
[A4] ZapRing1 (40 Elec DMG + Stun) >>> Ratty A
[L1] Summer Heat (20 DMG + Phasing) >>> Ratty A
[A5] [Disruptor] FireHit1 (60 Fire DMG + Impact) >>> Ratty B
[L2] Ion Wind (25 Elec DMG) >>> Ratty B
[A6] [Disruptor] FireHit1 (60 Fire DMG + Impact) >>> Ratty C

Sigs:
Summer Heat [Used; 1/1 TCD remaining]

Party:
Amity.EXE: 210 / 210 HP
Liliana.SP: 60 / 60 HP [Equipped to Amity]

Remaining Chips
<<< Cannon >>>
DBLBeam1Damage: Special
Accuracy: S
Description: Summons a DoubleCube that fires either a Red Beam or a Blue Beam, then vanishes.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Special: Randomly uses one of the below effects...
- 40 Null to all Enemies (Red Beam)
- 30 Heal to all Allies. Random (Blue Beam)
Trader Rank: D

<<< Guard1 >>>
Pulsar1Damage: 70 + Object Triggered Blast 2
Accuracy: A (Primary) / B (Blast)
Description: Fires a sound wave. If it hits an object, its range is amplified, hitting anything near that object in a blast of noise.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Special: Object Triggered Blast: Blast effect that only works if the attack hits an Object, such as a RockCube.
Trader Rank: D

RollArrow1Damage: 40 + Chip Break
Accuracy: B
Description: Launches an arrow tipped with a pink heart. If a virus is hit, they lose the ability to attack once. If a Navi is hit, they lose their first selected chip for that turn.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

ShockWaveDamage: 40 + Line Attack + Ground Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: Sends a narrow, but long, shock wave rolling in front of an enemy. Slow, but difficult to jump over due to its length.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

ShotgunDamage: 50 + Spread 1
Accuracy: A
Description: A gun whose shot penetrates an enemy to hit another one directly behind it.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

SkyShoesEffect: High-Alt Flight
Accuracy: S
Description: Grants the user the ability to freely fly at high altitude. Initial takeoff is considered a dodge. If shot down, user may take off again until effect ends.
Duration: 1 turn
Element: Null
Special: Beware of fall damage.
Trader Rank: D

RageClaw1Damage: 40 + Slashing (Attack) OR 20 + Impacting (Throw)
Accuracy: B / B then B
Description: Creates an impressive bear claw. Can be used to slash or throw enemies or objects.
Duration: Until Overridden/Broken. Breaks automatically after 6 uses.
Element: Null
Special: Throw: The wielder must first grab the target to be thrown, then the target is thrown in the direction/area indicated. A second check is made if against another object/enemy. Throw deals damage to both thrown object/enemy and the second object/enemy. Damage occurs at point of collision with the ground/wall/ceiling/etc. or an object/enemy, not during initial grab attempt. Objects deal their max HP in damage (instead of the chip's damage) if they hit an object/enemy, then break. If they miss, the object just takes the chip's damage. This chip has a variety of uses.
Trader Rank: D

<<< FireHit1 >>>
FurnaceZoneEffect: Large Furnace Terrain Change
Accuracy: S
Description: Creates a large zone of Furnace Terrain, centered on you.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: D

HeatShotDamage: 40 + Spread 1
Accuracy: A
Description: Shoots a fireball whose explosion penetrates an enemy to hit another one directly behind it.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: D

ZapRing1Damage: 40 + Stun 1
Accuracy: A
Description: Shoots electricity in a ring shape to stun an enemy in their tracks.
Duration: Once
Element: Elec
Trader Rank: D

MushyHP: 80
Damage: 15 Wood + Confusion + Nova 2
Accuracy: A
Description: Creates a Mushy virus to aid you. Attacks with BadSpice, and unlike normal Mushy, can move over non-Wood elemental terrain at a penalty of halving movement distance/dodge rate.
Element: Wood
Special: Allied Virus: This virus has two actions 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

Recover30Recovery: 30 HP
Accuracy: S
Description: Heals 30 HP.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

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Amy had a moment of decision paralysis facing the uncertain threat of the damaged Prog, but as it advanced towards her with its one functioning arm raised its whole body began to crackled with increased electrical output, sparking in wild, erratic flares.

“ALL INTRUDERS MUST BE HUGGED!” The cry was friendly, but still distorted and garbled by interference somewhat. With Lily's insentience, however, Amy was able to react at the last moment, getting her shield up and backing off to one side enough to get a clean shot with her cannon. The shot hit, blasting another hole in the program's already damaged casing and the sparks crackled, burst in a series of pops, then faded. The program stuttered, hovered unsteadily in place, then dropped to the rooftop with a dull clatter.

“I'M DAMAGED! I- I- I- NEED HELP!” It managed, in broken voice patterns, before its remaining lights shut down and it rolled over to one side, seemingly inert for now.

While Amy was distracted by this, however, the Ratty viruses made efforts to defined their rooftop nest, as each fired off a battery of ratton missiles towards the Navi and her partner. The shifting and changing darts of the projectiles made it hard to tell which of the two each missile was aiming for, but Amy and Lily were able to look out for each other as they took cover – one missile missed them both entirely, while another was deflected by the static turbulence that Lily maintained – it flew off to one side of the roof, but then began to twist back in an arcing series of zig-zags. The third missile managed, against odds, to zig around Amy's attempt at taking cover, zag past her own attempts at avoidance, and finally land with an arm-shuddering explosion on her readied shield. The defence pulsed with the impact, returning a moderate blast of energy in return that traced back along the missile's wild pathway and struck the rat that had launched it, sending the creature skittering to one side in sudden panic.

When the volley of shots had passed them, Amy and Lily returned fire; Amy's zapring connected with the first rat, and as the lighting arc through it to the metal panels below the virus' entire form jittered and shook itself apart. Lily's followup travelled with it, passing through part o the machine block in front of them without affecting it, and streaking towards the already damaged rat. Unfortunately the virus was so on edge for the first hit that it jumped away on a hair-trigger, avoiding the pulse.

Amy's next attack sent a white hot ball of fire towards the middle rat, striking it cleanly and breaking apart its form before it could get out of the way, while Lily tried one more time to strike the twitchy, evasive rat – this time her burst of electrical energy connected, and as before the amplified pulse that arced through the metal panels beneath the virus was enough to tip the scales, releasing its core with minimal fuss.

Only a scant handful off moments had passed since Amy's initial shock hesitation, but the rooftop was quick swiftly clear of immediate threats; without nay other viral signatures in the immediate vicinity, the two remaining missiles fizzled out on their own, losing power and disintegrating rapidly before they could make their second passes.

The deactivated Prog remained where it had fallen; it wasn't breaking down further, but it also didn't appear to have a core to release; perhaps, like many progs, this one has simply been a handler, lacking in sentience or any real AI to speak of, lost or discarded at some point. It could probably be repaired by someone with the know how, though.

-=Viruses=-
RattyRatty (Ratty)

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town

HP: 60
Attack Damage/Effect: 30 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): Ratton1, Zenny
Special: Gains one free dodge at 30 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 30 HP and attack the opponent again before it is destroyed. Never comes alone, favors pack mentality.
A: CLEANSED
RattyRatty (Ratty)

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town

HP: 60
Attack Damage/Effect: 30 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): Ratton1, Zenny
Special: Gains one free dodge at 30 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 30 HP and attack the opponent again before it is destroyed. Never comes alone, favors pack mentality.
B: CLEANSED (Ping!)
RattyRatty (Ratty)

Area: SciLab, Kotobuki Town

HP: 60
Attack Damage/Effect: 30 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): Ratton1, Zenny
Special: Gains one free dodge at 30 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 30 HP and attack the opponent again before it is destroyed. Never comes alone, favors pack mentality.
C: CLEANSED
DarkProgDarkProg (DarkProg)

DarkProgs are Mr. Progs cruelly corrupted and warped to become expendable soldiers. They appear mostly as normal Mr. Progs, but their face is much more darkly colored, and have glowing white eyes, as well as missing their left arm. They attack by emitting static around themselves. While they are fairly strong attackers, especially in groups, they have poor endurance, which is only exacerbated by the fact their attacks harm themselves. They very rarely dodge, but will often try to move close to the enemy before attacking.

Area: SciLab, Netopia, NAXA

HP: 60
Primary Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Elec + Nova 2
Primary Attack Accuracy: C
Primary Attack Description: Emits some of its life energy as a static field.
Secondary Attack Damage/Effect: Damage x 2, Self-Sacrifice x 2
Secondary Attack Accuracy: S
Secondary Attack Description: Charges up energy within itself. On its next turn, all of this virus's attacks deal +100% Source Damage, and deal twice as much damage to itself. This effect does not stack with itself.
Element: Elec
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): RingZap1 (Rare), Zenny
Special: ElecBody: This virus takes no damage from Elec elemental attacks.
Special: Self-Sacrifice: Every time this virus uses its Primary Attack, it loses 5 HP.
Special: Can use PanelGrab once.
: DEACTIVATED (Ping!)

-=Navis=-
Amity.Exe: 210 Hp [Metal]
Liliana.SP: 50 Hp [Equipped to Amity]

-=Objects=-
Machine Block A: 60 Hp [HardBody] (Air con block, mid left of the roof)
Machine Block B: 60 Hp [HardBody] (Air con block, near right of the roof)

-=Terrain=--
80% Metal
  • Cannot be Broken or Cracked except with Geddon/PanelShot, cannot be Burrowed into.
  • Elec attacks: +100% Source Damage.
  • 100 Damage Aqua attacks: Change terrain hit to Cracked.
  • 100 Damage Fire attacks: Change terrain hit to Furnace.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Elec + Break.

20% Glass
  • Slip Effect: -10% Accuracy, -10% Evasion to all.
  • Non-Ice Aqua attacks causes it to be Wet, doubles slip effect for Non-Aqua Elementals for 1 turn. Wet can expire early with Fire attacks. Can cause slippage for poor RP or heavy impacts on Non-Aqua Elementals, 1-2 actions to recover.
  • 200 Damage attacks: Change terrain hit to Broken. Damage threshold cut in half for Ground, Break, and Impact, to a minimum threshold of 25 when all 3 are present. Null 25 + Slashing + Nova 2 per panel broken, up to 200 (8 panels).
  • Burrow: Change terrain to Broken, 50 Null + Slashing to burrower, Null 25 + Slashing + Nova2 to surroundings.
  • PanelShot: Spread1.
(Four skylights that look down into the building below)

-=Battle 1, Victory!=-
Reward: 750z, 16 BugFrags
The bunching of debris across the roof in semi-organised piles indicated that someone (or perhaps someones) still wanted to keep the area in an organised state. It became obvious as the battlefield cleared with only Amy standing that any such attempts for cleanliness had been in vain, as debris now littered most of the rooftop.

"Do you suppose we should try to clean this up?" Lily asked her team. Amy took a few steps forward, and Lily took this as a possible 'yes'. The three cores of the Ratty viruses rose up into the air, circling each other in a strange dance before deciding to dart off towards the north, only missing Lily's outstretched wings by a few centimetres.

"I don't think I'll ever get used to that," Lily remarked as Amy knelt down. "I know that it's not a normal ability, but my instincts keep telling me I'm not doing my job."

"Amy said something similar the first time I met her," Eric recounted, a twinge of guilt resurfacing as he recalled that eventful first busting run. "But to be honest, I think it makes you better."

"How's that?"

"I'm... really uncomfortable about deleting anything." Eric admitted. "Viruses may be a problem, but they're still able to think... at some level, anyway. So every time one gets destroyed... it's like I helped kill something intelligent."

"I would disagree that most viruses are intelligent. From what I know, most just operate on instinctual programming, not any free will like myself and Amy. But maybe I'm being ignorant. What do you think Amy?"

Silence.

"Amy?"

Lily hadn't noticed that Amy had knelt down in front of the Prog she'd disabled moments ago. Lily's attention towards the emancipated cores had distracted her from Amy's focus on the object now lying on the ground. It hadn't decompiled into errant code, instead now lying as a disfigured mess at her feet.

"I wasn't paying enough attention," she mumbled, as if she needed an excuse for her actions. "Or maybe there was no other way."

"Can't you just fix it?" Lily suggested.

"With what tools? This isn't even an area I should be in."

That comment made Lily chuckle. "I did say earlier we shouldn't be up here," she asserted in a tone Amy didn't appreciate. "But if you're really worried about it, why not take it back home and repair it? You were worried about Sakura not having anybody to play with... why not give it to her?"

Amy shook her head. "This Prog doesn't belong to me. I'm not a thief."

"Who said anything about stealing?" Lily retorted. "It was in a pile of garbage on a rooftop filled with garbage. I think it's safe to say that it was thrown away. If anything, that means we're giving it a new life. A future."

Amy liked Lily's reasoning, wanting to believe it was the right course of action. But in her mind it sounded like someone trying to justify a bad decision. "Eric? What do you think?"

Eric hadn't made a decision either way, but now that the spotlight was on him he had to choose his words carefully. "I mean... I think you're both right. You shouldn't take anything without permission, but this Prog... it was left out in the open in a damaged condition..."

"And...?" Lily pressed her operator for an answer.

Eric's mind swayed back and forth between 'leave' and 'take' until an unexpected thought made him chuckle. "I guess it wouldn't be the first time you took something without permission, Amy."

His cheeky prod took Amy off-guard, her face blushing as she realised what Eric was referring to. After all, she *had* taken Sakura without permission instead of allowing Crony to find her rightful owner.

"I'm not saying that makes it right," Eric quickly added. "But..."

"...but maybe... if we look after it well, it justifies the decision?"

"It's up to you Amy. It's your choice."

"I guess I have your back too."

Amy's mind was made up. It took a moment to configure the PET to accept an incoming stream that wasn't her own being, but after some quick protocol avoisions, the Prog's mangled frame was deconstructed and transmitted through a travel path back to her PET. It arrived with no fanfare, just a hunched body.

"You'll help me repair it, right Eric?"

"I suppose. I've never done repairs on Progs before, but... how hard can it be, right...?"

Optimism. A welcome change.

"Exactly! We've got this!" she chirped up.

With the battle's events now behind them, Amy's attention turned back to finding her former sporting partner. They had covered a considerable distance in a brief period of time. However, as Amy crossed over a few more rooftops she noticed that she'd come to the end of the thoroughfare, but the sight that met her on the other side of the intersecting street was her new concern. How society could be so close to an arid wasteland that stretched out towards the horizon seemed to be at odds with the assortment of buildings she'd just been hopping on. It was almost like the street below was a dividing line between the future... and the past.

"So we're heading into that, are we?"

"That's what the radar says, so... yes, I guess."

Amy took the necessary steps back from the final ledge. Height was going to be her friend, and with a little bit of skill (and perhaps luck) she surmised that she might be able to close off just a little more distance between her and Meep.

"Umm, what are you aiming to land on?" her partner asked, her voice giving away a sense of concern.

"I'm not aiming for anything. Are you able to help me cover as much distance as possible?"

Lily didn't respond, but when Amy saw the cyan wings expand even further outward, an answer didn't seem necessary.

"For the record, leaping off a tall building without knowing what you're heading towards... remember what happened last time you did that?"

A loud huff of disapproval followed. "It's not called a 'leap of faith' for nothing. The sooner we find Meep, the sooner we can go back home."

"You really like this 'Meep' character, don’t you."

Amy shrugged. "Not really. I barely know Meep. But I made him a promise, and I intend to keep it."

Amy centered her gravity, pushing her weight towards her back legs and keeping her hands firmly planted on the rooftop. She was going to need as much speed as possible to maximise her gliding time.

She was just about to launch when Eric's giggling stopped her.

"Is something funny?" she quizzed her operator.

"Hmm?" Eric hadn't realised his humour was audible. "It's nothing, just ignore me."

"No no, out with it. What's so funny?"

His mind knew it was a mistake to verbalise the thought, but Amy wasn't going to let the matter drop. He sighed before admitting his thought process. "You said you're taking a leap of faith into that wilderness to find Meep."

"Yes."

"So you could say it's a... Meep of faith."

Silence again filled the air.

It was Eric's turn to blush as Amy refocused her energy to the ground. The smallest of grins may have suggested she at least found some humour in that statement, but she wasn't going to make it known. Her body leapt forward, and using the parapet as a hurdle, her feet boosted her into the air as Lily's supersized wings accepted the downward force and created a windstream to surf on as they entered into the unknown. Viruses of differening families appeared and disappeared from view as they soared over a large swatch of land, but Amy's wings were not capable of suspending her indefinitely, her altitude continuing to lower the further they travelled.

A final hill came into view as the distance between navi and land was no longer safe for gliding at high speed. It seemed apparent that Amy had indeed not learned her lesson earlier, as the final wind-assisted downdraft from Lily's wings gave Amy a final boost skyward to clear the barren hill, allowing her to land on the other side... and right into the middle of more drama.

----------

Battle #1 Complete!

Rewards:
Zenny: +750 (420 >>> 1170)
Bugfrags: +16 (11 >>> 27)

Party:
Amity.EXE: 210 / 210 HP
Liliana.SP: 50 / 60 HP [Equipped to Amity]

{{{ Seriously Amy, with great power comes great responsibility. Requesting Battle #2. }}}
Amy's flight ended with her spilling down into another unexpected scene. Behind the hill, the baked heat of Kotobuki came to the for more strongly as she drifted over a large pool of lava, then came down on top of what appeared to be a low stone altar of some sort; she nearly collided with a glowing reed crystal in the middle, knocking the object off the platform to one side. Angry viral noises rose all around – It seemed as though Amy had interrupted some sort of ritual, perhaps, as a pair of Mettfires waved staves at her menacingly while they chattered, and further off, in the lava lake, the flames on a pair of ghostly candles roared high.

Amy was surrounded, with only the altar itself and four pretty creepy-looking pillars made of (admittedly somewhat cartoonish) bones being her only cover from the upset viruses. Beside her,, the crystal she'd knocked over still seemed intact, though upon closer inspection Amy would be able to clearly see that it wasn't red after all – it was green, but had just been painted red, and the job was patchy at that.


-=Viruses=-
MettFireMettFire (MettFire)

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NAXA, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack: 20 Fire + Drop Attack x 3 hits + Variable Targeting
Attack Accuracy: D
Attack Description: Drops 3 meteors onto enemies' heads.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Meteor9, Asteroid1, Zenny
Special: Attacks every other action. Right before it attacks, it can move behind the nearest object as a free action. If there are no objects on the field, they may instead move behind an ally.
Special: This virus's dodges are treated as Teleport for the purposes of movement only. It gains no effectiveness over a regular dodge.
A: 100Hp [Normal] (North of Altar)
MettFireMettFire (MettFire)

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NAXA, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack: 20 Fire + Drop Attack x 3 hits + Variable Targeting
Attack Accuracy: D
Attack Description: Drops 3 meteors onto enemies' heads.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Meteor9, Asteroid1, Zenny
Special: Attacks every other action. Right before it attacks, it can move behind the nearest object as a free action. If there are no objects on the field, they may instead move behind an ally.
Special: This virus's dodges are treated as Teleport for the purposes of movement only. It gains no effectiveness over a regular dodge.
B: 100Hp [Normal] (South of Altar)
HauntedCandleHauntedCandle (HauntedCandle)

This virus attacks every action if able.

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Fire + Square Attack + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: B
Attack Description: Creates flame spire in a square. Targets panels.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): BurnSquare1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
Special: Heat Body: This virus is immune to Fire damage and associated effects.
Special: Square Attack: Attacks a 2 panel x 2 panel square area.
Special: Candle: Can be snuffed by Wind, which prevents it from attacking. Fire relights it.
A: 100Hp [Lava] (East of Altar)
HauntedCandleHauntedCandle (HauntedCandle)

This virus attacks every action if able.

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Fire + Square Attack + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: B
Attack Description: Creates flame spire in a square. Targets panels.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): BurnSquare1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
Special: Heat Body: This virus is immune to Fire damage and associated effects.
Special: Square Attack: Attacks a 2 panel x 2 panel square area.
Special: Candle: Can be snuffed by Wind, which prevents it from attacking. Fire relights it.
B: 100Hp [Lava] (West of Altar)

-=Navis=-
Amity.Exe: 210 Hp [Normal] (On the altar)
Liliana.SP: 60 Hp [Equipped to Amity]

-=Objects=-
Altar Block: 120Hp [StoneBody] (Centre of the field)
Creepy Fire Pillar A: 40Hp [Normal] (North-east of the altar)
Creepy Fire Pillar B: 40Hp [Normal] (North-west of the altar)
Creepy Fire Pillar C: 40Hp [Normal] (South-east of the altar)
Creepy Fire Pillar D: 40Hp [Normal] (South-west of the altar)
GMD: 20Hp [Beside the altar (North)]

-=Terrain=--
40% 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.
(Large moat surrounding the altar)
30% Grass
  • Wood Elementals get +5 HP/action.
  • Fire attacks: +100% Source Damage, change terrain hit to Soil.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Wood.
(Outside the lava moat)
30% Normal
  • No effects.
(Inside the lava moat)

-=Battle 2, Start!=-
Lily's wings quickly shrank back down to their normal size, their owner having noticed the pair were surrounded in all directions by creatures who appeared to not only be aggravated by the duo's entrance, but more so by the fact that they'd just knocked over whatever it was that was clearly the focus of this bizarre setup.

Or perhaps they just didn't like strangers.

"Amy, what's the plan?" Lily asked nervously as her attention and gaze began rotating endlessly through the list of potential foes.

Amy was becoming used to being outnumbered, and to her surprise the normal rush of navi-andrenaline (for lack of a better word) wasn't as peaked as her previous encounters. Perhaps their battles were making her more steeled for battling.

Or maybe Amy just didn't fully appreciate what dangers they may have created for themselves. The threat was definitely a concern to Lily, as her electrical energy field kicked into gear to help them fend off the pending assault.

Amy's attention darted down to the crystal she'd knocked over moments ago as it looked somewhat familiar. "Call it a hunch, but I'll risk it," she mused out loud as she took the crystal off the ground.

"Uhh, won't that anger them even further?" Lily questioned. Didn't she just say she wasn't a thief?

"I'm not stealing it, I'm protecting it," Amy replied as she tried to slide it into the groove at the back of her dress.

Lily hadn't expected such a move and was both disturbed and agitated by the action. "Hey, occupied!" she protested.

"Hey, just hold onto it would you? You're not occupying my whole back," Amy retorted. The normal gel patch she'd used for storing small(ish) items was somewhat blocked by Lily's main body, but hopefully it would still fulfil its purpose. That was Amy's hope, anyway; it didn't feel particularly secure this time around as only half the normal surface area was able to make contact with the crystal, Lily's body blocking the other half.

"This isn't comfortable," Lily complained from her space, the lower half of the crystal pressing up against the back of her head and pushing her face further into Amy's back.

"Alright, so I'll need to do something about that later," she half-pondered, half-commanded as her attention (finally) came back to the task at hand. "Eric, MettFires and HauntedCandles. They both look like Fire ty-" she began to advise, but a pulse in her left arm cut her off. Amy knew what was coming next, and had only a second to bend her arm in the right manner before the familiar shield stretched itself into existence.

Asking for the shield would have been her first move regardless, but Amy couldn't deny she was a little annoyed that Eric hadn't waited for the order. Her instinct to rebuff the help was defeated by the thought that maybe letting Eric operate this way wasn't such a bad idea. After all, he'd predicted right, it was the correct choice.

Meanwhile, Eric had taken his navi's command and was on the right pages. "MettFire. Will seek protection behind an object or ally before summoning fiery meteors at its chosen targets." His finger was not far away from the next entry. "HauntedCandle. Will continually attack its prey by use of flame spires. Immune to fire damage."

Amy was about to speak when Eric cut her off. "It also says the flame on their head can be extinguished using a Wind-type attack, preventing it from attacking." Eric picked up the PET again. "They're all Fire types, if that helps..."

I knew it, she grinned as cleansing gel began coursing down her arm. Fire types were her specialty thanks to her aqueous nature, but which ones to target first...?

Knowing that the candles could be disabled with a Wind-type attack was useful information, but as Amy didn't have a Wind-type attack in her possesion she had no ability to apply that knowledge. Perhaps that agitation was what led her to decide on attacking the candles first. Her feet were as nimble as always, orbiting her body on the same patch of ground as she tried to anticipate whoever would attack her first, but getting hit seemed somewhat inevitable in this scenario.

"Repeat after me, Lily!" she directed as the first manifestation of cleansing gel began ready to disperse. Her hand raised to the first candle, and the familiar satisfying whoosh could be heard as the gel launched from her hand and flew across the battlefield to its intended target. It had company in the form of a transparent wave of energy that tailed behind it, crackling as it flew and igniting the scattering mist from the gel into a dim but glittery kaleidoscope.

Amy's body whirled around to face the opposite direction as she again felt the gel gather into her hand, doing her best to remain attentive to the entire field. In a similar manner, another familiar 1-2 of cleansing gel and ionised wind left the pair in an attempt to meet the second candle and potentially neutralise its threat to their existence.

Eric returned the Guard1 chip to its place in the folder, allowing it to begin the recharging process. His hand hovered over the selection as he anticipated what would be requested next.

----------

Actions:
[LA] Turbulence >>> Protect Amity/Liliana (shot/lob potential only)
[A1] Collect crystal / attempt safekeeping in back pocket
[A2] [Disruptor] Guard1 [Reflect <60 non-Break DMG, Line] @ Amity
[A3] Dodge
[A4] Calming Spray A (40 Aqua DMG) >>> HauntedCandleA
[L1] Ion Wave (25 Elec DMG) >>> HauntedCandleA
[A5] Dodge
[A6] Calming Spray B (40 Aqua DMG) >>> HauntedCandleB
[L2] Ion Wave (25 Elec DMG) >>> HauntedCandleB

Cooldowns:
Calming Spray A [Used; 0/1 TCD; Recharging]
Calming Spray B [Used; 0/1 TCD; Recharging]

Party:
Amity.EXE: 210 / 210 HP [Equipped: Guard1] [Turbulence active]
Liliana.SP: 60 / 60 HP [Equipped to Amity]

Battlechip Folder
CannonDamage: 60 + Knockback
Accuracy: A
Description: A decent sized cannon with a single shot.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

DBLBeam1Damage: Special
Accuracy: S
Description: Summons a DoubleCube that fires either a Red Beam or a Blue Beam, then vanishes.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Special: Randomly uses one of the below effects...
- 40 Null to all Enemies (Red Beam)
- 30 Heal to all Allies. Random (Blue Beam)
Trader Rank: D

<<< Guard1 >>>
Pulsar1Damage: 70 + Object Triggered Blast 2
Accuracy: A (Primary) / B (Blast)
Description: Fires a sound wave. If it hits an object, its range is amplified, hitting anything near that object in a blast of noise.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Special: Object Triggered Blast: Blast effect that only works if the attack hits an Object, such as a RockCube.
Trader Rank: D

RollArrow1Damage: 40 + Chip Break
Accuracy: B
Description: Launches an arrow tipped with a pink heart. If a virus is hit, they lose the ability to attack once. If a Navi is hit, they lose their first selected chip for that turn.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

ShockWaveDamage: 40 + Line Attack + Ground Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: Sends a narrow, but long, shock wave rolling in front of an enemy. Slow, but difficult to jump over due to its length.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

ShotgunDamage: 50 + Spread 1
Accuracy: A
Description: A gun whose shot penetrates an enemy to hit another one directly behind it.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

SkyShoesEffect: High-Alt Flight
Accuracy: S
Description: Grants the user the ability to freely fly at high altitude. Initial takeoff is considered a dodge. If shot down, user may take off again until effect ends.
Duration: 1 turn
Element: Null
Special: Beware of fall damage.
Trader Rank: D

RageClaw1Damage: 40 + Slashing (Attack) OR 20 + Impacting (Throw)
Accuracy: B / B then B
Description: Creates an impressive bear claw. Can be used to slash or throw enemies or objects.
Duration: Until Overridden/Broken. Breaks automatically after 6 uses.
Element: Null
Special: Throw: The wielder must first grab the target to be thrown, then the target is thrown in the direction/area indicated. A second check is made if against another object/enemy. Throw deals damage to both thrown object/enemy and the second object/enemy. Damage occurs at point of collision with the ground/wall/ceiling/etc. or an object/enemy, not during initial grab attempt. Objects deal their max HP in damage (instead of the chip's damage) if they hit an object/enemy, then break. If they miss, the object just takes the chip's damage. This chip has a variety of uses.
Trader Rank: D

FireHit1Damage: 60 + Impact + Double Attack
Accuracy: A
Description: Throws a blazing punch from a distance, Hadoken style.
Duration: Up to 2 uses before the end of the turn
Element: Fire
Special: Double Attack: After spending an action to attack with this chip, you may choose to spend a second action and attack with it again before the end of the turn.
Trader Rank: D
FurnaceZoneEffect: Large Furnace Terrain Change
Accuracy: S
Description: Creates a large zone of Furnace Terrain, centered on you.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: D

HeatShotDamage: 40 + Spread 1
Accuracy: A
Description: Shoots a fireball whose explosion penetrates an enemy to hit another one directly behind it.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: D

ZapRing1Damage: 40 + Stun 1
Accuracy: A
Description: Shoots electricity in a ring shape to stun an enemy in their tracks.
Duration: Once
Element: Elec
Trader Rank: D

MushyHP: 80
Damage: 15 Wood + Confusion + Nova 2
Accuracy: A
Description: Creates a Mushy virus to aid you. Attacks with BadSpice, and unlike normal Mushy, can move over non-Wood elemental terrain at a penalty of halving movement distance/dodge rate.
Element: Wood
Special: Allied Virus: This virus has two actions 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

Recover30Recovery: 30 HP
Accuracy: S
Description: Heals 30 HP.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

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As Amy scooped up the poorly-painted data crystal, her 'protecting' explanation didn't seem to go over very well with the surrounding viruses. What was violent agitation before quickly became furious rage as the two MettFires warped quickly behind opposite bone pillars and waved their staves in the air, attempting to call down a hail of burning meteors onto the one interrupting their ritual. Amy was left to dodge with desperate motions in the central location as the burning rocks came in at just the wrong angle for Lily's turbulence, or her currently forward-facing shield to be of any help. Despite her best efforts, the sheer volume of six streaking meteors coming towards her was too much to avoid entirely, and one of the attacks managed to score an impact against her shoulder as she didn't quite get out of its way.

Worse luck still, as one of the flame on one of the haunted candles glowed brighter and created a sudden bursting column of fiery wraiths from the ground around the altar – Amy was spared their wrath, and the data crystal was lucky enough not to be hit, but Lily, note quite as hidden as she preferred, felt the scorch of one of the flame jets grazing her. Amy countered a moment alter with a blast of cleansing gel that cooled the candle off, and then some; the sudden application of moisture to the lava that the virus rested on caused a steam explosion of cleansing vapour and the result left the candle completely extinguished.

Lily's following attack passed beyond where the candle had been, and managed to wing one of the MettFire's hiding behind its pillar as it peeked out to see what was happening, while Amy moved on to the other candle, repeating the process with this one as well; as before the immobile virus stood little chance of avoiding her shot, and a second steamy explosion cleansed a second angry virus. This left Lily to take a second pot-shot at one of the remaining viruses, but the other MettFire dodged quickly back behind cover, avoiding the ionised wave.

-=Viruses=-
MettFireMettFire (MettFire)

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NAXA, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack: 20 Fire + Drop Attack x 3 hits + Variable Targeting
Attack Accuracy: D
Attack Description: Drops 3 meteors onto enemies' heads.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Meteor9, Asteroid1, Zenny
Special: Attacks every other action. Right before it attacks, it can move behind the nearest object as a free action. If there are no objects on the field, they may instead move behind an ally.
Special: This virus's dodges are treated as Teleport for the purposes of movement only. It gains no effectiveness over a regular dodge.
A: 75Hp [Lava] (Behind North-East Pillar)
MettFireMettFire (MettFire)

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NAXA, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack: 20 Fire + Drop Attack x 3 hits + Variable Targeting
Attack Accuracy: D
Attack Description: Drops 3 meteors onto enemies' heads.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Meteor9, Asteroid1, Zenny
Special: Attacks every other action. Right before it attacks, it can move behind the nearest object as a free action. If there are no objects on the field, they may instead move behind an ally.
Special: This virus's dodges are treated as Teleport for the purposes of movement only. It gains no effectiveness over a regular dodge.
B: 100Hp [Lava] (Behind South-West Pillar)
HauntedCandleHauntedCandle (HauntedCandle)

This virus attacks every action if able.

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Fire + Square Attack + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: B
Attack Description: Creates flame spire in a square. Targets panels.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): BurnSquare1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
Special: Heat Body: This virus is immune to Fire damage and associated effects.
Special: Square Attack: Attacks a 2 panel x 2 panel square area.
Special: Candle: Can be snuffed by Wind, which prevents it from attacking. Fire relights it.
A: CLEANSED
HauntedCandleHauntedCandle (HauntedCandle)

This virus attacks every action if able.

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Fire + Square Attack + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: B
Attack Description: Creates flame spire in a square. Targets panels.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): BurnSquare1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
Special: Heat Body: This virus is immune to Fire damage and associated effects.
Special: Square Attack: Attacks a 2 panel x 2 panel square area.
Special: Candle: Can be snuffed by Wind, which prevents it from attacking. Fire relights it.
B: CLEANSED

-=Navis=-
Amity.Exe: 190 Hp [Normal][1-Hit Shield (Guard1)][Turbulence Active] (On the altar)
Liliana.SP: 40 Hp [Equipped to Amity]

-=Objects=-
Altar Block: 118Hp [StoneBody] (Centre of the field)
Creepy Fire Pillar A: 40Hp [Normal] (North-east of the altar)
Creepy Fire Pillar B: 40Hp [Normal] (North-west of the altar)
Creepy Fire Pillar C: 40Hp [Normal] (South-east of the altar)
Creepy Fire Pillar D: 40Hp [Normal] (South-west of the altar)
GMD: 20Hp [Carried by Amy]

-=Terrain=--
30% 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.
(Large moat surrounding the altar)
30% Grass
  • Wood Elementals get +5 HP/action.
  • Fire attacks: +100% Source Damage, change terrain hit to Soil.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Wood.
(Outside the lava moat)
40% Normal
  • No effects.
(Inside the lava moat, plus the two patches where the candles were)
In retrospect, Amy realised she'd made two mistakes.

The first was her lack of attention to her environment. She knew that her cleansing gel would have a greater effect on all four of her foes due the elemental doctrine drilled into every navi. Aqua beats Fire, everybody knew that. She also knew that the lava swell surrounding her also had a habit of amplifying the damage her gel was capable of metering.

In her haste, however, she hadn't stopped to consider that both battle techniques combined would quadruple the effectiveness of the gel. Such an amplification was enough to blast through the outer casing of any one of her current foes with a single hit; she hadn't needed Lily to follow suit, it had been a wasted effort. If Lily had known that, she must have been playing it cool by not debating Amy's choices. Only by sheer luck did one of the two shots still manage to find a substitute marking, but that certainly wasn't likely to happen again.

The second mistake was the one of greater concern. Both of her deployed countermeasures were still active, and yet the enemy had been able to land hits to both herself and her partner. The scorch marks on her dress were clear evidence of this, a reminder that her shield and Lily's aura didn't protect them from all directions, only from frontal attacks, and only aerial attacks at that. With four enemies situated in every direction, Amy should have realised her partner was more at risk than she was and acted accordingly.

"Are you okay?" she called out as aloe gel had already begun generating from her shoulders.

"I'm alright. A little hot, but I can take it," Lily reassured her.

"Not taking any chances," she advised as the aloe gel flowed off of Amy's body and onto her partner. The whole ordeal could have caused distress to her partner, having her body swallowed by a foreign substance, had she not seen its effect already in battle. It settled onto her body and the same air pocket formed around her head, thorax and appendages. Strangely enough, even her wings began to glow with the same mild cyan aura; Lily was impressed by the effectiveness of Amy's aid.

"Thank you," she remarked. "Alright, now what?"

"Good question," Amy remarked. The two remaining foes had hidden behind two opposing pillars on the battlefield, and Amy didn't have anything that was going to go around them or over them. Unless they had weapons that could curve around their defenses, it was somewhat wasteful firing shots at the edges, hoping for another lucky potshot. SkyShoes could work to get a clearer shot, but it would also put her closer to the falling asteroids, which negated the advantage gained.

"We could let loose a Shockwave, but it's too slow, they'd see it coming, and that would only work for one of them."

"Damn. Pity we can't just shoot straight through the pillars, right?"

"What?"

"Just saying, is all."

Actually... they could. Lily's jesting gave Amy an idea. "Eric, can you cache the Shotgun and HeatShot chips?"

Eric was ready for orders, and had been doing his own calculations while waiting. In a similar vein, he'd also recognised that, even if they were to somehow take down the pillars the MettFires were hiding behind, there were still two active pillars they could retreat to. What they needed was an attack the meteor-wielders couldn't hide from. And as it so happened, one of the chips in their collection could either guarantee a hit, or at the very least offer some healing support. Either way, it was their win. With that thought, his fingers withdrew three chips from the folder as he enabled the caching to Amy's right arm.

"Caching activated - sending you the Shotgun, HeatShot and DBLBeam1 chips."

The silver barrel with its bluish reflective glare slid out of Amy's sleeve as she took aim at the first MettFire's defence. "You ready Lily?"

"For what? You to attack the pillar?"

Amy chuckled. "Both the Shotgun and Heatshot have a spreading nature. Both should be able to punch through the pillars and then forward into the targets behind them. Come on, this was your idea," she added with a smile.

"Alright, I'll follow you lead," Lily concluded as Amy felt the energy build inside the barrel.

"Keep up with me okay? Things may get a little crazy."

The sound of gunfire filled the air as Amy's arm produced a packet of pellets towards the north-east pillar. Amy gained some comfort as her typical chip-modifying nature produced the blue smoke she knew indicated her attacks were neutralising, not destructive.

As the two cores of the HauntedCandles continued to deform into their former state, Amy felt the discharge of Lily's wings again chase after her assault, in an effort to fully neutralise their foe. No time to meditate on that though; her body pirouetted in place, glancing upwards to the sky as she did so. Those meteors were indeed pesky, and rather effective at burning her well-designed clothes; the repair process was already taking effect as the smouldered fabrics began lifting off into the air as the regenerative cycles shed off their now-useless fibres.

The Shotgun's barrel had been shed, and in its place the HeatShot furnace arm now extended out. How it didn't burn her sleeve was still a mystery to her, but one that could wait for another day. Boom. Whoosh. Another one-two of elemental choas followed as the fiery discharge was chased down by another serving of Lily's crackling energy. Amy hoped that there wasn't a limit to how much of those ions her partner could conjure.

Amy's eyes were still looking for incoming meteors when the DBLCube appeared above her. The last time they'd used it, it had done exactly as needed and inflicted the remainder of their foes the necessary damage to rid the field of their presence. Unlike the last battle, however, Amy had taken damage from the MettFire moments ago, and so it didn't matter which colour it flashed, its assistance in this battle would still be appreciated, one way or another.

In a way... it all came down to a coin flip.

----------

Actions:
[A1] FAIR (30[+6] HEAL + 40 HP Barrier) >>> Liliana
[A2] [Disruptor] Shotgun (50 DMG + Spread1) >>> MettFireA/Creepy Fire Pillar A
[L1] Ion Wave (25 Elec DMG) >>> MettFireA
[A3] Dodge
[A4] [Disruptor] Heatshot (40 Fire DMG + Spread1) >>> MettFireB/Creepy Fire Pillar D
[L2] Ion Wave (25 Elec DMG) >>> MettFireB
[A5] Dodge
[A6] [Disruptor] DBLBeam1 (40 DMG all enemies *OR* 30 HEAL all allies) >>> ???

Cooldowns:
Calming Spray A [+1 CD; 1/1 TCD; Ready!]
Calming Spray B [+1 CD; 1/1 TCD; Ready!]
FAIR [Used; 0/2 TCD; Recharging]

Party:
Amity.EXE: 190 / 210 HP [Guard1 Equipped, Turbulence active]
Liliana.SP: 60 / 60 HP [40 HP Barrier] [Equipped to Amity]

Battlechip Folder
CannonDamage: 60 + Knockback
Accuracy: A
Description: A decent sized cannon with a single shot.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

<<< DBLBeam1 >>>
Guard1
Pulsar1Damage: 70 + Object Triggered Blast 2
Accuracy: A (Primary) / B (Blast)
Description: Fires a sound wave. If it hits an object, its range is amplified, hitting anything near that object in a blast of noise.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Special: Object Triggered Blast: Blast effect that only works if the attack hits an Object, such as a RockCube.
Trader Rank: D

RollArrow1Damage: 40 + Chip Break
Accuracy: B
Description: Launches an arrow tipped with a pink heart. If a virus is hit, they lose the ability to attack once. If a Navi is hit, they lose their first selected chip for that turn.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

ShockWaveDamage: 40 + Line Attack + Ground Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: Sends a narrow, but long, shock wave rolling in front of an enemy. Slow, but difficult to jump over due to its length.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

<<< Shotgun >>>
SkyShoesEffect: High-Alt Flight
Accuracy: S
Description: Grants the user the ability to freely fly at high altitude. Initial takeoff is considered a dodge. If shot down, user may take off again until effect ends.
Duration: 1 turn
Element: Null
Special: Beware of fall damage.
Trader Rank: D

RageClaw1Damage: 40 + Slashing (Attack) OR 20 + Impacting (Throw)
Accuracy: B / B then B
Description: Creates an impressive bear claw. Can be used to slash or throw enemies or objects.
Duration: Until Overridden/Broken. Breaks automatically after 6 uses.
Element: Null
Special: Throw: The wielder must first grab the target to be thrown, then the target is thrown in the direction/area indicated. A second check is made if against another object/enemy. Throw deals damage to both thrown object/enemy and the second object/enemy. Damage occurs at point of collision with the ground/wall/ceiling/etc. or an object/enemy, not during initial grab attempt. Objects deal their max HP in damage (instead of the chip's damage) if they hit an object/enemy, then break. If they miss, the object just takes the chip's damage. This chip has a variety of uses.
Trader Rank: D

FireHit1Damage: 60 + Impact + Double Attack
Accuracy: A
Description: Throws a blazing punch from a distance, Hadoken style.
Duration: Up to 2 uses before the end of the turn
Element: Fire
Special: Double Attack: After spending an action to attack with this chip, you may choose to spend a second action and attack with it again before the end of the turn.
Trader Rank: D
FurnaceZoneEffect: Large Furnace Terrain Change
Accuracy: S
Description: Creates a large zone of Furnace Terrain, centered on you.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: D

<<< HeatShot >>>
ZapRing1Damage: 40 + Stun 1
Accuracy: A
Description: Shoots electricity in a ring shape to stun an enemy in their tracks.
Duration: Once
Element: Elec
Trader Rank: D

MushyHP: 80
Damage: 15 Wood + Confusion + Nova 2
Accuracy: A
Description: Creates a Mushy virus to aid you. Attacks with BadSpice, and unlike normal Mushy, can move over non-Wood elemental terrain at a penalty of halving movement distance/dodge rate.
Element: Wood
Special: Allied Virus: This virus has two actions 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

Recover30Recovery: 30 HP
Accuracy: S
Description: Heals 30 HP.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

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Despite some early combat miscalculations, Amy and Lily rallied themselves quickly and formulated new plans. Thee first steep was to give Lily some healing and some better protection from the meteor-summoning viruses. The hostile creatures both began to raise their staves again, waving them from behind their pillars, but Amy was quicker on the draw this time; her disruptive shotgun blast tore through the first pillar and battered one Mettfire badly enough to make it fumble its staff. A moment later, Lily''s ion wave followed through, no longer obstructed by the creepy pile of bones, and finished the job.

As their target lost its strength and began to break apart into blue fragments, the other remaining virus finished summoning a fresh swarm of flaming rocks. Its aim was better than reports on the virus would lead anyone to expect, but even so Amy managed to dodge away from the two that streaked towards her and the third impacted against the freshly formed barrier gel that coated Lily, shattering and fizzling out without doing the little SP any harm.

Amy's retaliation didn't go quite as well as her first shot, however; though the heat shot was successful in striking the pillar, it seemed to give the remaining virus enough warning for it to dart away, dodging out of cover and into the open but avoiding the attack. It couldn't run from Lily's ion wave, though it still looked ready to fight after taking the attack squarely.

A moment later the blinking mystery cube graced the battlefield again, and as the lights flickered to a halt the chip showed its predilection for violence once more. As well as sending a pin-point ray toward the remaining virus, the beam also seemed to take issue with the remaining bone pillars and the altar itself, covering the field in a tracery of swift, sharp shots that obliterated most of the structures on the field. The MettFire was still standing, though at this point it looked like it might be reconsidering its options – it was low on integrity and out of good hiding places to boot.

-=Viruses=-
MettFireMettFire (MettFire)

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NAXA, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack: 20 Fire + Drop Attack x 3 hits + Variable Targeting
Attack Accuracy: D
Attack Description: Drops 3 meteors onto enemies' heads.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Meteor9, Asteroid1, Zenny
Special: Attacks every other action. Right before it attacks, it can move behind the nearest object as a free action. If there are no objects on the field, they may instead move behind an ally.
Special: This virus's dodges are treated as Teleport for the purposes of movement only. It gains no effectiveness over a regular dodge.
A: CLEANSED
MettFireMettFire (MettFire)

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NAXA, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack: 20 Fire + Drop Attack x 3 hits + Variable Targeting
Attack Accuracy: D
Attack Description: Drops 3 meteors onto enemies' heads.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Meteor9, Asteroid1, Zenny
Special: Attacks every other action. Right before it attacks, it can move behind the nearest object as a free action. If there are no objects on the field, they may instead move behind an ally.
Special: This virus's dodges are treated as Teleport for the purposes of movement only. It gains no effectiveness over a regular dodge.
B: 35Hp [Lava] (Mid-West of the altar) (May be about to flee?)
HauntedCandleHauntedCandle (HauntedCandle)

This virus attacks every action if able.

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Fire + Square Attack + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: B
Attack Description: Creates flame spire in a square. Targets panels.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): BurnSquare1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
Special: Heat Body: This virus is immune to Fire damage and associated effects.
Special: Square Attack: Attacks a 2 panel x 2 panel square area.
Special: Candle: Can be snuffed by Wind, which prevents it from attacking. Fire relights it.
A: CLEANSED
HauntedCandleHauntedCandle (HauntedCandle)

This virus attacks every action if able.

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Fire + Square Attack + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: B
Attack Description: Creates flame spire in a square. Targets panels.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): BurnSquare1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
Special: Heat Body: This virus is immune to Fire damage and associated effects.
Special: Square Attack: Attacks a 2 panel x 2 panel square area.
Special: Candle: Can be snuffed by Wind, which prevents it from attacking. Fire relights it.
B: CLEANSED

-=Navis=-
Amity.Exe: 190 Hp [Normal][1-Hit Shield (Guard1)][Turbulence Active] (On the altar)
Liliana.SP: 60 Hp [Equipped to Amity][Barrier: 20/40Hp]

-=Objects=-
Altar Block: 117Hp [StoneBody] (Centre of the field)
Creepy Fire Pillar A: DESTROYED
Creepy Fire Pillar B: DESTROYED
Creepy Fire Pillar C: DESTROYED
Creepy Fire Pillar D: DESTROYED
GMD: 20Hp [Carried by Amy]

-=Terrain=--
30% 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.
(Large moat surrounding the altar)
30% Grass
  • Wood Elementals get +5 HP/action.
  • Fire attacks: +100% Source Damage, change terrain hit to Soil.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Wood.
(Outside the lava moat)
40% Normal
  • No effects.
(Inside the lava moat, plus the two patches where the candles were)
Dust filled the air... or was it bone powder...? as the DBLCube took out its wrath on seemingly everything that wasn't its summoner and disappeared as silently as it had arrived. Both Amy and Lily coughed from the shower of powder as they waited for the white cloud to disperse and for visibility to be restored.

Upon seeing a lone figure remaining on the battlefield, Amy was confident she could end this pointless skirmish. It bothered her that the first two cores were hovering off to the side of their platform but hadn't torn away to find solace elsewhere. As the third core shimmered away the remaining data fragments it began to hover towards the pair, but it still didn't look like they were retreating just yet.

Was it possible they still had some cognitive thoughts in that form, and maybe they were waiting for their... friend...?

One way or the other, Amy's repulsors didn't seem to care; with another twin dosage of cleansing gel rolling down her arm and towards her hand, the next barrage was ready to be metered out towards the final foe. Amy wouldn't make the same mistake as before; she knew it would only take one hit to nullify her foe. Perhaps it was the creature's ability to evade her earlier attacks that made her doubt herself.

"Eric! FireHit1 chip as well!"

"Got it. Incoming."

Meanwhile, Lily was starting to become cramped in the back seam of Amity's dress. The healing protocol had almost completed repairing the material, but while the hole had been exposed it had afforded the butterfly the ability to move her head away from the red crystal that Amy had shoved into her proximity. Now, however, as the fabric took its original form, it pinned Lily's head even further against Amy's body, to the point where the crystal amplified every one of Amy's shoulder movements.

"Amy, hurry up and get this thing away from me!" she groaned.

"Working on it!" she called out as the first gel blob took flight and jettisoned across the arena, its cyan trail causing searing sounds as it settled onto the lava below. The MettFire was a fast moving target, and the second blob of gel was ejected as soon as it was ready. It was well timed, as only seconds later a new form of energy began to flow into her hands.

HANDS. Plural.

Amy wasn't ready for this, and the Guard shield faded away in response to the fiery impulse being distributed into both palms. It brought about an emotion Amy had never felt before, a strength that seemed to emanate from her chest and course through her entire body, like she'd just been hit with a jolt of energy.

And to be honest, although her first instinct was that this was a dangerous and sinister type of energy, that emotion was quickly pushed aside by a sense of... power. And she liked it.

Her focus was still towards where she thought her last remaining adversary had been, but without much forethought her hands suddenly starting pummeling the air in front of her, her body now gasping for short breaths as she took a step forward. The punching motion continued to knock the crystal around, grazing Lily even further.

"OW! Amy! What OW are you OW doing?!"

Her practice swings were over; with two forceful thrusts in front of her, two red flames shaped like fists launched out of her dress and into the field, the right side being followed by the left. Just like her HeatShot, the smoke left behind in their wake had her familiar signature of bluish haze.

Unbeknownst to the boxer in training, her motions had given Lily's head three distinct taps against the relic occupying the same space. The crystal began to glow in response to the known command, but Lily had never seen a GMD before...

"Amy! Help!" she cried out to her operator, trying to loose her appendages from Amy's back to break free, but there just wasn't enough time.

"Lily! Brace yourself!" she ordered as aloe gel flowed out of her being. Again, there simply wasn't enough time for it to flow to Lily, so Amy's body instead became the beneficiary as she prepared for the worst. Please, let the remaining aura be enough to protect her...

----------

Actions:
[A1] Calming Spray A (40 Aqua DMG) >>> MettFireB
[A2] Calming Spray B (40 Aqua DMG) >>> MettFireB
~ Release Guard1
[A3] FireHit1 (60 Fire DMG + Impact) #1/2 >>> MettFireB
[A4] FireHit1 (60 Fire DMG + Impact) #2/2 >>> MettFireB
[L1] Open GMD (although clearly she didn't mean to)
[A5] THAW A (30[+6] HEAL) >>> Amity
[L2] Brace
[A6] Brace

Cooldowns:
FAIR [+1 CD; 1/2 TCD; Recharging]
Calming Spray A [Used; 0/1 TCD; Recharging]
Calming Spray B [Used; 0/1 TCD; Recharging]
THAW A[Used; 0/1 TCD; Recharging]

Party
Amity.EXE: 210 / 210 HP [Turbulence active]
Liliana.SP: 60 / 60 HP [20 / 40 HP Barrier] [Equipped to Amity]

Battlechip Folder
CannonDamage: 60 + Knockback
Accuracy: A
Description: A decent sized cannon with a single shot.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

DBLBeam1
Guard1
Pulsar1Damage: 70 + Object Triggered Blast 2
Accuracy: A (Primary) / B (Blast)
Description: Fires a sound wave. If it hits an object, its range is amplified, hitting anything near that object in a blast of noise.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Special: Object Triggered Blast: Blast effect that only works if the attack hits an Object, such as a RockCube.
Trader Rank: D

RollArrow1Damage: 40 + Chip Break
Accuracy: B
Description: Launches an arrow tipped with a pink heart. If a virus is hit, they lose the ability to attack once. If a Navi is hit, they lose their first selected chip for that turn.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

ShockWaveDamage: 40 + Line Attack + Ground Attack
Accuracy: C
Description: Sends a narrow, but long, shock wave rolling in front of an enemy. Slow, but difficult to jump over due to its length.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: E

Shotgun
SkyShoesEffect: High-Alt Flight
Accuracy: S
Description: Grants the user the ability to freely fly at high altitude. Initial takeoff is considered a dodge. If shot down, user may take off again until effect ends.
Duration: 1 turn
Element: Null
Special: Beware of fall damage.
Trader Rank: D

RageClaw1Damage: 40 + Slashing (Attack) OR 20 + Impacting (Throw)
Accuracy: B / B then B
Description: Creates an impressive bear claw. Can be used to slash or throw enemies or objects.
Duration: Until Overridden/Broken. Breaks automatically after 6 uses.
Element: Null
Special: Throw: The wielder must first grab the target to be thrown, then the target is thrown in the direction/area indicated. A second check is made if against another object/enemy. Throw deals damage to both thrown object/enemy and the second object/enemy. Damage occurs at point of collision with the ground/wall/ceiling/etc. or an object/enemy, not during initial grab attempt. Objects deal their max HP in damage (instead of the chip's damage) if they hit an object/enemy, then break. If they miss, the object just takes the chip's damage. This chip has a variety of uses.
Trader Rank: D

<<< Firehit1 >>>
FurnaceZoneEffect: Large Furnace Terrain Change
Accuracy: S
Description: Creates a large zone of Furnace Terrain, centered on you.
Duration: Once
Element: Fire
Trader Rank: D

HeatShot
ZapRing1Damage: 40 + Stun 1
Accuracy: A
Description: Shoots electricity in a ring shape to stun an enemy in their tracks.
Duration: Once
Element: Elec
Trader Rank: D

MushyHP: 80
Damage: 15 Wood + Confusion + Nova 2
Accuracy: A
Description: Creates a Mushy virus to aid you. Attacks with BadSpice, and unlike normal Mushy, can move over non-Wood elemental terrain at a penalty of halving movement distance/dodge rate.
Element: Wood
Special: Allied Virus: This virus has two actions 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

Recover30Recovery: 30 HP
Accuracy: S
Description: Heals 30 HP.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

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{{{ In case you couldn't tell, I had fun writing this post. XD }}}
With just one hesitating virus left, Amy moved to clean up; the remaining MettFire squeaked briefly in panic and darted away to one side, flailing its staff madly at the air as it did. The spread of meteors that fell were wild and poorly aimed – it was difficult to tell if they even were aimed at anyone in particular, since none of them came anywhere near Amy's position. A moment later the virus was engulfed by her follow-up shot and its form dispersed.

The rush of feeling a new chip's energy was still a little much to just let go, regardless, and Amy wasn't able to resist a few swings and expenditures of this different type of power now that she had it in her hands; as she tested it out, however, Lily ended up activating her unwanted travelling companion. The data crystal glowed, green light pushing through the thin, poorly-applied red paint, before the entire crystal unfolded inwards on itself, briefly filled Amy's entire dress pocket with a mass of thick, gooey, gritty sand, and then, in a mercy, converted further into a spectral data packet that took up far less room.

It remained spectral and unavailable for only a few extra moments, though – with the last virus taken care of, and the scuffle ended, the data released properly for collection, along with the other retrievable spoils of the short battle.

-=Viruses=-
MettFireMettFire (MettFire)

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NAXA, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack: 20 Fire + Drop Attack x 3 hits + Variable Targeting
Attack Accuracy: D
Attack Description: Drops 3 meteors onto enemies' heads.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Meteor9, Asteroid1, Zenny
Special: Attacks every other action. Right before it attacks, it can move behind the nearest object as a free action. If there are no objects on the field, they may instead move behind an ally.
Special: This virus's dodges are treated as Teleport for the purposes of movement only. It gains no effectiveness over a regular dodge.
A: CLEANSED
MettFireMettFire (MettFire)

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NAXA, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack: 20 Fire + Drop Attack x 3 hits + Variable Targeting
Attack Accuracy: D
Attack Description: Drops 3 meteors onto enemies' heads.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): Meteor9, Asteroid1, Zenny
Special: Attacks every other action. Right before it attacks, it can move behind the nearest object as a free action. If there are no objects on the field, they may instead move behind an ally.
Special: This virus's dodges are treated as Teleport for the purposes of movement only. It gains no effectiveness over a regular dodge.
B: CLEANSED
HauntedCandleHauntedCandle (HauntedCandle)

This virus attacks every action if able.

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Fire + Square Attack + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: B
Attack Description: Creates flame spire in a square. Targets panels.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): BurnSquare1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
Special: Heat Body: This virus is immune to Fire damage and associated effects.
Special: Square Attack: Attacks a 2 panel x 2 panel square area.
Special: Candle: Can be snuffed by Wind, which prevents it from attacking. Fire relights it.
A: CLEANSED
HauntedCandleHauntedCandle (HauntedCandle)

This virus attacks every action if able.

Area: Kotobuki Town, Netfrica, Hades Isle, NetVegas

HP: 100
Attack Damage/Effect: 20 Fire + Square Attack + Ground Attack
Attack Accuracy: B
Attack Description: Creates flame spire in a square. Targets panels.
Element: Fire
Possible Rewards (Per Virus): BurnSquare1, Zenny
Special: Immobile.
Special: Heat Body: This virus is immune to Fire damage and associated effects.
Special: Square Attack: Attacks a 2 panel x 2 panel square area.
Special: Candle: Can be snuffed by Wind, which prevents it from attacking. Fire relights it.
B: CLEANSED

-=Navis=-
Amity.Exe: 210 Hp [Normal]
Liliana.SP: 60 Hp [Equipped to Amity][Barrier: 20/40Hp]

-=Objects=-
Altar Block: 117Hp [StoneBody] (Centre of the field)
Creepy Fire Pillar A: DESTROYED
Creepy Fire Pillar B: DESTROYED
Creepy Fire Pillar C: DESTROYED
Creepy Fire Pillar D: DESTROYED
GMD: 20Hp [Activated]

-=Terrain=--
30% 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.
(Large moat surrounding the altar)
30% Grass
  • Wood Elementals get +5 HP/action.
  • Fire attacks: +100% Source Damage, change terrain hit to Soil.
  • PanelShot: Imbue Wood.
(Outside the lava moat)
40% Normal
  • No effects.
(Inside the lava moat, plus the two patches where the candles were)

-=Battle 2, Victory!=-
Spoils: 1000z, 12 BugFrags
GMD: SandRingEffect: Small Quicksand Terrain Change
Accuracy: S
Description: Creates a small patch of QuickSand panels.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D
Amy's cheeks shone the same shade of red as the flames that had just left her hands while Lily finished coughing up sand from her tiny throat. The GMD had vanished, giving way to a new energy core that would no doubt manifest as a new battlechip for her operator, but Lily's exasperated gasps of air that came in between dry-retching what sand she'd swallowed only made Amy feel worse about the situation she'd just exposed her partner to. With her own systems constantly spawning various solubles up and down her arms and legs, Amy was used to unusual things touching her body (garbage, however, was a different story). Sand didn't feel too dissimilar to the consistency of frenzy gel, which made Amy briefly reminisce of her favourite offensive gel. Amy still hadn't recovered that part of her system yet, but she felt that its return couldn't be far off; with each upgrade Eric provided her, she felt more and more... normal.

Lily finally detached herself from Amy's back and fluttered around to her front, specks of sand still falling off her body as it came to a stationary hover. Her eyes came within mere millimetres of Amy's as her stare burned right through Amy's skull.

"DON'T! EVER! DO THAT AGAIN!" Her rage made almost every word incomprehensible.

Amy nodded rapidly. There were many arguments to be made that her body was her own, and that Lily was simply a passenger, but perhaps now was not the right time to voice these.

"Ugh!" Lily continued as her tiny legs and arms straddled the air to remove the remaining grains from the seams of her body, but no matter how hard she tried she could still feel the itch that only sand can ingrain. She took to the air to see if some aerial maneouvres could loose some more of her unwanted passengers.

Amy felt it best to leave Lily alone for the time being and collected the loose zenny and bugfrags that littered the field. She had to leap over the lava to get to the sections where the fire wielders had become boiled husks, and as the four cores finally reunited, they all flew away as one towards... the city?

"Huh?" she pondered out loud. She hadn't expected them to head towards civilisation; in fact, it was more likely for them to head further into the wilderness, right...?

Whether or not they were acting as a family, Amy was happy for the battle to be over. "Eric, chip data incoming," she advised as the data packet was downloaded and sent to the PET.

Eric watched as a blank chip went in and a coded chip was ejected. "SandRing," he confirmed.

"Is it any good?"

Eric kept one finger in the viruses section as he moved over to the battlechips index. "It says it creates a small patch of quicksand on the battlefield."

"And what does quicksand do?"

"It makes you want to take a shower," Lily fumed as she flew small but tight circles in the air. "Was this how you felt earlier?"

Amy ignored the mocking for now. "Eric?"

"I don't know. I guess I'll have to cross-reference what quicksand does. I'm sure it's in here somewhere," he surmised as he scanned the sections for quicksand. Terrain was a feature in there somewhere, but Eric couldn't remember where - it was a pretty comprehensive book.

"Look, I guess it doesn't matter right now," Amy commented as she moved back to the main altar area. From one edge of the altar, Amy sprinted forward towards the other edge, leaping from the clean panels while aiming for one of the spots where her cleasing gel had rinsed out the lava. Her feet barely made contact as the lower fringes were scored by embers, but without breaking pace she leapt again over the remainder of the lava moat. Her feet found grass, and welcomed it as she came to a stop.

Alright Meep, you've gotta be close now, she mused as her pedicels extended outward again. Reacting much more violently than before, Amy was getting excited. Her running continued as she crossed another open desolate expanse, short for a few arid cactii and some rocks that had stood the test of time. The sensation grew stronger and stronger; Amy knew she was getting very close. As another hill came into view, she was certain that what she'd find on the other side would be her goal.

"Going somewhere?" a voice called out from behind her.

Amy stopped and waited. The now familiar sensation of electronically magnetised pads fusing to her gelatenous exoskeleton resumed as Lily rejoined her party.

"Didn't think you'd be rid of me that easily, did you?"

"I figured you might still be angry at me."

"Oh I am. But we've still got a mission to complete, yes?"

"'Directive', not mission," she corrected, smirking as the word left her mouth. "Right, Eric?"

"If you want to call it that, sure. 'Directive' it is," he agreed, secretly happy that Amy had adopted something nonsensical from his life and made it a normal feature.

Amy and Lily walked over the hill, and sure enough, Amy found her friend across the field... but it wasn't alone.

A round figure three times Meep's size was swiping its... arms...? toward a group of three Metools that included Meep and two strangers. It was clear that the bigger creature had not only a strength advantage but a size advantage as its right arm took hold of the Metool on the left and threw it clean over its shoulder. It landed with a dull *thud*; not seriously injured, but the dent left on its helmet would take time to heal, and its legs wiggled desperately in the air as it tried to turn itself back over.

Meep's remaining partner had fired off a shockwave in retaliation, which seemed to have a limited effect on the creature, but instead of taking the hint it threw its other arm towards the offender in a hammer motion. Again, another dull *thud* sounded out as the arm left a sizeable dent in the Metool's hat. A small crater formed around the Metool's helmet; it wasn't moving away any time soon.

With both his comrades incapacitated Meep had pulled his own pickaxe out, ready to do his part, but it looked as if terror had set in as it began shaking and jittering an incomprehensible chain of sounds (which, for a Metool, is an achievement in itself). The bully turned its attention to Meep, a glowing red mouth forming in its grey midsection as its two arms swept in from the left and the right, latching onto Meep and lifting him up into the air. Meep's legs kicked wildly, but to no effect; even its pickaxe was now useless for anything except clattering against its sturdy limbs. The arms drew Meep closer and closer to its midsection, toward the mouth that continued to grow in size.

Was it about to have a Metool sandwich...?

Not today. Amy's cleansing gel, fused with Lily's static wind, hit a bullseye and flew straight into the bully's mouth, causing a chain reaction of pain as the creature's body flashed cyan and sparked from the inside. Meep dropped to the ground, the creature's grip loosened by the attack. This bully may have had the height advantage over Meep, but Amy towered over the grey mass, who had now moved to position herself between Meep and the gray round mass. Like all bullies, when it realised it no longer had the strength advantage it decided to retreat, letting loose a roar of frustration as its arms tucked into its bulbous midsection and the boulder-like mass rolled away.

Amy's first instinct was to exterminate this abomination from the network, but Meep's outcry pulled her attention back to her comrade as it tried to use its pickaxe to pop its friend out of the ground. "Here, let me help you with that," she sighed as her fingers gripped around the edge of the helmet. With a few solid pulls, the Metool's helmet made a *pop* sound as it dislodged from the ground. Amy couldn't help but laugh at the ridiculousness of what she was doing as she walked over to the remaining Metool and turned it back onto its feet.

"There. All good now," she reported.

Meep's two friends were happy to receive the assistance, but perhaps they had had enough excitement for one day as they took off towards one of the settlements carved into one of the hills that lined the area. Amy hadn't noticed until now, but she'd managed to land herself in yet another domed valley of sorts. Some of the hills had holes of varying sizes; perhaps this was some sort of virus village...?

Unlike its partners, Meep didn't run. As Amy knelt down to inspect her friend, it jumped up and down whilst uttering giddy "Meep!" sounds again and again. If a Metool could show gratitude, this must have been it.

"I told you I'd come back for you," she quipped.

The reunion was short-lived as the boulder's giant roar echoed with an intense ferocity. Although she couldn't see where the roar had come from, suddenly the ground began to rumble. Surely it wasn't stupid enough to come back and pick a fight with her...?

"I didn't come this far to lose you now, Meep. Stay behind me," she ordered. A dust cloud was coming over the hill, but Amy wasn't going to wait for it to meet her as she ran toward it, making sure Meep was only a few steps behind her as it obediently followed.

-------------------------

Battle #2 Complete!

Rewards:
Zenny: +1000 (1170 >>> 2170)
Bugfrags: +12 (27 >>> 39)
New Battlechip: SandRingEffect: Small Quicksand Terrain Change
Accuracy: S
Description: Creates a small patch of QuickSand panels.
Duration: Once
Element: Null
Trader Rank: D

Battlechips: 15 >>> 16

Party:
Amity.EXE: 210 / 210 HP
Liliana.SP: 60 / 60 HP [Equipped to Amity]

{{{ A reunion 4 years in the making... but really only 4 days...? Time relativity is confusing. Requesting Battle #3. }}}

-------------------------

"Dad, it's me. I found her, just like I told you I would."

...

"Leave it to me. She won't escape me this time."