Tales Of Tonopia

The year is 20XX. Thanks to major leaps in technology, man has been able to create a worldwide network of computers known as the internet. This invention has led to the creation of the netnavi, an intelligent program capable of thinking like a human. The combination of these two great ideas has lead to a world where man is no longer reliant on himself to perform the simplest meanial day-to-day task.

For years though, the internet and its occupants have had troubles. With the development of the netnavi also came the anti-navis, commonly referred to as the virus. A computer virus' job is quite simple: destroy any civilized part of the internet and any navi that belongs to it. As time progressed, virii became as intelligent and resourceful as the netnavis themselves, creating havoc for the internet and the real world.

The solution was quite simple really: give the netnavis an advantage that the virii couldn't replicate. Battlechips were invented, a simple data source that allowed netnavis to modify their data, be it for weapons, objects, or even recovery. This stopped many virii in their tracks. However, by the time battlechips were invented, virii had found a way to replicate themselves without the need for human machines, so now virii could never be wiped out completely. In fact, they remain on networks to this day.

With the problem of virii resolved to an extent, humans believed they had won the war. However, if history hasn't taught us anything, it's that the underdog always finds a way to resurface as a formidable foe. What was the new step in evolution for virii? The darkchip. These powerful chips made their users a mighty army, and most netnavis couldn't fight back their anti-navi equivalents under the influence of dark power. In fact, the power was so strong, even netnavis began seeking it out in an effort to try and tame their enemies. There was a catch though: once a program began using darkchips, their soul was tainted, and, even worse than that, if they did not continue to use darkchips, their data would decay and eventually dissimilate, deleting the navi in the process.

After many months, the humans in charge of solving the darkchip crisis found a solution, and released it into the internet. The result was almost instant: any navi under the effects of dark power was released, and virii were not just powered down, but instead self-destructed. Everything seemed to be going well for the netnavis and their humans.

As a celebration of their victory, the humans and netnavis had a worldwide festival, and history marks this day as the only day where all countries on earth were gathered together to celebrate a common goal. As a final way of making sure the peace would continue, a new group of highly powerful and intensely trained humans and their netnavis were gathered together to create a new line of defense against the virii, should something like this happen again. This team of 6 navis was dubbed the Elites.

Deep down in the darkest reaches of the internet, where no intelligent netnavi would dare tread, many navis still under the influence of dark power seethed at the idea of a team of navis designed to destroy them. In some weird accident, one small area of the internet emitted an aura with the same effects of dark power. As long as those navis and their virii stayed in the area, they remained 100% in control. Using this information, the most intelligent of these creatures sought a way to modulate this power into a form that didn't contain the same harmful effects that darkchips had. In a matter of months, they succeeded. With this new product, they planned their revenge back on the humans.

Streaming out onto the network, they attacked the world in one co-ordinated attack. The Elites were called upon, and one by one each country was declared safe from these Undernet dwellers, as society began to call them. Although the formula they had used was powerful, the Elites were stronger.

As time went on, the network saw the re-introduction of virii and Darkloids, as the Undernet dwellers began to call themselves, and the internet was once again a potentially unsafe place to be. Despite the power of the Elites and their command units, rebel groups began to emerge...
Welcome to Tonopia!

Tonopia is a very small country south of almost every continent in the world. Almost a 7 hour flight away from the closest airport in Electopia and 5 hours from Netopia, Tonopia is not as technologically advanced as its surrounding countries, but makes up for this with its unbelieveable sights and destinations.

Tonopia has five distinct states:

* Ninox: A state mainly situated in the north. This is usually where most people travelling to Tonopia will arrive, as it is the closest point to Electopia and Netopia. Most of Ninox is a national park.
Capital City: Tyto
Point Of Interest: Owlhoot Junction

* Wales: A state mainly situated in the centre of the mainland. This state is home to the capital of Tonopia, a very large city with many booming businesses. It's also where the heads of Tonopia meet, and where the network of Tonopia is managed.
Capital City: Thunderdome
Point Of Interest: Tonopia Headquarters & Elec Megastore

* Selong: A state mainly to the west. This land is filled with lakes and dams that are responsible for powering the country. One town in particular has been turned into an amusement park, educating children on water and its many uses.
Capital City: Celebes
Point Of Interest: Oceanview Park

* Vosh: A state mainly to the east. This land is host to not one, but TWO dormant volcanoes. The network of magma flow between the two has been the focus of study for many years.
Capital City: Sinda
Point Of Interest: Mt Belenus & Mt Helen

* Marund: A state mainly to the south. Hard times have affected this state tremendously, and while its surrounding states continually do what they can to support it, natural disasters and constant weather anomalies keep this area in a mess. A good place in the world to disappear though.
Capital City: Ness
Point Of Interest: Tonopia Badlands

When the internet disaster occurred, Tonopia was largely unaffected, due to the internet not being prevalent in many parts of the country. However, it is now a key part of day-to-day duties, and currently 4 of the 6 Elites reside in Tonopia.

Tonopians are still relatively new to the global scene, and as such still cling to national values; for example, Tonopian businesses prefer to trade in the local currency forezanza rather than the international zenny (commonly abbreviated as FZ and said as zans in local slang, which only confuses tourists even more.)

Unfortunately, just like the rest of the world, Tonopia has its own criminal element, and with the introduction of the internet, Tonopia has its own "enter-at-your-own-risk" network known as the Undertone. Navis of a darker caliber reside here, and most navis with common sense will steer clear of this place. As of the current point in time, there are 3 known entrances to the Undertone: all of which can be found in the Badlands network.
Book 1, Chapter 1

Location: [???]

Three bodies were bent over a network monitor, staring intensely at what was being displayed: one single dark gray navi, chained down to two gigantic poles, tugging at the cables desperately but in vain. One of the three spoke; "What happens if this doesn't work?"

"If it doesn't, you're going back to HIM and... educating him... about business with us." one of the others stated back coldly.

"Hmph." Without warning, the monitor suddenly burst into bright light, and all three snapped back to attention. A grin slowly began to creep across each one's face as they continued watching. All the while, a high pitched and agonising scream came from the speakers. The "experiment", as it looked like from here, was taking an effect on the subject...

Location: [Owlhoot Net Area 2]

"So, do you think he'll make it today?"

Two navis sat on one of the newly constructed network lockout-booths, designed to keep navis safe and virii out.

"Doubt it. That dumb idiot keeps getting himself deleted by Mettaurs." the other sarcastically remarked.

"METTAURS?! The runts of the net?! If we ever do go to netmish in Thunderdome I am so not pairing up with him!" the first navi laughed.

"Yeah, he honestly has no..." Stopping in mid-sentence, the navi's eyes suddenly grew very large indeed.

"What? Honestly has no what?" the second navi asked.

The first navi simply pointed forward towards a swirl of dark data suddenly appearing inside the lockout-box. As the facial expression of the second navi began to match that of the first, the data meshed together and formed a dark grey navi with a lot of databugs covering its flesh. Suddenly looking surprised, the new navi swung around its head, and locked on to the two navis sitting there. Almost instantly, it ran straight up to them and grabbed the first navi.

"Help me, please!" it begged, grabbing hold of the navi's arm as tightly as it could.

"Get off me!" the navi yelled. "I don't even know you!"

"Oh no. Oh NO! PLEASE NO!" it screamed, almost as if it was aimed at himself. The data that made up the navi suddenly swirled and lost form. Disappearing as fast as it had appeared, the two navis were alone again, left with no proof of what just happened except what was in their memory banks.

"...........WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!" one of the navis asked.

"...I don't know..." said the other.

[Location: ???]

The monitor faded and the navi stopped screaming. His body slumped, and the navi, instead of standing on his own feet, simply dangled from the chains he was attached to.

"Once again, failure. I will NOT tolerate MUCH MORE OF THIS!" the middle entity yelled.

"Shall we give him one more chance?" came a slimy new voice from the third bystander.

"ONLY ONE. If he can't get it next time..." said the navi in middle, turning around and walking away.

"Yeah, if he can't get it next time..." repeated the third navi, and imitated a slice at his throat using his finger...
Book 1, Chapter 2

Location: [Mount Korinba Information Centre]

It was a quiet day on Mount Korinba. Unusally quiet. It scared Marcus to see the centre so inactive on a day that would normally drive the tourists in by the hundreds.

"I hope it picks up by lunchtime, or Mr Vasama won't be happy with our sales." the average-size male said from behind the counter.

"Me too, or you'll be looking for yet ANOTHER part-time job. Why can't you just be happy with what the Tonopian Elite Forces paycheck gives you?" said a voice from the male's PET.

"I've told you this many times, Geo, it doesn't get me a holiday, it only helps pay the bills, buy food, and that's it. Short of a small packet at the end, it's simply not enough to live on." the man replied. "If there was a war, yeah, the money would be pouring in, and we'd be fine, but right now there's no network interferences, no virus breakouts, and no abnormalities in the entire town for almost three weeks. We haven't received a phone call from Doug for two months now. It's like they don't even need us any more." he said, finishing with a small sigh.

He leaned against the wall as he looked around the room. Posters of spectacular wildlife. Pictures of nature that only amazed those who looked at them. It was a great forest, that was definite. But from the look in the man's eyes, it seemed as if it was as good as nothing. Slamming his head against the counter, his brown hair caught in the edge between the benches and pulled hard.

"ARGH!" he yelled as he pulled his head back, ripping the hair out by the roots. "Dammit, why don't they want us?!" he yelled at the images, even though they couldn't reply back.

"Pull yourself together Marcus, there could be customers around." Geo shushed him. "They wouldn't have made us part of the Elites if we didn't have skills. I've never had an operator like you, and together there's not much we can't do. So snap out of your self-pity and get it together, okay?" he sternly asked of his operator.

"Yeah, you're right..." Marcus sighed.

Suddenly, the door opened, and an older lady walked in. Immediately turning to him, a soft smile crossed her face. "Marcus, you can go now." she said.

"But it's only 11.30." he replied.

"I'm sorry son, but Sonjay said we can't afford you at a time like this. The tourism in this town is dwindling, and without the visitors buying our gifts, there's no money to pay you with." the woman sadly explained.

"I understand." said Marcus. Trying to hide his feelings, he gave the woman a smile as he walked out of the building. Taking a seat on the curb, he put his head between his knees.

"Come on Marcus, there's other jobs to be had." Geo commented.

"Like what, Geo?!" he suddenly yelled. "There's nothing in this town! I might as well..." His statement was cut off by a sudden high-pitched ringing from his PET. "Huh? A phone call?" he quizically asked of his PET.

"It's number-blocked." reported Geo.

Marcus was instantly on his feet. "A TEF call?"

"I think so. I'll answer." he replied as he opened up the transmission line. "TEF Operative Geo." he responded.

"Geo, it's Guillotine." came a strained voice. "I need you to head to Owlhoot Net, we're getting strange readings from just outside the NetSquare."

"Got it, we're on our way." said Geo as the call was disconnected. "We... are on our way, right?"

"You bet." As he headed to the back of the building, Marcus reached into his pocket and pulled out a remote locker. Pushing the button, one of the cars in the car lot flashed and unlocked its door. Opening it and hopping in, Marcus hit the music and backed out of his spot. "Owlhoot. Haven't been there in a while." he said to Geo.

"Few weeks if I recall correctly. Wonder what's wrong." he replied.

"Don't know, guess we'll find out when we get there." Marcus responded as he put his foot down on the accelerator.
OK. Looking forward to more.