The Starsign Cafe

An inconspicuous locale, the Starsign Cafe has been maintained, first as a cafe and more recently as a net cafe, by the Ollendorff family. This small building actually hides a living area in its basement, where several members of the Vivarte family hide out under the watch of Charlotte Ollendorff, latest heir of the Ollendorff family legacy. Along with her legacy comes the extreme responsibility of operating OrbitMan.EXE, a navi traditionally seen as a symbol of the old, more pacifistic mafia and a leader of the Vivarte family.

It is in this charming cafe that Charlotte Ollendorff currently sweeps her floor with amazing efficiency and quickness, adding special nobility to an ordinarily common task. Currently, her large basement houses three residents: herself, a young Vivarte girl named Christine Ormsby, and a slightly less young Vivarte man named Clyde Barbaranda. The two have, unfortunately, no interest in doing menial chores, despite the home that Charlotte has provided them, so she is daily forced to do them herself. Her regal brown hair surrounds her head in a flourish as she sets her broom against the wall and looks to the door, watching as a new customer walks in.

Charlotte's attention is very much occupied as the navis of the two slackers converse upon the Starsign Cafe's private homepage.

The first navi, a tall, lazy-looking fellow with a thin moustache, brown complexion, and wide sombrero atop his head, crossed his arms beneath his faded poncho and rode easy upon his horse. Looking to his compatriot, he rubbed his chin, then broke into a slow yawn. "The representative from the Teksqp is comin' today. He wants to talk at Orbit, you think?" he asked his friend, looking down at her from his perch and arching his thick eyebrows.

Looking into a small mirror, the second navi was the picture of cosmopolitan fashion, dressed in a floral skirt and smart blouse. She smiled into the small frame, seeming utterly self-absorbed. "I guess so, Bandit. The Teksqp are all freaks, aren't they? What could they possibly want with Orbit?" the navi answered, shivering a bit as she recalled tales of the madmen who supposedly ranked high in the Teksqp family. "Furthermore, you're 3 ranks my senior, why would I know when you don't?"

"Heh, well, maybe you're better off not knowin'. Needless to say, the Bloodhounds an' the Teksqp both been puttin' a lot of pressure on Orbit lately. They don't like how he's sittin' on his thumbs and they don't like how he was sittin' on them during the Net War. Some people are blaming the whole thing on him, eh? I wouldn't be surprised if the Teksqp guy was just here to play the blame game some more," he laughed, fingering a gun holster on his belt anxiously. He has a pretty good hunch that the Teksqp rep wouldn't be coming here just to play a game. The Teksqp were movers and shakers; when they began to stir around, they weren't planning to stand around and talk. "Anyways, best let me do the talking to this guy, Cheek," he warned, pronouncing Chic's name wrong as always.

"Why? I didn't get a rank for sitting around and not fighting, you know," she muttered, pretending to be preoccupied with checking her make-up. In reality, Chic was very new to the ways of the Mafia and knew of the Teksqp only from word of mouth. None of those mouths had much kind to say about the Teksqp family, a league composed of the most twisted whack-jobs ever to be recruited by the mafia. Chic was frankly surprised to hear that they had a family organized at all.

"Well lez just say I seen one of their 'representatives' here before and it was a good thing OrbitMan was around to keep him in line...." BanditMan drawled, his eyes looking a little anxious as he kept a tighter grip on his gun. "The Police and Mafia War ain't all about good n' evil, right? Well these guys'd make you think it was. Ain't no excuse for the way most of em turned out. Their leader, you know, he used to be the NP! That's how whacked up that gang is... Anyways, Orbit's gonna take care of em', lez just you and me stay here and shoot the breeze a while," he encouraged her.

Unfortunately, the Teksqp had a lot of trickery up their sleeves, and that customer at the door had been no ordinary customer. As the decoy occupied Charlotte and OrbitMan up front, the "Teksqp representative" sneaked past the security that barred others from the cafe's terminal and straight into the Starsign Cafe homepage.

"Knock knock," came a throaty laugh as five figures beamed down onto the homepage, alarming BanditMan and Chic both. BanditMan had an easy time identifying the flamboyant, high-ranking officer of the Teksqp as Boss Oni, a vulgar navi whose only reported merit was his ability to blow things to kingdom come with his tremendous cannons. The shogun navi's blue armor gleamed in the bright, cheery light projected across the homepage and the four featureless ninjas to his side all stared forth blankly, carrying his great throne upon their shoulders. The demon mask upon the navi's face seemed to mock the two lower ranking Vivarte officers, sensing their fear but failing to reflect the realization in the creases of the plastic-like material. The great navi's yellow eyes, however, gleamed from behind the mask, showing intense pleasure that his maneuver of circumventing OrbitMan had been so successful. His fat belly jiggled with mirth beneath his clunky armor as the ninjas brought the throne closer. Once they'd reached the two navis, they knelt down, allowing Boss Oni to exit the throne.

BanditMan dismounted his horse, moving over to Chic. Sweat rolled down his brow as he swept his arm out from beneath his poncho, pushing Chic behind him and shielding her. "O'nee, huh?" he gulped, failing to hide his fear in the face of the Teksqp's monster. "What biziness you got with us, eh? Orbit's busy takin' care of the customer right now, but you wait just a moment and he'll see you, man."

Boss Oni towered even above BanditMan's tall figure, squinting down at him with scornful yellow eyes. "Onee? You're dragging out the 'I!' At least pronounce my name right you lazy, low-ranking Vivarte bastard!" he cried out, smacking BanditMan aside with one arm. Even though he'd seen it coming, BanditMan allowed himself to take the blow, rolling on the ground and staying low with his hand on his gun beneath his poncho. He realized that they were just going to have to endure it until their operator could get Charlotte's attention. The fat navi's eyes gleamed with anticipation as he approached Chic, ogling her large breasts with lust. "Hello there, sweetie. You're new here in Vivarte, aren't you? What's a cutie like you doing here with this greasy swine, huh? OrbitMan's an old man and this guy's a mongrel, you know. If you want to be somebody, you should come to the Teksqp. At least we're actually doing our job!" he spat from beneath his mask, his contempt unhidden by the plastic facade.

Chic's legs shook as she stared up at the navi; she didn't have a lot of experience with Boss Oni, but his intentions were written all over his face. She doubted that he, as a Teksqp, had much care for honoring the unspoken rules that supposedly existed between all members of the mafia. "We understand that you need to speak to a Vivarte member," she said with a feigned haughty smile, putting on her fashion model face, "but OrbitMan's busy. He's the only guy here with a high enough rank to speak to you."

"Girl, don't be trite with me," he chuckled, his eyes squinting up into a mockingly warm expression, still framed by the same eerie darkness. "If I wanted to talk to OrbitMan now I'd be talking to him." Edging closer, he reached out unabashedly for the navi's waist, aiming one tremendous hand for her buttocks. Unfortunately for him, she was much faster than he, and before he could get a grasp upon it she'd moved out of the way. In a loud clamor of steel, Boss Oni fell down on his gut, his fearsome armor looking ridiculous as he lay spread eagle upon the ground, face-down. "Precious girl, I don't want to hurt you... I never want to hurt women... I really don't," he ranted, blubbering beneath his mask as he got himself up to his feet. A low groan came from his throat as he rose up to his height once again. "But they just don't know when to give up the goods. This makes it very difficult for a nobleman such as myself," he laughed, only lightly masking his hidden anger.

"Hey! Asshole!" BanditMan shouted out, pointing his old-west revolver threateningly at the giant navi. "C'mon, man, lez cooperate, huh? I'm not going to hurt you and you're not going to hurt us any more. Just back up and lez start this conversation over, eh amigo?" he asked, his finger pressed hard against the trigger, but restrained from allowing the gun to fire off. "Comprende?"

Boss Oni grumbled, seeming unwilling to relent. As he reached back out for the female navi once again, lurching forward this time as if he intended to pounce, a bright beam from the sky came down between the two navis, keeping him from his goal. He held back his burned hand, pulling the gauntlet off and shaking it furiously in the air. "Damn you, OrbitMan, you freeloader! Where are you?!" he roared out, looking around himself.

"Where do you think?" boomed an ominous voice from overhead, revealing OrbitMan's position. An immense navi, OrbitMan hung in the air as a giant satellite with a tired face, gazing down with weariness upon the Teksqp intruder. "Oni, why have you come to us today? Is your only intention to heckle my lower officers?" OrbitMan asked, his dark, hairless brow creasing as he glared into the comparatively tiny navi's mask. "I'm not the master any more, you know that. If you have Teksqp and Vivarte matters to discuss, you're better off addressing Jacques now. He's a capable man who has my full backing."

Boss Oni lifted up his mask, spitting onto the floor disrespectfully. The great shadow of OrbitMan had removed all of the gleam from his armor, eclipsing the brightness that had shown down upon the Starsign homepage. "Yeah, we've got a bone to pick with you, Orbit. When are you planning to answer up for all'a this lack of action?" he complained in a gruff tone, resting his arms across his chest. "You're basically sitting on two of Vivarte's strongest guys, not doing anything with them. Jacques must have some kind of problem with that, I know Kevlar does," he muttered. He liked pretending that he had a close relationship with KevlarMan, the leader of the Teksqp. It made him feel more important. "I know a couple of things I'd like to do with one of them, anyways, if you're not using her," he laughed licking his exposed, blubbery lips with a disgusting purple tongue, smacking them with a show of his white fangs.

"That is none of the business of the Teksqp. If Jacques has a problem with the way I am doing things, or a member of the Head family, I will be sure to mobilize my forces, no matter how much I disagree with the decision. Your presence here, as well as any further discussion of the navis I house here at Starsign, is unneeded," his mechanical voice proclaimed, echoing through the air due to his magnificent volume and size.

"Hey, we aren't the only people who've got a problem with it, OrbitMan. You Vivarte can sit on your asses for as long as you like, but don't be surprised if you find that this little Mafia hideout loses all of it's funding soon. You like the idea of that, huh? Little Cathie can go back onto the street. I don't know what you're going to do with that black guy," he grumbled moodily. "Charlotte can probably do some good work as a prostitute, make more money than she's ever had in her life. Listen, I'm here to give you a good natured warning. You and Charlotte both are going to be in a lot of trouble soon if you keep up this little charade of the mafia and the police being nice to one another, you hear me?"

OrbitMan cursed within his mind, desperately wishing that Cathie and Charlie had been watching their navis to save them from all of the madness that had occurred. Eager to get Boss Oni out of the homepage, OrbitMan closed his eyes in submission. "Yes. We'll try to do more. I will discuss it with Jacques," he sighed, the sigh sounding like a great wind sweeping across the net.

Boss Oni smirked, stumbling back to his throne and mounting it awkwardly. "Good to hear, old man. Let's keep in touch," he laughed, placing one hand upon his tremendous gut. "I've got friends in high places and I'll make sure they're all wise to you and your laziness. Keep that in mind," he finished, teleporting back into his PET, undoubtedly stationed in some remote location in the hands of his operator, a master hacker.

After a long silence, the sky shook due to a low cough from OrbitMan, who finally reopened his eyes. "I'm sorry," he apologized to BanditMan and OrbitMan, keeping his worried eyes trained on Chic especially. His attention shifted over to BanditMan quickly, however, as the normally lax and lazy navi broke into a string of expletives.

As he tried to regain his composure, BanditMan turned his head to the sky. "Hombre! We cannot do this," he laughed helplessly, turning his hands outward. "I don't know if you think you're meeting some kinda status quo, but we cannot survive like this! I'll go out and kill some Netpolice right now if we can stop that from happening again," he cried out, stomping his feet in anger. "C'mon, man, think about Cheek! You just gonna let that bastard walk out after doin' that to her? I'll bet you not even gonna tell Jacques, eh? Dammit, man!"

"No. Jacques has no need to know of Boss Oni's treachery here,and furthermore, if he sees that you are concerned about it, tensions between the Vivarte and Teksqp will only become greater. You and Chic are just going to have to endure. It's a tough time for the Vivarte family, as I've told you. Please try to keep your calm," OrbitMan's great whisper requested in a soothing, low tone. "Patience, BanditMan. With quiet perseverance, we will show the Head family that ours is the proper way and that the violence bringers... their ranks found among the Bloodhounds and the Teksqp... they are the traitors to our cause."

"Don't worry Orby, I'm behind you 100%," Chic told the giant satellite with a charming smile, easing his worries and those of BanditMan. "Once I get stronger, I'll give that big, ugly jerk a spanking myself if I have to," she laughed, lightening up the mood. With a look of consolation in his eyes, OrbitMan jacked back out of the net. Chic turned to BanditMan, giving another easy smile with a familiar haughty curve of her lips. "It'll be okay BanditMan. Thanks..."

"Ey... no problem, Cheek," he chuckled, rubbing the back of his mullet with one gloved hand and feeling embarrassed about his outburst of faux-heroism. "Ey, you know, in some ways, you already more of a senior Vivarte than me. I mean, the way you act, eh? You got that attitude!" he laughed, elbowing her in the side. "I can hardly blame that O'nee, huh, you one spicy dish! You made that guy look like a dumbass, tripping up on himself like that!"

"Oh, stop it," she chuckled, soaking up the compliments with glee and returning to her looking glass.
Three figures beamed into the homepage. They were unannounced, but not entirely unexpected. "My apologies if I'm intruding," the first to materialize stated as he took the shape of the Vivarte family leader, Jacques. As he strode into the homepage, his two lookalike SPs materialized behind him, though they remained by the portal. "Is OrbitMan here? I need to speak with him," he said, looking toward the ceiling for the satellite navi.

Need was the key word. He liked OrbitMan. Despite his dislike for the mafia's anti-NetPolice agenda, he was honorable, and had made a good leader for Vivarte when Jacques was still climbing the ranks. He didn't want to have to try and silence him, and he certainly didn't want to call him out for keeping information about the incident that had occurred in this homepage earlier from him. But Kismet didn't have to tell him the end result of keeping silent, and that end result was something he wanted even less.
The only one present on the Vivarte homepage as Jacques came to visit was Chic, who was busily at work designing a new .GMO design to suit her next adventure. OrbitMan was busy working with Charlotte Ollendorf while BanditMan was off undertaking a new mission for the mafia. Chic was mortified that he'd come in as she was outside of any .GMO, sitting Indian-style on the floor while working on her new clothes. As the rank 6, she has never met Jacques personally. She'd been nervous just speaking to OrbitMan, the assistant leader, the first time; this guy was the go-getter who had risen above even OrbitMan to the leadership position! Spitting out the short pencil she kept in her mouth and scrambling to her feet, she rose to meet Jacques and his SPs.

"H-Hello, Jacques! You need to see OrbitMan, right, I'll get him for you!" she addressed him shortly, then ran off, not wanting to be seen in her homely green overalls any longer than she had to be, especially not in front of someone as important as Jacques. Ordinarily, it might have occurred to her to try to develop some devious cover-up, since it was fairly certain that Jacques had come here to shut down OrbitMan's political actions within the mafia. This didn't cross her mind now, however, as she had the notion from hearsay that Jacques was a clever man that would not be deceived. Besides that, his handsome appearance had caught her off guard and doubled her anxiety.

Chic didn't return, but Jacques did indeed get his wish as a flash of white light illuminated the sky. OrbitMan's face appeared hovering above; he slowly made his way downward, creating a giant shadow on the ground as he floated mid-air. "Greetings, Jacques. I am here. What is it you wish to speak about?" OrbitMan asked, trying his best to hold in his disappointment, but still letting out one of his usual weary sighs. He knew good and well why Jacques had come, but figured just in case there was a glimmer of hope, he would feign ignorance for a moment longer.
Jacques gave a short bow and pleasant smile to Chic as she greeted him and ran off. Afterward, he stood and waited until OrbitMan appeared on the homepage and descended to somewhere near his level to greet him, followed by "what is it you wish to speak about" and a weary sigh that Jacques had come to think of as one of Orbit's defining characteristics. Still, it didn't take a genius to understand what the sigh meant.

"Drop the act, OrbitMan. Unfortunately, I think we both know exactly what I need to speak with you about." He gave a short pause, trying to decide the conversation order that would cause the least argument. He didn't want to hit his assistant leader with everything that had come up in his meeting with Kismet at once. Nor, for that matter, did he want to hold out on OrbitMan. Usually he would try to gauge a navi's mood before speaking about serious issues with them, to avoid saying something that would upset them if at all possible. However, he could already guess OrbitMan's mood at this point, and the issue wasn't one he could just inch around.

"I've recently met with Kismet of the Head family. Our conversation was...enlightening he finally continued. First off, I'm to understand Boss Oni came here and caused some trouble recently. Is there a reason you kept this from me?"
OrbitMan let out an even greater sigh, looking "down" to avoid Jacques' gaze, which gave him a weird field of vision due to his sunken in eyes and place hanging high in the air. "I guess an old man like me shouldn't be lying about things. That mischief is for young people," the great satellite muttered, focusing his eyes back upon Jacques. "I'm sure you know most of the situation by now, but suffice to say, this is the first real violent threat I've seen in opposition to my policies. If it were only threatening me, it would be tolerable, but it seems those that Charlotte is sheltering are also in jeopardy," he admitted, his voice trailing off as he tried to think of how to continue.

"What was her request exactly?" he finished, not bothering to hold his breath. The request wasn't hard to guess, but the real trouble on his mind now was how final this shutdown of his political agenda would be.

Chic watched from a distance behind her lines of hanging wardrobes, peeking out anxiously to see what would happen. The moment was much more tense for her than it was for OrbitMan, as she half expected Jacques to break into violence and punish him any second now, knowing nothing of his personality.
Jacques gave a polite nod to OrbitMan's admission, his expression unchanging. "I can assure that they are given protection if it is necessary, but only if I am informed of these situations. Keeping important information from me accomplishes nothing."

He took a deep breath before breaking the news to OrbitMan. Ultimately, he decided to be completely open about what Kismet had said, rather than simply delivering his own decision and verdict. "She presented me with a choice. I can either allow the situation to remain as it is and escalate into an internal war, or I can silence you and put an end to your campaign against the Mafia's anti-NetPolice policies. I respect you and your views, OrbitMan, but the last thing I want is an inter-family war, so I have chosen the latter. I'm presenting this to you as a request, but I won't hesitate to make it an order if I feel it's necessary."
"I understand now that it was a mistake. There's nothing to fear. If keeping this opposition up has become counterproductive, I will keep my discontent to myself,"[font=OCR A extended][/font] he replied, closing his large eyes. "I believe the few Vivarte operatives I'm sheltering here will agree to do the same. I will continue to hope, however, that the Head family comes to agree with me on the matter. I also intend to continue my policy of accepting no orders that require deleting those I believe to be inconsequential. That aside, as you are the leader of Vivarte, I will trust your judgment on what individuals are deemed worthy of deletion. I'd just like to see the Bloodhound's objectives kept far from our own."[font=OCR A extended][/font]

Realizing he still wasn't being entirely reasonable, OrbitMan opened his eyes once again. "No, I'm overstepping my authority again. From now on, I will accept my orders without complaint,"[font=OCR A extended][/font] he finally submitted. "I'd be setting a poor example if I was to do anything otherwise."[font=OCR A extended][/font]

As a strong-willed individual, Chic did not like to see OrbitMan acting so mild. "Really? OrbitMan intends to lie down and take whatever the others tell him to do? I guess at this rate all we can hope is that those Teksqp and Bloodhounds keep away from here. His eyes look like they've lost their fire... I'd be surprised if he was willing to refuse anything from anyone at this point,"[font=segoe print][/font] she thought. The blame didn't lie with Jacques, she realized, or Kismet of the head family. A large part of that fire leaving OrbitMan was simply due to his age. The dream that OrbitMan had fought for so long was being pushed back even further. OrbitMan, a navi who'd been alive for over 100 years, might not last long enough to see his dream realized...

"Everything is understood. There will be no further mistakes on my part. I apologize for wasting your time,"[font=OCR A extended][/font] OrbitMan finished, his eyes wearily half-shut as his panels rotated more slowly and his body rose back into the sky.