FireYaku's Homepage

FireYaku's homepage, modeled after the manor of her operator, Wakana Fujimoto, featured a similarly immense staircase engraved into a hilltop, leading up to a traditional Electopian estate. The housing itself was not so impressive, but inside the gates, a massive courtyard contained a vast assortment of various sizes and builds of drums. FireYaku had apparently picked the hottest spot in all of Electopia for her house, because the network's temperature felt closer to Netfrica than Electopia.

The ringing of a drum somewhere in the distance indicated that FireYaku might be out in her courtyard. PhotoMan had set the coordinates to come down near the top of the stairs, clearly wishing to circumvent the walk up if he could manage. With his arms folded behind his back, he waited patiently for SplashLady to appear...

...Meanwhile, his eyes stared directly into the face of a tall, wooden statue, representing the likeness of a heavily muscled taiko drummer. Two such statues stood on either side of the main gate; each turned on its respective heels menacingly to stare down at him. This may be the first obstacle they'd have to circumvent to complete the shoot.
PhotoMan didn't have to wait long, as soon SplashLady transferred next to him...immediately flinching at the heat of the area. "Ahh! Where are we, Mt. Belenus?!" She looked around, noting the clear drum motif. "Sure are a lot of drums...oh, by the way, I wanted to ask you something. Any idea why Cuffs was acting weird when I mentioned FireYaku? I mean, it's probably her job to know a thing or two about Mafia Navis, but she seemed to know an awful lot about her..."

Now, for the mission. She walked up to the gates, and gently pushed and pulled them, to see if they were open. If not...well, she could think about that afterward.
PhotoMan nodded, then began to speak; before he could even get a word out, however, the statues reacted violently to SplashLady's attempt at the door. "HALT. BEFORE YOU MAY ENTER, YOU MUST HAVE THE CLEARANCE OF THE FUJIMOTO FAMILY. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN GETTING THROUGH, PLEASE ADDRESS WAKANA FUJIMOTO IN PERSON," the statues boomed simultaneously, keeping their watch on SplashLady.

"I apologize, SplashLady. I was about to warn you that the statues would react in such a fashion if we tried to enter," PhotoMan greeted his partner. "The statues apparently only open to those who clear a visit with Wakana Fujimoto, the operator of FireYaku. As such, there's little option available to us if we want to use the gate other than having our operators go to meet her in person..."

"As for your other question, I attributed it to the knowledge necessary for Prosecutions officers to track mafioso. It's possible they've had run-ins in the past. It should be said, however, that both girls share a similar appearance: tan, Electopian, similar height. I believe FireYaku has smaller breasts, however," he continued, not thinking about the fact that someone might be listening through the statues. "Regardless, we are not going to be able to speak to FireYaku unless we satisfy the statues... Or, perhaps we could just climb the walls? If it turns out she really does want those photos, we might be able to use those as leverage."
"Wah!" Using only words, the statues made SplashLady stumble backwards a few steps, clearly catching her utterly off guard. "Wasn't expecting that..." PhotoMan then proceeded to explain the situation to her, which...did little to comfort her at that point. "Well, unless they're at a certain inn in Yoka, I don't think my operator's going to be able to run into this Wakana Fujimoto. But, who knows, maybe we could be that lucky..."

"Excuse me, statues! Mind telling us where Wakana Fujimoto is right now? It's important that we get in! I mean, it'd help the whole NetMafia if we could!" Funny how taking pictures of a woman scantily clothed could help out an entire organization...

*GPS Tracker.DAT received*

"It sounds like your operator is incapable of making the visit at the moment," PhotoMan murmured, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "Natalie, my operator, can head out there, but it would be quite some time before she returned... and there's no guarantee we'd be allowed to see FireYaku, even if we met... Still, there's a possibility that these statues are transmitting back information or even a video or audio feed to some listener. There ought to be some way to do this without having to meet Miss Fujimoto..."


"No!" PhotoMan answered quickly, having a hard time thinking over the boom of the statues. "We are here to conduct business!"


"I'm afraid we don't have the means to do so, currently. Would it be possible for us to request an audio link to Wakana Fujimoto?"


"... There seems to be a limit on how much these statues can comprehend... This does destroy the illusion, however, that the speech of these statues is being controlled or guided by a human operator. Knowing this, perhaps we can get them to let us in. Can you think of anything?"
...That was it. After this mission was over, she was making herself deaf, so she wouldn't have to deal with the ringing noise in her ears. Still, SplashLady couldn't help but note that data she received. What kind of person just gave out their address to anyone that came by their webpage? That seemed kinda...suspicious to her. But, it was none of her business or anything, so...

"...Hey, wait a sec! Our operators met with Wakana Fujimoto earlier, and we got the go-ahead! I didn't remember that until now because I was just waking up from a nap! I think PhotoMan here was still sleeping at the time, so that'd explain why he didn't remember, either!" Well, if there was no other option available (and there wasn't, as far as she could see), might as well do some lying and see if it worked, right? Hopefully her partner would get it and keep quiet for the moment...
PhotoMan kept quiet, looking hopefully, but not expectantly, towards the statues. The statues themselves stopped talking for a while, as if searching their memories for some recollection of an appointment. "PANTHEONMAN AND BULLRUN?" the statues boomed.

"Yes. I am PantheonMan," PhotoMan responded, eager to take the window of opportunity while he still (theoretically) had the go-ahead from SplashLady. "Bull and I have come down from... The NetMafia, to do... that thing that we often do here."


"Thank you," PhotoMan concluded, crossing his hands behind his back. The gate ahead opened slowly, allowing them into a dimly lit hallway. "Shall we?"
The silence was slightly encouraging for SplashLady, even after the statues broke it by mistaking them for two other Navis she'd never heard of. Before she could speak, though, PhotoMan started to address them to confirm it. That might be an issue, so she should probably cut in...

...No. That wasn't really fair. He might not be the most dependable person she'd ever met, but he was still a friend. She had to trust him a little in these kinds of situations. And so, she allowed him to speak to the end. As it turned out, the statues bought it, and allowed them in. Phew. Looked like this time, them being automatic helped them out. Still, they weren't out of the woods yet, though her partner didn't seem to be entirely aware of it. This was once case where figuring things out too late was better than too early, though. "Let's!"

And so the two passed through the gate, and into the path it led. But again, there was still a problem..."Uh...exactly where IS the meeting room? I, er, forgot!" Better to keep that charade going, in case more automatic stuff was listening in on them.
"I don't remember either. But don't worry; it's not a very large building and I think it stands to reason that the meeting room must be at the end of the hall," PhotoMan replied, walking onward casually. If he was worried about the deception they'd used to get in or the mafia ties of their client, he wasn't showing it. But then, his emotions didn't tend to show on his face very often to begin with.

It turned out the building was actually mostly hall. Once they reached the end and PhotoMan opened the double doors, the meeting room itself wasn't terribly large at all. The inner sanctum (or meeting room, as the statue had described it) was a torchlit room, possessing a drum in each corner and doors to the back and left. There was nowhere to sit, except for three red cushions, arranged in a triangle around a low-sitting table in the center of the room. The floor was all straw matting, cool to walk on despite the heat of the net.

On the pillow furthest away sat a woman who looked remarkably like Cuffs, who they'd just left. Her face seemed a little more normal, her breasts not quite so heavy, and her body a bit more athletic... her skin was a bit darker as well and her hair was dark brown instead of blond. Still, the face was almost exactly the same. "The message at the door said you guys are doing what you usually do? If that's sex, then I'll request you not do it here in my- wait!" she began with her eyes closed. She started once she finally opened them, only to realize that the two who'd walked in weren't mafioso at all. "Who are you people?"
"Yeah, I guess you're right." Yeah, the place itself wasn't all that big. PhotoMan was right; it'd be easy to figure it out. And figure out they did, as the most obvious place turned out to be the right call. Well, FireYaku was right there, so it was time to iron things out...

Though, there was one thing she couldn't help but blurt out before starting. "Wow, you're weren't kidding earlier...they really DO look alike!" Also, the two the statues mistook them for were apparently freaks, if they did things like that in someone else's house..."...Ahem! Hi! I'm SplashLady, and this is PhotoMan! We're here to discuss a business opportunity with you! PhotoMan, if you'd be so kind to explain!" Eh, he'd done pretty well lately...there wasn't any harm in letting him handle things, right?
Before PhotoMan could begin explaining, FireYaku took a moment to show that she was skeptical of the introduction. "So the two are sneaking into my compound under the guise of high-level Mafia members, but it's for a business opportunity? Nothing suspicious about that," she responded, folding her arms across her chest.

"I apologize, but it was the most direct way to speak with you. In truth, our goal is only to ask you to model for me in a shoot for commercial photography," PhotoMan replied in a hurry. "Gravure, specifically. The art of gravure is-"

"I know what gravure is!" the mafioso responded, her brown hair bobbing beneath the flaps of her hat as she slammed one palm against the table. "And I'm not going to do it! You're really asking a ranked Bloodhounds member to do something like this?!"

"Well, I-"

"Do you understand how hard it is to get any respect as a woman in this Family as it is?! Gravure and my line of work do not mix!"

It didn't sound like PhotoMan was going to be able to make much progress with the pitch unless he had some help, considering he couldn't even talk.
Okay, she was listening. So far, so good...

...And then FireYaku went off. Luckily, by now she was starting to grow numb from really loud noises by now. But still, that wasn't good. But Cuffs warned them...actually, speaking of which..."Hey, PhotoMan! Conference!" SplashLady leaned over to her partner, deciding to keep things nice and surprise for the potential future subject. "Okay, show her some of those pictures of Cuffs you took! She said FireYaku might respond to them!" Hopefully that worked...though she wasn't positive as to why. She definitely had her suspicions by now, though...
"Perhaps that would be best. Let's see how she reacts," PhotoMan agreed, bringing up his portfolio in progress as a window nearby. Once he'd collected himself, he turned back to FireYaku and began speaking. "We've actually been to many other girls today, asking them to do the same sort of thing. One of those girls expressed the opinion that you might react favorably to our proposition if we showed you these..."

He brought up the photos of Cuffs in lingerie, each provocatively arranged and masterfully shot. "I haven't run these through doctoring yet, so some of the quality is not what it ought to be, but-"

"That's my sister!"[color=red][/color] FireYaku called out, pressing both palms onto the table and leaning forward with shock on her face.

" I was hoping that you might be willing to pose for us, now that you've seen that your sister has already done such a shoot," PhotoMan continued, feeling slightly more in control than he had been. His approach backfired, however, as FireYaku dove across the table and pinned him to the matted floor. "Ms. Yaku, please!"

"Where did you meet my sister?!"[color=red][/color] she cried out, holding one of her drumming sticks against his throat. She'd clearly become agitated... although it didn't seem like it was over the questionable material of the photograph, but rather, over some relationship with Cuffs.

PhotoMan gulped, then began speaking. "SplashLady, we should consider our options carefully. If I tell her, we run out of bargaining chips. There is a possibility we might be able to withhold the information as a bargaining- GURK!" Spit rose up out of his throat as the mafioso atop him pressed her stick down harder.

"Or you can tell me right now and I don't beat your head like a taiko drum!"[color=red][/color] she encouraged him with a menacing smile.

"W-Well, on that note, I'd like to discuss the subject matter of the gravure! You haven't heard what we plan to do yet!"


"We were hoping you'd submit to having an offscreen tormenter spank your bottom... preferably, you would be garbed in your traditional fundoshi and outside with your drums."


More spittle dripped down the navi's chin and his choking increased as FireYaku increased pressure, evidently further agitated by the idea of the shoot.
...That was NOT how she envisioned that working. "Hey! Knock it off!" SplashLady did her best to try and move FireYaku's foot, though since she wasn't really built to be physically strong...yeah, it probably wasn't working. "We're not with the NetPolice or anything, if you're worried about that! We're doing these shoots for several Navis selected beforehand, and Cuffs just happened to be someone else on the list! In fact-wait, you two are sisters? That explains a lot...but, not the point this moment! Will you PLEASE quit choking him, before I have to resort to something I really don't want to do?" After all, performing acts of violence on potential clients was a very bad idea, especially when said client was quite clearly vulnerable to her specialty...
PhotoMan turned his eyes to SplashLady and tried to speak, but couldn't. Pulling on FireYaku proved fruitless, as she had the advantage of both desperation and physical strength, but she eased up as SplashLady continued; apparently something she'd said had caught FireYaku's interest. "Cuffs? THAT Cuffs? From the NetPolice?!"[color=red][/color] she gasped, looking amazed. "My sister is in the NetPolice! Oh wow..."[color=red][/color]

The shock gave PhotoMan enough time to crawl out from underneath her. As he tried to regain his breath, he looked at SplashLady uncomfortably, then back down at his feet. His expression was hard to read; he looked at first thankful, then disappointed. She could only reason that he had misgivings about giving away their only assurance that FireYaku would cooperate with the shoot...

"After all this time, I've finally found her! I can convince her to come back to the Fujimoto family,"[color=red][/color] the mafioso sighed, looking content and pleased. Unfortunately, she didn't really seem to realize that she needed to thank anybody for the information. "Hey guy, I want you to know, I only attacked you because I had to know about my sister. I acted impulsively, but you would too if it meant getting a loved one back, wouldn't you?"[color=red][/color]

PhotoMan nodded, having no particular feelings on the matter.

"Alright, guys, I'm out of here!"[color=red][/color] she finished.

The black-armored navi got back up to his feet, holding one hand out to try to stop her, but finding himself unable to get his voice out due to the recent choking. It seemed SplashLady and he were about to miss their opportunity.
Wait...what? She...didn't know Cuffs was her sister? ...Whaaat?? As she tried to comprehend what just happened, SplashLady took a look over at her partner, who appeared to be fine. "Um, yeah, of course. Glad to help."



...Wait a minute...

"H-hang on!" With incredible speed (even not taking into account she wore an ankle length skirt), the mermaid Navi raced ahead of FireYaku, stopping in front of her to block her way. "I helped you out, so why don't you help us out a bit in return, and pose for us? Same conditions as before still apply, of course!"
"Okay, first of all, you're being ridiculous, trying to stand in front of me to prevent moving networks. I don't exactly need to walk out the door to get to where I'm going-!"[color=red][/color] the mafioso started, then paused. "Oh wow... I was really about to go teleport directly into the NP office quarters. My head's really not together!"[color=red][/color]

"... But addled as I am, there is just no way I am posing for you guys, okay? You gave me some information, sure, but you snuck into my house impersonating ranked Mafia members! Beyond that, he wasn't even planning to give me the information unless I did the shoot for you,"[color=red][/color] she complained, glaring at PhotoMan as though nearly choking him unconscious wasn't enough punishment for what he'd done. "I don't actually feel like I owe you anything! And what do I even get out of this, huh? I don't need more money and I don't need to promote the Bloodhounds. I'm sure Creel's doing a better job of that than some magazine spread of me would."[color=red][/color]

"Port...folio-!" PhotoMan gasped. "Please! I can... offer you a way-!"

"Pipe down! Seriously, I've got important things to take care of and no reason to stick around,"[color=red][/color] FireYaku groaned, apparently feeling no sympathy.
Well, regardless of what FireYaku said, blocking her DID stop her from moving along. So that was a very, very small victory for SplashLady. "You say that, but...can you really afford to pass on this? I mean, perhaps it won't promote things much. There is that chance. But what if it does? Since, er, your sister already posed for us, the NetPolice's popularity would skyrocket in that case, and I'm sure some of your colleagues wouldn't be very happy if they found out you passed on the opportunity, especially when they find out exactly who accepted the offer on the other side!" Phew, that was a mouthful. "Besides, you underestimate the Showbizz network! A hermit Navi in the most remote mountaintop of Sharo Area wouldn't be able to avoid this kind of publicity! And I think I can honestly say that's not hyperbole...I've met the head honcho herself, and trust me, she's crazy about all things publicity!" ...Sorta.

"...But, there is one other thing I'd like to say. I'm sorry PhotoMan didn't tell you all the info we had up front! It's a bad habit of his!" Well, all right, it was usually the opposite, but she didn't know that.
"I put up with well enough from everyone on my side without having to show off my body for them too,"[color=red][/color] FireYaku groaned. "And I don't know why my sister posed for you, but whatever her reasoning, that doesn't mean I need to! I'm sorry your friend dropped the ball, but I don't trust him one bit."[color=red][/color]

PhotoMan looked crestfallen, through a combination of things not working out and being made to accept the blame for the failure. "Doing this might give you a common link-!" he managed, then coughed into his fist, breaking his streak of successfully delivered words. "Something to connect you two after time away... Also, I can use my connections to get you into the NP headquarters to speak with her. Or I can even bring her here-!"

"You are wasting my time, pervert, and I don't have enough as it is!"[color=red][/color]

"Please! It's very important that I take this shot! If I don't, I won't get to... er, complete my portfolio..."

FireYaku was determined not to listen to PhotoMan and PhotoMan was determined not to stop pitching his shoot. SplashLady was probably the only one who could mediate between them, but FireYaku didn't seem terribly eager to listen to her either. If FireYaku could just be made to listen, however, it sounded like PhotoMan still had plenty of bargaining chips to throw in...
...You know, one thing was becoming increasingly clear to SplashLady through all this. And...well, she might as well say it. "...You know, I think I get what the NetMafia's problem is. Everyone tries to act SO tough, but that just turns away outsiders. Seriously, we could just walk right in and talk to Cuffs. And sure, she wasn't the world's most sociable person, but deep down she was a nice person, and it showed through when we talked to her. But every NetMafia person I've ever dealt with is so bent on trying to look bad that you can't even approach them without getting edgy! And that's not cool, it just makes you look like a jerk! Sure, there's probably Mafia members that aren't like that, and I bet there's some Police members that are. But on the whole, the NetPolice come across as nicer, a group you can be comfortable dealing with. That's why they have better publicity!"

"...Sorry. It's just that I've been thinking that ever since we got here, and I couldn't keep it in any longer. It's're a perfect example of what I mean, you know? It was easier getting to your sister in NetPolice HQ than you in a single homepage. And while she was understandably unsure about things at first, she was still willing to work with us. And why? Because, and I think this is true of everyone we've met with...deep down, they're okay with themselves. Not just with their bodies, but on the inside, too. Because to have pictures taken of yourself without very much on, you need confidence in yourself. Confidence to say, 'Yep, this is me! What about it?'. And I'm not completely sure what it is you do for your work, but I think I can safely that self-confidence is something you require for it." By now, she probably needed to stop and make sure she didn't subconsciously step on top of a soapbox...