Intelligent Labs

Despite certain Navis apparently thinking the officer was a bit of a freak, on the outside, his apparent hangout spot was entirely innocuous, appearing as a small, single floor building, entirely white in color, aside from a purple sign that proclaimed 'Intelligent Labs: Aiding the world since 20XX'. The one suspicious aspect about it was the complete lack of windows, and while the front door was glass, it also contained a two way mirror that prevented anyone from peeking inside without entering. A scanner next to the door made sure that only those with the homepage's P-Code could enter.

Inside was a lobby of some sort...kind of. Really, it was less of a lobby, and more where a series of doors were connected by a room. Standing right in front of the front door, there were two doors each to the left and right, and three straight ahead. All had light bulbs above them, but aside from the middle front door, all were bright red in color, and appeared to have password locks on them. The other one, however, was green, and while it also had a lock, it appeared to have been disabled, as the input screen was completely black. If they wanted to start looking, that was probably the door to do so.
The glass front door gave way to the passcode without much resistance, allowing Anyis to slip into the inconspicuous white building and examine the interior. She quickly counted up the 5 additional doors immediately inside, then turned back around to stare at the legs of her SP who was still waiting outside. "..." Her face showed a slightly irritated scowl for a few moments before relaxing and letting out a sigh. "This is going to be extra tedious, huh..." Anyis muttered to herself before walking back outside, recalling Magna back to the PET, returning indoors, then re-summoning the purple golem in the sparse lobby.

"Thank you, Mother Unit." said Magna as he stood up... or rather, tried to. His helmet-clad head bounced against the ceiling, leaving the golem to pause and think of what to do. Ultimately, he got down on one knee, opting to address the matter of walking when it presented itself.

"We really need to shrink you somehow..." muttered Anyis as she, despite Magna's compact stance, had to look up at her SP. A thought then crossed her mind, and a rather bothersome one at that, causing Anyis to grasp her temples with one hand out of frustration. "Hey, MeleeMan! Go check out the open door first. I'm going to need to transfer Magna between rooms manually every time..." commanded Anyis of her ally, turning around before shouting the order at him.

"I can create functional entrances if necessary, Mother Unit." noted Magna, vaguely hinting at the option of him breaking down the walls in his way.

"We'll check back on that if MeleeMan starts screaming on the other side." deterred Anyis quickly, while inwardly thinking (and praying) that there had to be a better way to handle this issue than demolishing the building.
"I like the way you think, metal head," MeleeMan called out to Magna, confusing everyone by using one of his pet names for Damascus to instead refer to Anyis's SP. He weathered in around the golem, shrugging. his shoulders to make sure he wasn't caught in the frame himself. Damascus followed behind, tilting her. head self-consciously to avoid scratching the walls with her ponytail. "Creating some functional entrances would be a fun way to kill some time. Damn, this place is all science-y doors. Maybe the guy just died of boredom."

"It's a little early to judge, Meleeman," his operator sighed. "Too early to call him dead or boring, I mean. Why not check out that room like Anyis asked you to?"

"... Hey, let's get something straight, okay? I'm not her dog or mule or whatever just.because she's going to be Internal Affairs. She still has to wipe her own ass," the big navi grumbled, slipping through the one open door with reckless abandon. "Hey, tech guy! We're NP! Come out and show yourself!" he bellowed.

Damascus waited behind with the others.
And so MeleeMan entered the green lighted door, with absolutely no desire to show stealth or common courtesy. Not that it was especially possible to do the former; the room was almost completely empty. The most notable (and nearly only) feature was the wall to MeleeMan's left, which wasn't so much a wall as a gigantic supercomputer, loaded to the brim with various buttons, keys, and monitors. In the far right corner was a metallic double door of some sort. Save for a password system next to it, there was absolutely nothing notable about them.

Oh yeah, and there was a Navi at the computer. Oddly, he seemed less like a Navi, and more like the model of a human nervous system with eyes and feet. Aside from his head, which was little more than a giant brain, he essentially looked like a stick figure with nearly thread thin arms. ...Actually, there were probably sticks wider than his body, so if anything that was an insult to sticks. Nevertheless, he seemed to have no trouble typing. The monitor he was looking at seemed to have some sort of fireball on it. "Hmm, let's see...maybe if I ramp up the inner firepower some more? ...No, then it'll start to destroy its data structural integrity...ah, I know. Perhaps if I have only activate in short bursts, that should result in insignificant damage to it, and gives it more explosive properties. Yes, that should do the trick quite nicely..."

It would be nearly criminal for the Navi to not pick that exact moment to notice he had company, and fortunately, he wasn't so wrapped up in his task that he couldn't break away for a few moments. "Hello there. I believe we've never met. I am NervousMan, head and chief scientist of Intelligent Labs. Come to think of it, how did you get in here without triggering any alarms? ...On second thought, you needn't answer that, since I've been meaning to upgrade security in here anyway. Now, who are you, and how may I help you?" Bizzarely, it seemed as though he hadn't heard a thing beforehand, not even MeleeMan's yelling.
"Hold up, the guy's just in the next room...?! Jeez..." grumbled Anyis after her ears picked up the ramblings of NervousMan through the open door. She had been fiddling with Magna's summon settings in hopes of finding an easier way to transport the big golem, but all that ultimately did was make Anyis frustrated. Upon learning that their target was just one room over, Anyis immediately gave up on her SP. "Ugh, just stay here with Damascus, Magna. I'll come get you if something comes up."

"Understood, Mother Unit." replied Magna with a nod, understanding of the trouble he was bringing her.

Anyis nodded back, then hurried into the next room after MeleeMan. NervousMan was... an odd sight, certainly, for her to come upon. She had never quite seen a Navi like him, and for that she was quite grateful. A walking, talking nervous system was a pretty hideous sight, and it took much of Anyis's composure to not react to his appearance... or his total disregard to the world save his little project. As a result, her first impression of NervousMan was not all that great.

"That's an amazing lack of concern for a group of unknown visitors..." sighed Anyis in almost a whisper as she folded her arms under her chest and shook her head. "I'm Anyis, and this lug's MeleeMan. He's with the NetPolice, and I'm... joining, I guess." she shrugged after pausing for a moment, unable to summon much enthusiasm for what wasn't much more than a favor to the guy next to her. Speaking of that guy next to her, Anyis lightly jabbed his arm with her elbow to signal it was his turn to talk. An ominous feeling in the back of Anyis's mind told her that NervousMan was going to piss her off if she gave him anything more to respond to.
Damascus was happy to stand in the lobby with Magna until she realized it was like they were saying she was as big as a golem. "I find it disrespectful that citizens of the net continue to design structures across the net with such a blatant disregard for the height that navis such ad ourselves share. It's thoughtless," she murmered, hoping to draw some conversation out of her friend. She seemed to be vastly exaggerating her own ordinarily impressive height, however, by implying that she and Magna were equally discriminated against.

While Anyis had an ominous feeling she was going to be annoyed, MeleeMan was even less resistant in that regard. Just seeing some douchebag displaying his big, science-y brain so prominently as be looked at his giant nerd monitor in his ridiculous laboratory already had him on edge. Rania, on the other hand, was giggling. "What's so funny?" he grumbled.

"I was just thinking... if he's NervousMan, maybe you ought to be MuscleMan? You're like two halves of a coin! He's all brains and feeling and you're the opposite," she laughed.

MeleeMan's frown deepened. Somehow, judging by the atmosphere, the labeling as creepy, and the guy's disregard for them, he theorized that human feelings might not be high on the guy's list of priorities. "Uh, I notice you don't have any ears. Is that why you can't hear the NP calling you? We just got sent on this crappy mission to check if you'd fallen and broken your hip or something. Why aren't you keeping in contact?" he barked, pointing one chunky, armored finger in an accusatory fashion.

"Making friends and meeting people," Rania sighed. She brought up a viewscreen next to MeleeMan, forgetting that she was still in her nurse get-up. "Hello, I apologize for my navi's rudeness. We were just sent to check up on you," she informed the collection of brains and nerve stems. MeleeMan was surprised that she wasn't more squimish at its appearance. Maybe volunteer nursing was good for something.
NervousMan slowly began to walk the length of the room; oddly, he kept making strange twitching motions throughout his body as he did so. "NetPolice, eh? I guess that explains how you got in. I did give them the P-Code in case of an emergency. Come to think of it, how long HAVE I been at this?" A pop-up appeared in front of the brainy Navi, which received some typing courtesy of string thin fingers. "Two weeks...I suppose I was even more engrossed than I thought. Fancy that."

It was at that point the MIA Navi really noticed just who it was that had entered. His eyes darted back and forth between Anyis and MeleeMan, as his synapses began firing on all cylinders...literally; his head was crackling with electricity. "A...HA! I just got a brilliant idea! You said you were both either working for or would soon work for the NetPolice, correct? Then I imagine both of you are capable fighters. ...Perhaps I should explain what it is I've been working on first. You see, a few weeks ago, an assistant of mine discovered some old data deep in the Net. After decoding it, I discovered that it was actually remnants of some unusual, ancient viruses...ones that have thought to have been extinct for 40 years or so. The data was very badly corrupted, however. At first I didn't think it was even possible to restore it. But, as of today, I can proudly announce that I've succeeded! They're probably not entirely true to their original forms, of course, as in some cases I had to combine some data from currently existing viruses..."

"But anyway, you didn't come to hear me ramble. Besides, why take out all the surprise?" NervousMan began wringing his hands in glee...or at least, that's what it looked like. Having hands that thin made it pretty tough to tell just what he was doing with them. "Now, for my idea. You see, I know how these viruses react in normal circumstances, but since they tend to keep to themselves, I know little about their behavior in battle. I know how they were programmed to react, of course, but that's not always the same thing. Plus. That's why I want you to fight them. Don't worry, if they're too rough on you, you can quit at any time! I can't have any casualties from this sort of thing again, after all! They'd cut my funding! ...Oh, right. Help me here, and I'll personally report to NP HQ. I'll even put in a good word for you two!"
MeleeMan picked out bits and pieces of everything the guy was saying... for every intriguing "super powerful ancient viruses" there was a "combined the data with existing viruses." Once it was all over, he laughed and crossed his arms. "If you're worried about us, save it. What you ought to be worried about is that if you give me an excuse to tear up your research with these hands, you might not get your crap back in working condition," he warned NervousMan.

"I doubt he would have made the offer if he was worried about that. He probably has a backup somewhere," his operator suggested, then cut off her monitor. The other Navi didn't seem too interested in her and hadn't offered an introduction to his own operator either.

"Yeah, sure. Beating up some viruses is all we have to do? Sounds like cake to me," he shrugged. "What about our SPs though? They're waiting in the lobby."

"I'm still a little worried... Should the NP be experimenting with viruses to begin with? But somebody is funding him, so they must be aware..." Rania murmured to herself. "Whatever the case, the fact that he fell out of contact for two weeks doing it is even sketchier. After all, when Amelie's navi went missing, he never came back... I wonder if NervousMan's operator even knows where he is?"

MeleeMan shrugged, still not willing to reveal that he knew where the runaway GladiatorMan had ended up.
"So you're not going to go anywhere until this research of yours is done..." sighed Anyis, internally damning researchers the world over and their ulterior motives. Personally, she was more than underwhelmed with NervousMan's grand announcement. If he was expecting a 40-year old virus to impress a Navi effectively twice that age, the stringy-looking scientist had another thing coming. Heck, Anyis was quite possibly part of the reason as to why this virus went extinct. "Ah well... That's probably as good a compromise as we'll get from a nerdy type like you." she added right to NervousMan's face.

"So you're going to be battling?" questioned Mill, glancing into his PET's screen to check the situation.

"Seems like it. Do pay attention this time, by the way. I couldn't get the day of the week last time Rania was with you." answered Anyis frankly, trying to insure that she'd get some actual help from her Operator. At that point, MeleeMan reiterated the issue with Magna and Damascus back in the lobby, which reminded Anyis. "Oh yeah, Mill."

"Hm? What else, Anyis?" asked Mill in response.

"You need to do something about Magna's door problem." notified Anyis simply.

"Door problem...?" echoed Mill uncertainly.

To answer, Anyis turned the view screen to Mill's PET around 180 degrees to face the lobby door, and the seemingly solid wall of purple on the other side. "That door problem. He doesn't fit."

"Oh... Huh, pretty weird that an issue this obvious never came up before." thought Mill aloud after realizing that Magna had not encountered a normal-sized door even once since he became an SP. "Alright, I'll try and think of something when we get home."

"Good." nodded Anyis, before turning her attention back on the issue at hand. "Alright brain-case, let's get this over with. Don't forget you're going back to HQ after this, too."
"So, you two will assist me? Excellent!" NervousMan's body began to spontaneously perform what could only be described as happy spasms, though he himself showed no signs of acknowledging it. Or of acknowledging virtually anything else said. "By all means, bring your SPs along, if you have them. It will give me more complete data!" His involuntary movements stopped when he realized why the issue was brought up, however. "...Ah. That IS a bit of a problem...but I have a solution."

The brainy Navi snapped his fingers (how that even worked was probably beyond all science-based understanding), causing Magna and Damascus to...disappear? "Don't worry, I just sent your SPs to the battlefield ahead of you. I haven't moved any viruses there just yet, so worry not for their safety!...Oh, I went and did that, didn't I? Perhaps I should explain. One thing I'm working on in here is the ability for a Navi to send another Navi to a different location with a mere thought! Unfortunately, thus far, I've only managed to make it work on SPs, and even then it only works within this building. I have a feeling it might be impossible to do, but until I'm certain, I won't abandon the project!"

Oddly, NervousMan snapped back from increasing excitement to a more relaxed state in the blink of an eye. "Now, let's get you two to the testing area." He accessed the password console next to the twin metal doors, typing something in it. The speed of his typing, combined with the fact his fingers were as thin as a thread, essentially impossible to tell what the password was. Based on the beeping noises made from each key press, however, a mentally sharp Navi could probably deduce that there were 8 characters in it. With the final press, the metal doors opened, revealing...the inside of an elevator. Exciting stuff. "Fair warning...I wouldn't enter if I were you until you were 100% prepared for a fight. You two seem rather capable, but pride goeth before a fall, or so the saying goes. Best to be too prepared than unprepared, wouldn't you agree?"
"I goeth wherever I damn well pleaseth, whenever I wanteth, and through whoever it takes...eth," MeleeMan responded. "I was born ready!" And he sort of was. "Though, when I stop and think about it, aren't these viruses gonna suck? If they were all that great they would still be around. Whatever, maybe they got hit by some sort of computerized meteor."

"Are you thinking about dinosaurs?" Rania inquired.

"Dinosaurs... huh," MeleeMan muttered, rubbing his oversized chin thoughtfully. "I could go for some dinosaur battles. Most viruses are tiny and it really just throws the whole fight in the can. Huge buzzkill."

Rania shook away the image of MeleeMan hunting down dinos with his Berserk Blitz and thought about the situation again. "I hope Damascus is alright. I've lost track of her..."

"I wouldn't mind having a navi teleporter..." her navi mused, ignoring her. "It'd save me a lot of time and hassle chasing after those bastard enemies that like to run away... Anyways, come on and let's get it over with. If the tech guy is giving us free reign to smash up laboratory research, I say we take advantage."

He moved through the door with no further preparation.
"Mhm." agreed Anyis wordlessly as she followed MeleeMan into the elevator. NervousMan had a valid point about preparation, but he unknowingly implied that there were times where Anyis was not ready to fight. That, definitely, was very silly.

"Teleporting... That's one way to get Magna around, I guess." thought Mill aloud as his SP was lost to the arena. "Still, it just feels... weird to think of someone his size jumping around in an instant."

"No kidding, it's weird to me and I actually do it." agreed Anyis, referring to her recently acquired displacement ability. The elevator then lurched to a stop, ready to let the two Navis enter the arena. "Just don't assume the virus will roll over for you. Things weren't any friendlier 40 years ago than they are now." she answered to MeleeMan. In truth, Anyis was actually getting a little curious over whether she'd be able to recognize what they were about to fight. So, once the door open, she advanced forward with her teammate to rejoin the SPs and get this trial going.
NervousMan chuckled, presumably amused by MeleeMan's remarks. "Heh...well, that's what I intend to find out. Viruses have been known to fade in and out of existence, but why did these never once return? Were they just innately defective? Or was there another factor at play? In the name of science, I must find out!"


"Ah, we're here." Wait a sec...when did the elevator even move? That was one quiet and smooth ride..."...Hold on, miss!" The brainy Navi's noodle thin arm whipped forward, grabbing Anyis by the shoulder. Turned out that was a good thing, since there was zero floor in front of the elevator door now. Actually, it was kind of hard to believe that this was the same area as before...any semblance of a laboratory setting was gone. In its place, fire and lava covered the bottom, with only a single catwalk suspended in the air above it. They probably needed to reach that walkway, but exactly how were they supposed to do that?

"Bah, it always does that. A platform is supposed to come out as soon as the elevator arrives, but it keeps jamming, and I've been too busy to fix it. No matter. Come out, blasted platform!" NervousMan proceeded to whip the area below the open door...which looked and sounded like an actual whip being used. It seemed to have worked, as a platform large enough for three Navi appeared in front of them. "Let's go ahead and board. It will take us over to where you need to be." And so they did. As they started to move, a giant mass of purple soon became visible on the catwalk. Good to know that it could support even something like Magna. "Ah, yes. It appears that nothing's there, but I added a special heat shimmer effect to this area. Until you're on the catwalk, it will be virtually impossible to see your foes. On the other hand, they won't see you, either. Have to keep things a surprise, after all!"

Before long, the platform docked next to the suspended walkway, revealing just what kind of foe they'd be dealing with. And...they looked perfectly normal. Nearby, there was a upgraded Canodumb and Spikey, and to either far side was a Metool. The latter appeared to be actively threatening the Navis...but, why weren't they using their pickaxes to help look more menacing? "It would be rude to not point out your adversaries. The Canodumb2 and Spikey2 are perfectly normal. As for the others...well, there's a reason they're called NeoMetool, and not just Metool, as you'll see. And that's not all...they might be a little difficult to see, but you should see a couple of foes called TackleFire below." Sure enough, if they looked down and paid a little attention, they note that a couple of the flames below were rounded in shape, and possessed sinister looking eyes. "Well then! I'm counting on you to give me good data on these viruses!" With no further warning, the platform began to rapidly move back towards the elevator, leaving the melee Navis and their SPs alone with some hostile viruses...

- Left -
NeoMetoolA: 100 HP (Normal) (far left corner)
Canodumb2: 130 HP (Normal) (directly to left of starting area)

- Right -
NeoMetoolB: 100 HP (Normal) (far right corner)
Spikey2: 190 HP (Normal) (directly to right of starting area)

- Lower Level - (below Cracked terrain)
TackleFireA: 90 HP (Lava)
TackleFireB: 90 HP (Lava)

--- FISTALLY GIFTED NAVIS --- (near center, between Canodumb2 and Spikey2)
MeleeMan: 420 HP
Anyis: 260 HP

Damascus: 70 HP
Magna: 100 HP

Upper Level: 50% Missing, 35% Normal (A series of walkways resembling a 4-paned window), 15% Cracked (a + shape in the area where the 'panes' meet)
Lower Level: 100% Lava

--- GO! ---


A map, in case I wasn't clear enough on locations. Both TackleFire are on the lower level currently.

"Say what you like, but viruses are just viruses! Stupid animals for me to practice my headlocks on... Except for those that are just heads. But I've already reached that bridge and crossed it," MeleeMan responded, thumbing his nose proudly. He still figured that few experiences on the net could measure up to the simple satisfaction of grabbing an Elecogre by both horns and ripping it in two. That was right up there with bubble wrap. The awesome stuff you pop, not the lame chip effect. "What are you two doing here?" he asked, frowning as he saw Magna and Damascus standing near the center of the structure. "How is this thing even supporting the two of you? The two of you together gotta weigh at least two Damascuses. Pick a better place for your lover's getaway next time."

Damascus' eyebrows twitched for a variety of reasons, but she stayed quiet. "Master, have I mentioned how thoroughly I despise standing over large liquid bodies before?" the SP murmured hatefully.

"What? Water I get, but this is lava! For one thing, lava's great, and for another, you're a sword, right? You're supposed to like being dangled over lava. It makes you stronger, right?" the navi responded in a grunt, tilting his head as if he honestly believed she ought to like it. "Well, anyways, it looks like our opponents are here. NervousMan's going to wish he hadn't bothered naming them! I mean, damn, it's like you name your dog and then it's hit by a truck or something."

"MeleeMan, that's horrible!" Rania interjected, feeling vaguely offended.

"What!? I didn't say it would be great, I said 'damn, that would suck, just like, etcetera!' Don't be such a biiii-" he started to say, then realized that it might be taking it a little far and furthermore he'd probably look pretty bad in front of Anyis. It may have been the only time in his digital life where he hesitated for that reason. "Biiiiastard. Don't be such a bastard." Much better.

The operator scoffed, but was in too good of a mood to take offense. Damascus rolled her eyes, then looked below them. "Master, would you do the honor of dangling yourself over that pit and taking care of those fireballs? Seeing as you're so crazy about lava," she inquired.

"Dangle myself? Hell, I'll jump in and wade through it!" he exclaimed, powering up his thrusters. He raised both arms into the air and did what looked like a ridiculous short hop, moving only slightly upward with a puff of smoke from his boots. The briefest hint of a smile flashed at the corner of Damascus' mouth, but MeleeMan caught it. He didn't know whether to count that as a victory over her constant, diligently held frown or to be offended, so he chose to say nothing. He fell down over the catwalk without a word to his SP, but did speak to Anyis. "I'll take care of the fireballs and then come back up and hit... uuuh... One of those metools," he answered. He didn't really want to pick a target and would have rather said he'd take care of all of them, but being realistic, he knew that Anyis would take out a large number of them before he got a chance to do jack squat. That was just the kind of person she was.

With that in mind, he set off to do everything he could manage, igniting his rocket thrusters so that he plummeted headfirst towards one of the fireballs hovering just above the lava. He crashed down with a splash of lava; like a killer whale smashing the arctic waters to feast upon a seal, except instead it was a bodybuilder smashing into lava to beat up a fireball. He scrambled up to his feet, then ran in to tackle both fireballs. "Rania, I need a chip!" he bellowed, realizing that as big as he was and as well suited as his jacket was to outing a small fire, he doubted tackling the thing would just put it out.

Snapping in to the battle for the first time since the inevitable first AreaGrab, Rania slotted through the old GolemHit. He attempted to plunge it into the virus pair, smashing first his two fists and next his entire body back into the lava with a huge splash. Directors of major action films have long avoided filming fistfights in submerged conditions for one good reason: everyone stumbles around and looks ridiculous. This was no exception, although the power of MeleeMan's body breaking the waves and the fearlessness with which he plunged jaw-first into lava was something to behold.

Rania was thinking as much just as her navi sprang back up to his feet and demanded an AreaGrab. "Always with the AreaGrabs! I thought you loved it down there in the lava, MeleeMan," she sighed, slotting the chip through in spite of her words.

"Yeah, well, I love pulverizing hard hats even more," he professed, then sprang towards the ceiling in a fiery leap. At first he was worried he'd hit it, but he managed to correct himself and landed in next to the thing NervousMan had called a "Neo Metool." Rania slotted through the new BronzeFist. "Huh! That's high grade stuff. Classy, Rania, I dig it," he chuckled, showing a rare enthusiasm as he brought his fist backwards. "Fossils like you guys belong buried under molten magma, right? Let's get a move on, then," he smirked, swinging another fist at the thing to try to pound it on the helmet and knock it into the lava below. He was vaguely aware that his equipped gauntlet might not survive the impact. Ashes to ashes, punches to dust. He also tried to put in a little evasion maneuver as discretely as he could, disguising it as trying to get out of the way if the thing did topple over into the lava. After all, Anyis might not just be blowing steam about these things, although his default presumption was always that she was.

In the mean time, Damascus was getting tired of watching her master jump around... about fifteen seconds after he started doing it. It didn't take long. She elected to get a move on, staring down the Canodumb nearby. "I'll have my blood too," she announced, as though there were blood to be drawn from an inanimate cannon. Her body turned into a long beam of silver, then reformed as a long nodachi blade and began to swirl in place to gather power. Once she gathered that she'd collected enough, she slung herself forward like a giant, vicious ninja star.

1) AreaGrab [Teleport + Accuracy UP]
*) Melee subtype Bash [Add impact to next attack]
2) GolemHit1 @ TackleFire Group [140 damage wide melee + break + impact (one instance) + panel crack, boosted A accuracy]
3) AreaGrab [Teleport + Accuracy UP]
4) BronzeFist @ NeoMetoolA [100 damage melee + impact + knockback, boosted A++ accuracy]
5) Dodge

1) Steel Skin activate [ironbody, 1 turn]
*) Variable subtype buff @ next attack [24 strengthen]
2) Stepsword @ CanodumbB [Teleport + 144 slashing wide attack, S accuracy]
Anyis's lips were bent into an intense scowl as she stared at MeleeMan, since he just... Well, okay, to be fair she was already in a bad mood for a variety of reasons. For one, NervousMan's storage environment for his "ancient" viruses was a big lava pit, which just absolutely thrilled Anyis. Then there was that bit with the elevator emptying out into said lava pit with no immediate walkway, forcing NervousMan to pull her back with his swiggly little noodle arm. Did you know? An exposed nervous system apparently envelops itself in a slimy membrane for protection. Anyis did not know that until NervousMan touched her shoulder. She could feel the lukewarm grimy residue clear through the shoulder of her robe, and good lord was that ever gross. Her skin was crawling, a chill was running down her spine... Oh wait, that was the droplet of slime that slipped down her collar.

"Argh!!! Quit your whining, all of you!" And then, Anyis snapped. "The catwalk would've already collapsed if Magna and Damascus were too heavy! I'll freeze the lava if it's THAT much of a problem! The viruses are 40 years old, so they weren't named yesterday! Bastard is NOT an acceptable substitute for bitch, and NO it is not alright to call Rania either!" she yelled, addressing everyone and everything (though mostly MeleeMan) that was making a fuss. "And we don't need the Spikey or Canodumb here to get data on the old viruses!" That one was directed at NervousMan, probably.

"... Should I not target those two viruses, then?" queried Magna in response, feeling conflicted between the stated mission and the Mother Unit's declaration. For better or worse, Magna had no idea that MeleeMan's statements were even referring to him, so the golem just let that matter go by on its own.

"No, go right ahead and destroy them." answered Anyis bluntly with a somewhat breathless voice as she recovered from the screaming, only to immediately cringe afterward as as that droplet of slime slid further down her back.

"... Are you okay, Anyis?" asked a slightly concerned and very confused Mill. She was very grumpy all of a sudden. like a lioness that got a thorn stuck in her paw. That was pretty much the case, in fact, just with slime down her back instead of a thorn in her paw.

"Fantastic." Anyis replied quickly, while discretely reaching for her back to try and pick off the slime. MeleeMan had already jumped off the catwalk to go bathe in his precious lava, so it was just her up here with the SPs. Damascus was preparing herself for the IronBody-StepSword combo Anyis had seen a few times before, and seemingly had her attention squarely on the Canodumb. With that in mind... "Magna, shoot the Spikey."

"Understood, Mother Unit." responded Magna, acknowledging the order and turning his body to block off the bridge connecting this intersection with the Spikey's corner. The sound of metallic plates shifting signalled the transformation of Magna's hands into their heavy cannon forms, but prior to raising them up to target the canine virus, a thought occurred to Magna. "I... should recommend that the Units MeleeMan and Damascus cover their audio receptors, while the Unit Rania minimizes the volume on her PET." the golem noted.

"Oh, good point. Rania, mute your PET for a second." said Mill to the girl next to him, while silencing his own PET with a touch on the screen. Anyis set aside her quest to de-slime her back momentarily to cover her own ears, knowing what was coming.


The orange light illuminating Magna's face flickered for just a moment as his core energy was expelled from the cannon barrels as a gigantic beam that streaked across the entire right walkway en-route to the Spikey. The sound of his shots condensing and subsequently bursting outward caused the entire catwalk assembly to shake slightly, perhaps worse than normal because the noise was trapped in this contained environment. To MeleeMan's earlier point, though, the catwalk would probably be fine against this kind of sonic assault if it could already support Magna's weight on its own. Probably.

"Glad that's over..." sighed Anyis as she uncovered her ears. Of course, there was no silencing a sound akin to military-grade artillery, but at least it helped. Her mood was improving very rapidly, as in addition to shaking the catwalk, Magna's subsonic boom shook loose that little bit of slime and allowed Anyis to catch it at the hem of her robe. With it sticking to her bare fingertip, Anyis gave the droplet of goo a look of severe contempt, before flicking it mercilessly into the lava pit below. She would've listened for the resulting hiss, but it felt like her ears were still ringing. With that finally out of the way, she could join the battle proper. "Mill, gimme a chip."


"... Oi. Mill, give me a chip." reiterated Anyis in a slightly irritated tone after being met with silence.

"Sorry, PET was still muted." apologized Mill after returning normal volume to his PET's speakers. "We don't know anything about those fireballs down below, so I'll send you an Aqua chip to back up MeleeMan. Just... don't catch him in the steam cloud, too."

"... Eh, alright." said Anyis with a shrug of her shoulders, probably giving a little too much thought to the pros and cons of that event. All first indications told Mill that he didn't need to empty the arsenal to damage the TackleFires, so he uploaded his AquaNeedle's virtual image and transferred it over to Anyis. To get a judge of what she'd be aiming at, Anyis stood at the edge of the catwalk and looked over to the center, where MeleeMan was crashing down and creating an excessively large molten wake. While it was very, very, very odd, it was also rather convenient that MeleeMan was darting around everywhere like a crazed housefly since he didn't stay put in the lava for long and therefore allowed Anyis to attack without making him into collateral damage.

With that part of the matter sorted out, Anyis materialized the chip in a subtle manner by just kindling a small and short-lived blue fire in her hand to freeze up a trio of icicles between her fingers. Theoretically she'd be better off throwing them one by one, but her sight would be worthless once the first icicle hit the lava and burst into a cloud of hot steam. So, with that decided and MeleeMan already up and back on the catwalk, Anyis flung all three throwing needles out with a flick of her wrist, sending them down into the lava pit to meet whatever was left of the TackleFires.

"Okay, so... Did we miss anything? It's hard to keep track of who attacks what with 4 people to tally..." asked Mill after panning his view across the catwalks.

"The Units designated 'Neo-Metool' have yet to be enga- revision, the Unit MeleeMan has attacked the Neo-Metool unit located in the negative X, positive Z." announced Magna after turning around to observe the battlefield, which included MeleeMan warping a second time to punch the Neo-Metool. "I suggest that we engage the Neo-Metool unit located in the positive X, positive Z to maximize the local spread of targeting."

"... That one, then?" questioned Anyis, pointing over to the unique-breed Metool in the far right corner.

"That one, yes, Mother Unit." nodded Magna quickly.

"Well there you have it, then. Chip, Mill." commanded Anyis of her Operator as she readied to fight the other 40-year old virus type. To both her surprise and ire, a Rockcube appeared in front of her on the catwalk's intersection. "... Really? Again?"

"Hey, you missed last time. It's a good damage source, so we need to get it working again." explained Mill, reminder his Navi that she was a dreadful 0-for-1 on Rockcube attacks since Cryos came to being.

"Well if I'm THAT bad, send me another chip so I can cover for my sad failures." grumbled Anyis as she put her hand up against the Rockcube. "Actually... screw it. Magna, you can punch a Rockcube as good as Cryos or anyone else. You give it a swing." So she passed the buck in impressive and defiant fashion.

"Understood, Mother Unit. Operator, may I request the alloted GutPunch to assist in this task?" queried Magna as he approach the Rockcube once the Mother Unit stepped away.

"Ah whatever... Yeah, here you go, and here's your chip, Anyis." sighed Mill as he popped in the GutPunch and a little extra. "Just make it work and I won't ask more of it."

Magna nodded once more in response, then reset his hands to their default form before equipping the yellow armor of the GutPunch to his right arm. The purple golem pulled his arm back and squared up his position relative to the Neo-Metool across the way, getting a feel for how much power he'd want to put into this punch. If there were only two things Magna was good at, it'd be punching things and calculations... Well, being a solid wall of defense would probably precede one of those two, but either way Rockcube launching was certainly in his fields of expertise. To prove that, Magna did unleash his armored fist into the solid block, blasting it off the catwalk with a great deal of force as it sailed above the lava pool en-route to the Neo-Metool. With that accomplished, Magna expanded the armor on his left hand bracer into a full-frame shield, and backed off to allow the Mother Unit her room to follow up.

"Since MeleeMan's hopping all over the place today..." mumbled Anyis, who in witness to that realized that teleporting was probably the most practical and efficient way to get around this precarious catwalk assembly. Luckily for her, she could do that without a chip. "Cryos!" she shouted, her attention focused over towards the Neo-Metool and where the Rockcube just crashed. To answer her call, Anyis's ice-cold, blue-blazing guardian spirit rose from nothing to stand on the catwalk right in front of the virus. And then Anyis was there too.

... Huh? Jeez, this reverse-summon thing was always so disorienting. Anyis was standing right in front of Cryos, having already equipped his gauntlets as her own along with something else just as disorienting as the warp: a BigHammer. Certainly, whatever got hit with that would be sent for a loop. Blue flames wrapped around the hammer as Cryos possessed Anyis's gauntlets at the same time as his master, giving her all the power she needed and then some to lift the bludgeon up over her head and drive it down onto the Neo-Metool, who would probably need more than a helmet to fend off this blow. Once the hammer had pounded against the ground, Anyis retreated a little ways back towards the bridge between catwalk intersections in case the mystery virus somehow lived through all that.

Anyis's Actions:
1) AquaNeedle2 (45 Aqua damage x 3 Needles {B}, Variable Targeting): 1 @ TackleFireA, 2 @ TackleFireB
2) RockCube (200 HP Object) on walkway
3) Summon Inversion (Teleport, 2TCD) to NeoMetoolB
4) BigHammer1 (160 damage {A}, Impact, Break) @ NeoMetoolB
5) Dodge
6) Dodge

Magna's Actions:
1) Core Link Cannon: High Output (200 damage {A}, 5TCD) @ Spikey2
2) GutPunch Rockcube (200 damage {B}) @ NeoMetoolB
--Reinforced Golem's Bracer (Passive 3-Hit Shield)
3) Dodge

Core Link Cannon: High Output - 5 turns
Summon Inversion - 2 turns
"Oh, on the contrary, it's important to know what other kinds of viruses they associated with! My data indicates that they got along well with the Canodumb and Spikey families, so, well, there they are, to see if it's true! Incomplete data is even worse than no data at all, after all!" Despite the distance between them, NervousMan still saw fit to respond to Anyis's griping. However, he noticed something about her that appeared to make his eyes widen a bit..."...Er, sorry about the slime! That looks like virus residue from when I was making another virus's physical form...I must've forgotten to clean up afterward! So sorry about that!" At least he rectified that by summoning a towel to wipe it off of him, so that it wouldn't happen again.

At any rate, MeleeMan had enough expository banter, as well as time not spent in boiling hot lava, and warped into the molten rock in the blink of an eye. This spooked one of the so called NeoMetool, and immediately hid beneath its helmet. The TackleFire were unable to move away from the subsequent giant fist, but one seemed to be able to change its shape so that the stone punch whiffed against it. Odd. The GolemHit also seemed to be unable to alter the nearby terrain, despite its innate effects. Also odd. Less odd was the fireball's fury at being attacked, and so it decided to retaliate...on someone else entirely. It rose high into the sky, and tried to dive bomb Anyis...but she sidestepped it, causing it to crash into the walkway. Neither was any worse for wear, though.

Meanwhile, the SPs started to get their groove on, as Damascus turned herself steel hard, and Magna launched a gigantic blast at the Spikey. Despite the virus's best attempts to avoid it, the noise rattled it a bit too much, and was wiped out unceremoniously. Speaking of unceremoniously, MeleeMan teleported back up to the walkway, and punched at the hiding NeoMetool...and missed. Despite the thing not budging an inch. Smooth. In lighter news, Anyis dropped some icicles on the TackleFire next to her. It managed to alter its shape once again to make the first miss...but that put it in perfect position to get nailed by the second, which alone was enough to vaporize it.

With things going well, Magna proceeded to punch the RockCube his master had created...unfortunately, as was probably not the first time, the purple golem lost the battle with gravity, and before it could clear the second gap, the object fell into the lava below. The NeoMetool watched the whole thing with a raised eyebrow, before shaking it off and choosing to shooting an energy bullet from approximately where its mouth would be if it had one. Luckily, it ended up picking its attacker, and so it harmlessly bounced off the shield. Continuing the SP action, Damascus launched herself at the Canodumb2, shredding it to bits before it could detect anything.

Due to the utter lack of things hitting its helmet, the previously hiding NeoMetool peeked outward, noticing that there was no one left aside from it and the other of its kind. Not happy about that, it closed its eyes, as if it was focusing or something...before launching three shots at the three obvious targets. One of them hit MeleeMan right in the shin, despite his efforts to evade, though Anyis and Magna only needed to stand and watch the bullets intended for them sail well to their side. Not that the former did, as she warped over and smashed the other NeoMetool with a hammer. Fun times.

- Left -
NeoMetoolA: 100 HP (Normal) (far left corner)
Canodumb2: DELETED

- Right -
Spikey2: DELETED

- Lower Level - (below Cracked terrain)
TackleFireA: DELETED
TackleFireB: DELETED

MeleeMan: 380 HP (BronzeFist: 1 use left) (next to NeoMetoolA)
Anyis: 260 HP (where NeoMetoolB was)

Damascus: 70 HP (where Canodumb2 was)
Magna: 100 HP (2-hit shield) (GutPunch: 5 uses left) (at starting location)

RockCube: 200 HP (sitting in lava near NeoMetoolB's former position)

Upper Level: 50% Missing, 35% Normal (A series of walkways resembling a 4-paned window), 15% Cracked (a + shape in the area where the 'panes' meet)
Lower Level: 100% Lava
"Hey!" MeleeMan and Damascus protested simultaneously. Realizing they were trying to speak over one another, the SP kept quiet and waited her turn. "I'm trying to be considerate, you know? You said bitch, not me!" he growled back. "And maybe you're underestimating just what fatasses our SPs are!" Whatever Damascus was going to say, she dropped it, perhaps preoccupied with the question of why her master was so insistent on pointing out her weight today.

Oh well, even if Anyis was being a bastard/bitch, at least he'd made pretty good work of those viruses. Yep, all that was left of that stupid metool was a helmet and a big crater in the wall right behind it where his fist had missed the helmet entirely...

... Keeping quiet, he hammered both of his knuckles down, then upward, in repeated gut-blow motions, trying to smash the face of the metool beneath the helmet. Once that was done, his plan was to sweep the corpse into the lava below and forget that this ever happened. His fists pumped back and forth, the bronze fist shattering entirely and the only noise following being the fire pumping out of his gauntlets.

"Things like this upset him a lot... Anyis could be a little more considerate," Rania mumbled, pitying her navi.

"I'd be laughing if it weren't out of character," Damascus pitched in.

The two kept quiet for a while, watching MeleeMan work. "You didn't have anything to say about Magna's cannons or the volume?" Rania pitched in.

"I had considered it, but it wouldn't be fair to you. I pity you non-metallic beings. You can't feel your body resonate with pitches. You see, my form can act as a tuning fork as well... particular resonances are quite stimulating," she responded.

"... I'm sorry I asked," Rania muttered, clutching her hands to her head. She didn't feel like she wanted to look at either her SP or her navi right now.

The last thing MeleeMan wanted to do was get hit by a pickaxe after already missing the stupid thing, so he backed up and placed his hands on his hips, seeing if he'd finally done the guy in.

1) BronzeFist @ NeoMetoolA [100 damage melee + impact + knockback, boosted A accuracy]
2) FireHit2 @ NeoMetoolA [115 fire melee + impact, boosted A+ accuracy]
3) FireHit2 second attack @ NeoMetoolA [115 fire melee + impact, boosted A+ accuracy]
4) FireHit2 @ NeoMetoolA [115 fire melee + impact, boosted A+ accuracy]
5) Dodge

*) Drool
The NeoMetool knew the end was coming. There was no escape. Even if it hid, it was just going to get knocked into the lava, where its death would be slow and painful. But that didn't mean it couldn't leave MeleeMan a parting gift, and launched an energy bullet square into the manly Navi's chest as it was punched into oblivion.

"Ah, good! Very good! I definitely learned a thing or two from that!" The platform containing NervousMan returned to dock at the walkway, who was...wringing?...his...hands?, having no face made it a bit of a mystery as to what he was actually feeling. At least he sounded happy. "Feel free to take a quick breather if you need to, and don't forget to acquire your reward data." He motioned towards the dual chunks of data, just waiting to be decoded by a Navi. "Let me know when you two are ready to proceed."

- Left -
Canodumb2: DELETED

- Right -
Spikey2: DELETED

- Lower Level - (below Cracked terrain)
TackleFireA: DELETED
TackleFireB: DELETED

MeleeMan: 340 HP (next to where NeoMetoolA was) (possibly a bit ticked at being shot twice)
Anyis: 260 HP (where NeoMetoolB was)

Damascus: 70 HP (where Canodumb2 was)
Magna: 100 HP (2-hit shield) (GutPunch: 5 uses left) (at starting location)

RockCube: 200 HP (sitting in lava near NeoMetoolB's former position)

Upper Level: 50% Missing, 35% Normal (A series of walkways resembling a 4-paned window), 15% Cracked (a + shape in the area where the 'panes' meet)
Lower Level: 100% Lava


- MeleeMan: 800z, 16 BugFrags, 4 FXP, HiCannon BattleChip data
- Anyis: 800z, 16 BugFrags, 4 FXP, FireBomb2 BattleChip data
With the battle now complete... Well, no. Anyis had been done for a while, actually. She was just chilling (figuratively) in the far right corner of the catwalk while MeleeMan struggled with his technical difficulties. Given the distance, she couldn't see exactly what the issue was, but MeleeMan was throwing way more punches than he needed to. Factoring in the blinder of a helmet he wore, it was unlikely that MeleeMan noticed the giant spirit of blue flame Anyis had summoned in her last attack. Shame, she really wanted to show off her new powers.

As Anyis reluctantly de-summoned Cryos and walked back over towards everyone else, Magna looked down at his hand as the GutPunch armor around it dissolved into bits of data. That Rockcube he had punched didn't get anywhere NEAR the NeoMetool, and that fact was quite depressing to the metal golem. "Operator, is this the limit of my strength now...?" he queried hesitantly.

"What, that punch? Uh... I guess in respect to that, you don't have as much leverage with your legs now." theorized Mill, before pausing. "Though... Come to think of it, usually you and Anyis skip the Rockcube across the ground when you launch it. If there's just a pit, well... We just saw. So that's my bad, sorry Magna."

"Understood, Operator. I will try to improve and meet your expectations next time." replied Magna, taking it upon himself to be more able to... do the impossible, or something. To be fair, comparatively, the purple golem was a bit disadvantaged since he was the only one in that battle not teleporting all over the place. Even Damascus had her StepSword to get around in the blink of an eye. Maybe he... nah. He only just got legs the other day, after all. It was important to learn to crawl before walk... or in this case, walk before teleporting.

"Uh huh... Well, if you two are done male bonding, I think we're not done." interjected Anyis as she walked in front of her SP. "Besides, you and Damascus took out a virus each. Any fight's going to be easy if you can just subtract 2 from the enemies every time. Isn't that good enough?"

"Perhaps..." pondered Magna aloud as he looked over to his fellow SP. The two of them did dispatch the modern-era viruses rather quickly, leaving their host units able to focus fully on the revived viruses that NervousMan was researching. Strategically, it was very efficient and brought about a quick end to the first fight. Who would've guessed, SPs being able to provide good offensive support on top of defensive support? "I... am unable to reach a conclusion at present. I will consult with Unit Damascus later and reassess the matter."

"Works for me." nodded Anyis, feeling satisfied with such an outcome. That left just one more loose end to tie up... "Hey, MeleeMan! Get your bum in gear, we're all done already! Are you really going to fall behind a girl who almost died the other day, nevermind that I lost all my powers?" Well, that was a good way to tick MeleeMan off. Maybe Anyis should've just called him fat for completion's sake.
((Discovery: cannot modify sig from phone. Will do so at home later.))

Today was full of rare instances of MeleeMan sympathizing with Magna. "Stupid things get in your head... They stand perfectly still and then you miss them anyways because you're overconfident. I mean, it worked out, so it wasn't overconfidence. More completely justified confidence. Still, that's how they get you!" the big guy explained, after leaping back to join he group in an unnecessarily fiery explosion.

"Did you notice anything different about Anyis in this fight?" Rania asked, thinking and might spark some conversation between MeleeMan and his friend about her new blue fire ice monster thing.

The pugilist raised his eyebrows behind his visor, then stared stupidly at his partner. "Hey, remember, I'm trying to cut down on calling you guys buuuuh-bastards," he whispered in response.

"Not her attitude! Didn't you see anything?" hid operator moaned.

"Well... we already know about her new 36' 24' 36'... Ah, I got it!" he muttered, smiling and pressing his fist to his palm. He turned to face Anyis with a grin. "You grew your hair out!"

"... It's been that way since she changed."

"Really? Damn, guess I was distracted by all the other changes. I like it, though."

"You... like girls with longer hair?"

"Yeah, why?"

"No reason..." the operator finished, thumbing at the red bob of her hair where it hung just at the nape of her neck.

MeleeMan turned back to Anyis and shrugged. "Fall behind you? Maybe you missed my nimble, lightning-like leaps in that last fight! I'll-!"

"Waaaaait!" Rania exclaimed, then explained to her navi why a flaming tackle towards their host's platform would he a bad idea. Grudgingly, he followed her instructions and walked instead. As an afterthought, Damascus rejoined the group wordlessly with her sheath wrapped tightly around her.