Clusterbuck's Net Land Featuring Buck

The net area, which could be accessed from the pool table, would look immediately familiar to any Navi or Operator which had already seen the restaurant. This was because the homepage was a nearly exact replica of the restaurant, with its cowboy motif, its rather dim lighting, the bars, the seating area, and the pool tables. There were some differences, such as walls which displayed ads for various food products and neighboring chains instead of the replica western paraphernalia of the real deal. The tops of the staircases were barred by netgates instead of rope barriers.

The netgates were attended by people who might initially be understood to be twins, but it quickly became apparent that this was a misconception. Not only the gate attendees, but every member of the restaurant staff which could be seen moving about appeared to be dressed as the restaurant's mascot character. Their sizes, shapes, skintones, and even occasionally their degree of being human-shaped varied, but each had the easily recognizable denim shorts uniform, cowboy hat, and even blond pigtails.

The booths appeared to be various sizes to accomodate various sizes of Navis. There were many Navis enjoying themselves, although less than there were patrons in the restaurant. Most seemed to be engaging in eating, chatting, and wolf-whistling, the same as the many patrons of the theater. Notably, there were many more female Navis than female patrons, and very few were engaged in cat calling, making this scene more quiet than its real life counterpart.

The pool tables were more empty, and that was where anyone jacking in from the pool tables would appear. It appeared that doing so registered the pool table to that party, as evidenced by the Navis symbols appearing on a floating display above the table.

The bar was well-visited and seemed to be where the more rowdy bunch was. In stark contrast to that rowdiness, however, was a single purple netgate. Any Navi looking at it could easily detect it had a coded password. However, reaching that door would involve getting past the gatekeeper...

The Navi was a woman in nearly the same getup as every other waitress in the bar. A few things, however, gave her a unique look. Piercing snow-blue eyes shone from beneath her hat as she peered around the restaurant. A beauty mark was visible above her thin lips, on the right side of her face. She had attractive fair skin, but was most definitely a mature woman, and seemed nearly the most out of place in her getup. Her figure was good, with a flare to the hips, but not unrealistically so. She wasn't terribly thin, but it was clear that a great deal of her body mass was toned muscle.

Perhaps the only thing that really looked right about her getup were two oversized revolvers in the holsters at her hips. They hadn't seemed so apparent in the cartoon mascot representation of her.

The woman stood there and occasionally gazed around, making few other visible gestures. The feelings one might glean from her expression were intense watchfulness, deadly killing intent, or... terrible boredom.
Phero amazingly managed to beat her partners-in-crime onto the net, appearing in a pink-purple cloud of chemicals, which she quickly waved away as she realized it might agitate other guests. She was not particularly surprised to see the waitresses walking around, but did find herself shocked to see this area populated by so many more girls than she expected. "Well, I guess it makes sense. The lonely men who inhabit a place like the upper floor of the Clusterbucket restaurant are probably the type to seek companionship from female navis," she reasoned, unintentionally shooting an invisible arrow through the hearts and self-esteem of everyone sitting inside the restaurant outside the net. She really wasn't thinking too much about the mission or her surroundings; she mostly wanted to find VenusMan and... what exactly? Why had she come here? Phero really just wanted to talk to him face to face for a bit and stretch her legs. In the best case scenario, he might have thought of some way she could help out in the mission.

The navi stood around the tables with her hands clasped together, waiting for any sign of her friend. She stood out a fair bit, as a pink-and-white navi in a metal dress amongst a sea of blond pigtails and Daisy-Duke shorts.
VenusMan beamed down in green-and-red fashion, appearing near the pool table Satou had jacked the Navi into. He took a short moment to scope the area and two things quickly came to mind for him. The first thing was that Buck and the door were easily located. His eyes lingered a few seconds in their direction while he curiously tapped the floor. "Don't think my plan will work... I'll have to improvise," he thought, still trying to piece together a plan. The second thing was that Phero was standing right by one of the pool tables. A quiet sigh slipped over his lips. "I guess it's fine to unwind a bit," he quietly said to himself and took off his helmet, replacing it with a pair of crimson sunglasses. He brushed his hand through his hair, making sure he wouldn't be stuck with helmet-hair while in the bar.

"Hey Phero!" VenusMan shouted over to the girl, making a gesture for her to come over to him, "Get over here!" He didn't really mind that she was around as seeing her face did bring a smile to his face. Exchanging e-mails was fun, but seeing her face to face was a lot more enjoyable. But thinking about seeing someone 'face to face', he realized he had no idea what LightgunMan actually looked like. But if it was like VenusMan's situation, he should appear at the same pool table. As he waited for Phero to come over and LightgunMan to follow, VenusMan just looked around casually while leaning against the pool table. He didn't really have any interest in any of the girls, other than Phero and Buck, despite their attire looking great. And he couldn't contact Satou 'cause they had to hide quietly under their own not-so-digital pool table, so all the decisions were put in his own hands. He didn't mind that thought. "I wonder if I can get a drink around here..." he pondered to himself.
No one seemed to be taking much notice of the pair as they both appeared and greeted each other. It seemed to be assumed that they would eventually get to playing pool, since they were at the pool tables, and everyone else had their own things to do. The woman by the door continued scanning the area with her head on a swivel, but didn't seem too interested in the two newcomers and paid them no extra heed.

Someone was certainly looking for them, however. With a guitar riff that sounded like an ancient cop drama, a third Navi appeared on the Net around the pool table, emerging from a pillar of blue-and-red alternating lights as though he were rising from a crouch, in a strange, almost stilted way.

The Navi wore blue armor over a red Navisuit, and stood a bit below VenusMan's height. The armor was colored in dark, reflective surfaces, which occasionally displayed what looked like LED lights. He wore a round helmet like a patrol officer might, but with dull red and blue lights flashing in the reflective surface of the visor. He had a handsome, Electopian face with a distinct chin, but his face seemed to naturally fix in a cheesy looking half smile. His hair and eyes weren't visible. The other most notable facets about him were his guns: he had been holding them even as he appeared, a solid red-colored pistol in his right hand and blue-colored pistol in his left. They attached by wires to his backpack, which looked somewhat like a miniature arcade cabinet, constantly flashing distracting blue or red light. The cabinet itself was actually a part of his armored vest. The only other noteworthy aspects of him were his boots, which had strange metallic wedges attached to the front, and his way of moving, which, as previously noted, almost looked like he was gliding from position to position.

"I've arrived on the scene! What's the situation," he asked, not putting the proper inflection on his sentence to make the sentence sound like a question. "My name's LightgunMan," he said, setting off a spasm of red-and-blue light and arcade game noises as he spoke his own name. "I hear you're going to be Player 2 for this mission! What's your name, Player 2? Just the initials is enough," he added, as though a Navi could reasonably provide its name in initials. "I'm counting on you to provide backup in this critical mission we've been given. Partners in action... sounds pretty good to me! I'll follow your lead, so please, choose a direction."

After pausing, evidently waiting for VenusMan to choose a direction, the Navi finally turned his head to acknowledge Phero. "Who's the beautiful woman with you, Player 2?" Whether VenusMan had chosen to give his name, initials, or whatever, it seemed LightgunMan intended to keep addressing him by that moniker. "You don't see women like that every day... If this keeps up, I'll get jealous of your high score!" It wasn't entirely clear what LightgunMan was saying, but he did seem to be trying to pay a compliment.

If VenusMan was looking to get a drink, which he very well might now be, the bar from the actual restaurant appeared to be almost fully replicated, and was on the wall across the room from him. In fact, it was right next to the guarded door. The bar was waited upon by two other cowgirl-attired beauties, and only had a couple of patrons at the moment.

[Note: Net World participation for Phero is currently optional, and is not required to progress with the mission. It is not, however, prohibited.]
Having spotted her partner in camaraderie, Phero eagerly obeyed his demands, skipping over with her hands crossed behind her the bell of her armored skirt. "Hello!" she responded, keeping her head low and beaming, her eyes watching his own to soak in every minute gesture and expression, out of curiosity and a thirst for bonding. "I should warn you, even though Dharma's not around, you're going to find it very difficult to bend me over!" she chuckled, thinking that she was making a light-hearted joke. As if worried that he wouldn't catch it or would otherwise be offended, she waved one hand dismissively. "I'm joking, of course!" It was hard to tell whether the warning of her stance against humping or rather bringing it up at all was the joke.

Thankfully, the two wouldn't have to dwell over that awkwardness for two long; LightgunMan showed up, bringing with him his own form of awkwardness. He was not just a third wheel, but a colorful one colored in LED lights. All of that was fascinating to Phero, who, ignorant of the idea that time spent with one friend was more intimate and meaningful than time spent with a lot of them, was happiest with as many non-hostile, non-Dharma entities around as possible. "My name is Phero!" she responded simply but proudly. "I was distinctly engineered to dispense chemical compounds in field tests, so it doesn't really surprise me if you've never met anyone like me before." The compliment was lost on her, but she was cheerful all the same.
Without realizing it, VenusMan had turned his attention away from the surroundings and stared back at Phero's eyes when she approached him. He listened to her reply to his comment of bending her over and chuckled to himself. "Maybe in private," he said, putting a hand on her head and winking to her behind his sunglasses. And it was a good thing that he had still something to cover his eyes after removing his helmet, because LightgunMan did pride to having 'Light' in his name. His entrance and introductions were akin to a rave party, but the temptation to dance passionately with beautiful women was nowhere to be found. Just the feeling of 'I should've expected this'. VenusMan tilted his head backwards in thought, thinking on his 'initials'. "How can I mess with this guy..." chimed through his thoughts. "Hello... Player 1," VenusMan eventually said to his companion, "I guess you have no need for my name. My initials are LSD." He simply smiled after 'introducing' himself. "And this here," he continued as LightgunMan asked about Phero, "Is my flower."

He let LightgunMan and Phero have their short moment of introductions and glanced in the direction of Buck. "How do we get past that door..." he thought, "I'm sure I can use Lightgun somehow. This all is a game to him anyway. A game... Of course, just a game." Eventually VenusMan chuckled to himself. "High score you say, huh..." VenusMan started when he turned his eyes back to LightgunMan, "Of course." He pushed himself away from the pool table and walked over to Phero, putting an arm around her waist and pulling her close to him. "Even with just Phero, I easily can top the charts," he continued, with a grin, "And I haven't invited my entire garden. But... You're not thinking of beating my score, are you?" He tilted his head over to Phero with a sly smile, trying to tempt LightgunMan into a challenge. "You don't look like you have any... Points. Player 1." But to keep up with the game, VenusMan 'suddenly' looked up and turned his eyes towards Buck. "But if you want to top my score... That girl," he said while nudging in Buck's direction, "You want to win? She's definitely your ticket."

"But..." VenusMan then continued and loosened his grip on Phero, "Why should I let you win..." Finally releasing Phero, VenusMan started walking over to Buck, but slowly enough for LightgunMan to cut in as 'Player 1'. "My initials would look great on number 1."
"Look out!" LightgunMan responded to Phero, recoiling suddenly as if actually dodging an attack. "That charm is deadly! I've never seen anything this amazing before...!" The Navi trailed off, looking slack-jawed as though he really were amazed.

His attention quickly perked back to VenusMan as soon as the words "high score" were uttered. "High score? A new record!" the Navi exclaimed in a meaningless echo, his lights flashing in an alternating strobe pattern. He cooled it down, however, as VenusMan made it more apparent that he was issuing a challenge. "You don't know who you're dealing with. In my extra time, I collect bonus points and step on the pedal to the secret level. I can't stop now! Reload and... she's burning up!" The Navi's inflection changed from cool and confident to alarmed and high-pitched at the drop of a hat, so it was impossible to tell exactly what he was trying to get at.

LightgunMan turned to the door guard when VenusMan indicated her, then turned back, crossing his arms. "Interesting. That one looks like a dangerous enemy! But... I'm Player 1. I can't stop now!" the Navi repeated, looking fired up. Notably, his voice sounded exactly the same as when he'd uttered the words moments ago. "Watch me shoot off screen to pick it up."

The Navi, goaded exactly as VenusMan had surely hoped, performed a strange, glidey run that brought him directly in front of his target. "Don't shoot!" the Navi cried, throwing his hands in the air and giving his lights a flash. "I'm here to save you!"

There are many reactions one might have expected from the gatekeeper, but the one offered was disappointing: no reaction at all. She spared LightgunMan a glance, but turned back to focusing her attention on... ostensibly, nothing whatsoever, just scanning her eyes back and forth across the area.

"Continue? I can't stop now!" LightgunMan exclaimed to himself. "That charm is deadly! I've never seen anything this amazing before...!"

The Navi finally sighed and looked up. "I'm sorry, I'm busy right now. Can I help you with something?" Surprisingly or unsurprisingly, the Navi didn't have the voice one would expect of a cowgirl at all. Instead, it was an irritated grumble with a Sharo dialect.

"Only you can save me! If you want me... come and get me!" The Navi shouted, before whipping out his red gun out in front of him in what appeared to be one of his offbeat action poses.

This proved to have been a very unwise move, as within seconds, the cowgirl had propelled herself from the wall and chicken-winged the poor sap's arm behind his back, looking just a hair away from breaking it. She remained silent, although her breathing had picked up a bit.

"Game Over! Don't shoot! Don't shoot civilians! Game Over! Game Over!" the Navi cried helplessly, dropping his guns and stamping his feet against the floor.

VenusMan hadn't yet been identified (or menaced, for that matter) so it was probably up to him whether or not he wanted to step forward and be identified with Ted's Navi.
"LSD? So 'VenusMan' is an alias, then?" Phero asked, turning her head to face her ally. "What could LSD stand for though? I'll do a search of my pre-programmed data library... Ah! Lysergic acid diethylamide." Nobody had much reason to pay attention to her discovery, and so they didn't; VenusMan soldiered on with proving his charming skills and also the extent to which he'd already charmed Phero, pulling her close with a possessive hand at her slender waist. She turned her pink eyes to VenusMan with a surprised expression and a look of curiosity; he'd been pretty shy the last time she'd met him, after all. Now he was acting a bit more like she remembered Cheshire acting; namely, with a lot of propensity for keeping his hand close to her butt. She decided to return the gesture, clasping one hand onto VenusMan's waist near his buttocks, which would undoubtedly look odd to anyone who noticed. She'd abstain from trying to squeeze his butt, which she remembered her catty friend had enjoyed, but she also remembered that making Cheshire sort of aroused, and she figured it would be awkward if VenusMan got that way in public.

Phero smiled, enjoying the skinship, but she was disturbed when she heard VenusMan talk about Buck, who he made sound like an ideal woman, the kind who might "out-score" her. She didn't see how that was possible. After all, hadn't Dharma specifically designed her on a hundred-point plan for inducing love? But she supposed she could understand why VenusMan might say that. He might have a preference for blondes. He might like... scary-looking woman. Phero shuddered a bit, feeling a bit frightened just looking at the cowgirl security guard. She wasn't sure why, but it seemed that LightGunMan was being goaded into picking up the scary woman. Phero thought it seemed fun; after all, the more non-Dharma entities, the better. "'I can't stop now!'" she giggled along with LightGunMan, echoing what she now considered to be his catchphrase.

When LightGunMan engaged Buck, however, the woman didn't turn out to be any more friendly or inviting than Phero had initially anticipated. Upon seeing the stranger's gun, she whipped into action, looking as though she was going to snap LightGunMan's arm off. Phero panicked and broke away from VenusMan, running over to Buck and her new companion as quickly as she could. "Wait! He's just a harmless, goofy guy!" Phero cried out, stopping a short distance away from the two. She kind of wanted to move in to separate them, but... she had a bad image of raising her hand to reveal one of her perfume sprayers, only to have the connected arm wrapped around behind her and snapped out of its socket. It wouldn't really benefit anyone if that happened. The guard lady just needed time to understand that they were both harmless. "Really, he's just funny! From what I've seen, he just makes a lot of flashy lights and carries toy guns around! There's no reason to hurt him!" she exclaimed, possibly damaging LightGunMan's street cred in the process. "My name is Phero, by the way. Who are you?" she asked, picking the most awkward possible time for introductions.

Hopefully, all of her distractions might give VenusMan an opening to do what he needed to do on the mission as well.


Before Phero had an opportunity to assist VenusMan or LightGunMan any further, she was jacked out of the net by surprise from her operator's side, leaving the two to deal with the over-muscled bar girl by themselves.

((Jacking out))