Desmond's House

Anthony came home from the Science Labs, having just purchased a customizer program for his new PET. He had gotten one after begging for it all year until his parents had finally caved. He received the new PET for his birthday as well as a customized navi. Family members chipped in for vouchers and giftcards for PET extensions. He was anxious to install the program and try out this 'virus busting' he had heard and read so much about. He twiddled his fingers as his PET turned on.

"Please enter your name." The screen flashed

Anthony quickly typed in his own name, misspelling it twice in his excitement.

"Thank you. Please wait."

The form of a muscular Navi appeared on the screen and looked at Anthony with a big grin on his face. Anthony was surprised but still happy to meet his new partner. He leaned in close to the PET's mic and said, "Uhh... Hey?"

"Hehe... So you're my operator, huh?" The Navi said.

"Oh shit! It works!" Anthony said with a smile.

"I'm Brawler. Are you... Anthony?"

"Yeah! Oh, this is so cool. So like how do I jack in?" Anthony said.

The smile on the navi almost faded at the comment but barely remained as the navi seemed to be mildly amused by his operator's inexperience.

"Heh, you're kidding right?" Brawler said.

"Hahaha, yeah I'm all jokes. Ok ok, I'm gonna jack you in. Ready?"


"3, 2, 1. Jack-in!"
"Oh hey, it worked. You're at full health." Anthony said.

Brawler stretched his muscular arms and said, "Feel great. Let's go back and bust some heads."

Anthony didn't want to return to battle so quickly especially since his chip selection was so limited. He had been relying on Rageclaw so much and it wasn't all that powerful. He wanted to get some more.

"Uhhh... I'm gonna go to the chip shop first and spend some of this money." Anthony.

"Then we get to go kick some ass?" Brawler asked.

"Sure." Anthony replied.
"Okay," Anthony said to Brawler, "Ready for round two?"

"Let's go." Brawler replied confidently.

Anthony quickly aimed his PET at the computer's jack-in point and sent his navi into the digital world.
"Damnit." Brawler said.

"Okay, you're at full health. Let's go back in now." Anthony said.

"You gotta be less of a pussy about this." Brawler quipped.

"It... This is... You're my first navi. I don't feel like getting you deleted because I got too cocky." Anthony replied.

"I don't go down without a fight." Brawler said.

"I don't want you going down at all." Anthony said before jacking his navi back in.

Desmond checked over his PET, making sure his navi was all in one piece. The display showed Tennisman at full health and he appeared perfectly normal. It was enough for him to quickly grab his jacket and head for the Navi shop.
As soon as he arrived Desmond removed his jacket, now sopping wet, and dropped it in the laundry hamper. He grabbed the nearest towel and applied it on his head before resting in a chair, letting out a loud sigh of relief.

"Desmond," Tennisman said.

"Lemme guess. It stopped raining." Desmond said flatly, "Just now."

Tennisman nodded.

Desmond moved the slightly wet towel to his mouth and let out a muffled scream likely filled with expletives before putting it back on his head.

"I'm okay." He stated calmly.

Tennisman simply stared at him with his usual blank expression.

"Right, let's go see if those upgrades helped any." Desmond said, preparing to jack-in.

The navi's face didn't change but he straightened up his back and readied himself.
With Tennisman successfully extracted from ACDC Net, Desmond began to pack his bags for the Science Labs. It was close but he liked to be prepared. Perhaps the weather would be nice and he could play some tennis, practice rallying a few balls and restring his rackets outside.

As he stuffed a tennis racket into his bag, he asked, "So what did this voice say to you anyways?"

"Process upgrade version 3.4 available. Would you like to download now." Tennisman quoted in a monotone voice.

"Maybe you caught some adware while on the net?" Desmond asked, "Some trackers?"

"I do not believe so." Tennisman replied.

"This is why you should ALWAYS wear protection!" Desmond joked.

Tennisman nodded.

"Yeah, well... Off to the Science Labs, I guess." said Desmond.
A day and a half had passed since Desmond returned home from Yumland. Tennisman's victory over the enormous Metool virus seemed like a thing of the past, ready to be forgotten. A quiet peace resumed.

"This is boring." Desmond said.

Tennisman looked up from the PET screen.

Desmond moaned, "Man, let's go crush some viruses or play some tennis or SOMETHING. GAWD."

Tennisman replied, "I have been researching linking and networking on the ACDC network and it is possible to connect to various other foreign networks from home."

"Question: Des that mean we didn't actually have to go to Yumland to connect to Yumland net?" Desmond asked.

Tennisman nodded.

"Yo... What the hell." Desmond said bluntly.

Tennisman continued, "I have been testing this function and have found a link to the Science Labs."

"Let's do it!" Desmond said, "Link on!"

((Science Lab Net))
Desmond busily packed his knapsack as Tennisman gave a summary report, "The chip data collected was a Firehit1. Additionally, 400 zenny were recovered."

"Good, good..." Desmond said, seemingly detached from the conversation.

"Is there something wrong?" Tennisman asked.

Desmond perked up a little, "Hm? No! No, I just really wanna go buy something now. We finally earned enough."

"Enough for what?" Tennisman asked.

Desmond zipped up his bag and tossed it over his shoulder, "A speed upgrade!"

((Navi Shop))
"Alright, that's everything I think..." Desmond said while resting on his bed, "How do you feel?"

"All systems seem to be operating normally." Tennisman replied.

"Cool." Desmond said.

There was an odd moment of silence that passed between the two.

"SO!" Desmond said, eager to do something, "What do you think about Deuce right now?"

"He is..." Tennisman trailed off.

"A pain in the ass?" suggested Desmond.

There was no reply from the navi.

"Yeah, that's what I thought. I was thinking I could redo his program. Maybe fix it so he's more useful and less of a bum."

"This decision is up to you." Tennisman said.

"I thought you'd say something like that." Desmond said.

He hooked the PET up to his computer and opened up a programming application. He searched through Deuce's files and began to rewrite and remove certain aspects. Minutes turned into hours and soon the morning light faded into dusk.

"Desmond," Tennisman said, "It is currently 1:00 am."

"Huh? Yeah, don't worry. I won't be long. You can go offline to recharge. I'll probably be done soon." His operator replied.

Tennisman nodded and closed his eyes, entering a stand-by mode.

* * *

Tennisman awoke to the sight of his operator sleeping on the keyboard and the sun shining through the open window. On the computer screen, a program was slowly compiling at 93% and increasing.

"Desmond!" Tennisman called out, "Wake up!"

He stirred in his sleep but refused to wake. Meanwhile, the percentage rose to 94%.
Desmond yawned and pried his head off the keyboard, scratching the square impressions on his face as he did. Tennisman was online and his program had finished compiling while he slept.

"Hey! It's done!" He said.

"Exactly what were you doing last night?" Tennisman asked.

"Fixing Deuce." Desmond replied, "Anyways, it's time to meet the new and improved support program! Deuce 2.0!"

Another voice came from the PET, "It's nice to meet you."

Tennisman looked shocked, "Deuce? Where are you?"

"Inside you..." The voice said before laughing, "Haha, no I'm in your hand."

Tennisman looked down at his racket.

"Hi." Greeted the voice.

"Desmond, you turned him into a racket?" Tennisman asked.

"I rather like this form." Deuce said, "It's a little restrictive but the colours are nice."

"Ok well.... Awwwww...." Desmond trailed off into another yawn, "I wanna see him in action. Jack-in and let's go somewhere new."

Tennisman nodded and his image soon flashed away from the PET.

((SciLab Net))
Desmond was ready to greet his navi as soon as his last bits of data were recovered from the net.

"Yo." He said.

Tennisman nodded.

"You feelin' ready to go?" Desmond asked.

He could see Tennisman clutch the key data tightly and though his face showed no sign of enthusiasm, Desmond could easily tell he was anxious to set off again. His navi remained silent and nodded again.

"Whoa there, don't go all craaaaazy on me," teased Desmond, "I changed some of the chips around so don't ask me for none of those crap Doublebombs or that Shockwave anymore. They're cut. I put in a Spice, BodyBurn and that Hi-Cannon we just got."

Tennisman nodded again and added, "Acceptable."

"...Yeah that's what I thought. Well, let's do this!" Desmond said.

Making a big show of it, Desmond got up off his chair, raised his PET in the air and shouted, "JACK IN! TENNISMAN.EXE!"

((Yumland Net))
Desmond was struggling to fit his arm through one of his jacket's sleeves as he tried to balance the PET and wallet in his mouth and put on his left shoe on his right foot.

Tennisman couldn't slow him down let alone stop him. Something was on his agenda and it couldn't wait.

((Navi Shop))
Desmond returned home to find his place looking like a disaster area. He took a moment to think and realized it was entirely his fault and he had caused it as he was rushing to leave. He set down his PET on the recharger stand and began to clean up his own mess.

"Why did you want to purchase that upgrade in such a hurry?" asked Tennisman.

"Oh, yeah, well, y'know" Desmond mumbled as he picked up a fallen stack of books, "You were beatin' yourself up over not being good enough for Jadia or whatever. Thought this'd cheer you up or somethin'. Sides', it was most of the money you made so like it's not even mine! I just spent it is all."

"...Thank you." Tennisman said.

"So yeah! Let's boot that baby up and test it out!" said Desmond enthusiastically.

Tennisman nodded his head on the screen of the PET as Desmond ran over to his computer, knocking over the books yet again.

"We can pick up where we left off at Yumland though we probably should have made a bookmark before we jacked out." Desmond said.

"You mean before you jacked me out." corrected Tennisman.

"Right. Yeah." Desmond admitted sheepishly.

((Netopia Net))
Desmond left his PET in the charger, forcing Tennisman and Deuce to fight on their own. It wasn't an easy decision but he had confidence in his navi. He quickly grabbed his jacket and keys and left the house. The only thing he could do was be quick about his purchases.

"...They should be fine." Desmond said as he left.

((Navi Shop))
Desmond returned home and dropped his box of hardware and software onto his bed before checking his PET to see how Tennisman was faring without him. His navi was still alive and the critical health alert wasn't sounding so Desmond felt no rush in checking in just yet.
Desmond stretched as he got up from his chair. He wondered how long he had been sitting there as he rotated his neck and looked around his room for his windbreaker. It was getting cold out and he wanted to make this a quick errand, just in case. They had been coming up against strong opponents lately and he couldn't be too careful about how long he left his navi unattended. Grabbing his wallet and keys, Desmond made one last check around the room before leaving for the chip shop.

((Chip Shop))
Arriving back at home, Desmond could see the PET was still on and Tennisman looked like he was doing okay. Desmond was worried over nothing though it seemed like his navi was talking with someone. He dropped down his bags beside the door and closed it behind him before checking the screen for a closer look.

"Sup?" Desmond said, "I'm back."
A night of restless sleep had passed since Tennisman claimed victory over the Cybeast, Squalo. Though he had won the battle, the price he paid was steep and he had succumbed to a massive influx of data. Desmond didn't know what to do and simply decided to wait it out.

A thin red font on the PET screen read, "BeastOUT Acquisition Confirmed. Readjusting Parameters... 99%"

The program had been running non-stop all night and Desmond was anxious to see it to completion. He had figured if it was something negative, there would be no need for the long load time. He hoped it was something good. Deuce was still active to keep the netop occupied with reassurance.

"So, what do you think it is?" Desmond asked.

"This BeastOUT program?" Deuce answered back, "I did a web search and got a bunch of conflicting rumours, so I can't say for sure but most of the articles seem to point to it being something good."

Desmond perked up at the news, "Really?"

"Sure, if you can call a double-edged sword good." Deuce added.

"Oh..." Desmond sighed.

The PET made a small blip as the percentage reached 100% and began to integrate the new information. Desmond watched anxiously as the screen of his PET flickered with streams of data he recognized from the dying body of the Cybeast. When it subsided and everything looked normal again, Tennisman opened his eyes and blinked, looking around.

His first question was blunt, "Did we win?"

Desmond let out a breath of relief and smiled, "Yeah, man. You kicked that shark's ASS!"

Tennisman continued to inquire about the fight, "What happened afterwards? I remember being attacked and then... Nothing."

"The whole thing melted into this ball of numbers and then it got sucked into your chest. You blacked out and some weird 'beastout' program started to run." explained his operator to the best of his ability, "You've been down all night."

"I see." replied Tennisman.

"How do you feel? Anything weird?" Desmond asked.

Tennisman ran his hand over the emblem on his chest and shook his head, "No, I feel normal."

Still not entirely convinced, Desmond made a quick suggestion, "Uhh... Let's jack into ACDC for a test run."

Tennisman nodded and disappeared from the PET's screen.

((ACDC Rogue Net))
"Soooo... You wanna talk about it?" Desmond asked his navi awkwardly.

Tennisman was silent but Desmond recognized this only as the calm before the storm. His navi was thinking of the right words before starting something long. He really didn't want to listen but it was a necessary part of trying to help; a boring and necessary part.

To his surprise, Tennisman was brief, "I want to train myself."

Desmond raised an eyebrow at the comment and asked, "...Train yourself how? Like you wanna go lift weights or something?"

"This beastOUT, I want to know if it can be controlled." Tennisman said.

"That's an interesting concept." Deuce said, "I can't really say I was there to witness the fight, but I do remember SOMEONE not deactivating the overdrive when it kicked in..."

"HEY!" Desmond snapped with a blush of shame, "...You saw that?"

"Overdrive?" Tennisman asked curiously.

"Approximately half-way through your transformation's duration, several warnings appeared on the PET." Deuce explained, "I have a sneaking suspicion that if you had heeded the warning and returned to normal, there wouldn't have been any of those crippling after-affects."


"So would that make you incompetent or incapable? Possibly both?" provoked Deuce.

Desmond grew furious, "YOU FREAKING LITTLE-"

"Stop." Tennisman stated firmly, "If what Deuce says is true, then there may be merit to training myself in using the beastOUT properly."

"...Little rat bastard." Desmond murmured.

"This is just my guess, but what if there are long term detrimental effects?" Deuce asked with genuine concern, "Are you sure you wouldn't be more willing to look for a cure instead?"

Tennisman hadn't even considered that this might be part of a larger problem rather than a boon. He wondered if his program could be eroding away on an undetectable level. There was no point in idle speculation and he decided he needed to be sure.

"Desmond, perhaps we should visit the Science Labs to have a series of diagnostics performed." Tennisman suggested.

His operator seemed pleased at the idea, "Yeah, I think there's some stuff I wanna buy too so I was going to head there anyways. Let's go now."

With that, he plucked the PET out of the charger and left for the Science Labs.

((Navi Shop))