Complaining about stuff.

As it happened, Duke had been sitting in and operating from the colosseum lobby ever since the end of the tournament. Even after finishing the rather...taxing...mission and receiving his promised SP base, he had stayed there a few more hours, reassembling the gathered remains of a deleted navi onto the base.

"May I ask...why exactly are you rebuilding her like this?" Pianissimo had asked, to which Duke had responded "Because there's not enough data left to recreate the navi herself. A support program is all I can manage with these remains."

Though he suspected this wasn't what Pianissimo had meant by asking, he didn't answer any further and simply continued working.

Once he was finally done, he set the program to compile and stood up, holstering the PET. "Watch that while it compiles," he told his navi. "Make sure nothing breaks. I have a bone to pick with the staff here about that missing sword."

Walking up to the front desk, he signaled to the receptionist.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

"Er, yes. I would like to make a complaint," Duke said. "My navi entered the ONB tournament here with a weapon the staff claimed he wouldn't be allowed to use. But apparently he didn't get it back after the final round. What happened?"
"Allow me to check our records. One moment sir." The receptionist typed a few commands into her console, and a green holographic screen popped up in the space beside her. It was currently blank, however. "Yes sir, you would be Duke Rigel, and your Navigator is registered as Pianissimo." She looked up from her console. "Is that correct?"
"Yes, that's right," Duke said.
An image of the sword appeared in the holographic view screen. Next to it, a stock image of Pianissimo appeared. "I'm sorry, Mr. Rigel, but our records show your Navigator, Pianissimo.EXE, has already checked in and retrieved the weapon via the Colosseum Intranetwork." The receptionist looked perplexed.
"Wait, what?"

Duke raised an eyebrow at the receptionist, then pulled his PET from its holster. Briefly making note of the 'Compile Successful! Your Support Program is ready to use' message, he addressed his navi. "Did you-"

"I did no such thing."
"One moment please." The receptionist typed in a few commands, and the images on the holographic view pane vanished. "Here is a record of the retrieval transaction." A moment later, and the screen displayed an isometric view of a reception counter inside the colosseum network. The counter was staffed by many Navis, but wasn't especially busy. After a few seconds, a shadowed silhouette of Pianissimo walked into view and began talking with the blue and green colosseum staff Navi behind the counter. The two spoke for a moment or two until the staff Navi nodded, turned around, and walked out of the picture. He returned a moment later carrying the sword Pianissimo had been forced to hand over for safe keeping, and handed it to the Pianissimo shown in the video. The two spoke for a moment or two more before the shadow form of Pianissimo shrugged the sword into a carying sheath upon his back, turned, and walked away. The video ended at that point.
"That...never happened," Duke said. "Wait..." After the video had ended, Duke had to note that the silhouetted figure in the video was much less detailed than Pianissimo's actual armor. It could have been a bad recording, but... "Could you play that again?"

"I don't have an actual sheath for that thing yet," Pianissimo noted, apparently having a better eye for minor details. A holographic projection of the navi appeared over the PET, looking at Duke. He didn't say anything, but he was clearly wondering what Duke thought.

"Could be that navi from the second round," Duke thought aloud. "Mirage or whatever her name was."
The receptionist nodded, and complied with Duke's request to replay the video. Sure enough, the Navi in the video had a sheath large enough to accommodate the old sword strapped to its back from the time it walked into view. It also wore a sheathed katana at its side, strapped to its waist, that looked roughly the same as the one Pianissimo used. Someone had gone to a lot of trouble to copy Pianissimo's likeness. The only other disparity was the lack of color definition. The image was entirely crafted from the very bottom of the gray scale, with patches of varying shades of darker grays replacing the other colors. To any other onlooker, it was just Pianissimo with a shadow chip active.

The receptionist stood there quietly while Duke speculated aloud, but eventually offered: "Mirage and her Operator were escorted off the premises by staff following their disqualification. I don't have any more details. Would you like to speak to Security or Management?"
"Who else knew Pianissimo had that, though..." Duke mused aloud as the receptionist countered his theory and asked if he'd like to speak to Security. "Uhh, yes, that would be nice."
"One moment please." The receptionist pressed a quick series of maybe three keys, then said: "They will be with you shortly, Mr. Rigel. You may have a seat at any of the chairs or benches in the lobby while you wait, if you prefer, or is there anything else I can help you with in the meantime?"
"No thanks," Duke responded, walking back to his seat and, well, sitting.

"Well, that image definitely looked like what I saw of Mirage's shapeshifting," Pianissimo said. "Assuming she can do more than turn into Void, of course."
Duke nodded in agreement. "But if security threw her out, that rules that out."
"And yet somehow she got in without registering in the first place. She could have done it again."

"Who else knows about that thing?"
"The cleric we got roped into helping, and whoever survived of the group she was fighting. But she was deleted and I get the feeling the other guys were too."
"She could have EJO'd. As for other guys...what about that group Havoc was with? The black armored guys. They were there with a bigass flying fortress."
"If they knew we were listening in, that thing would have vaporized us. And if the cleric navi EJO'd, how would she know I picked up her sword rather than someone else there?" Pianissimo responded, countering both points. "Which just leaves Voltman, who wouldn't have known that thing was anything special."
A few minutes after having been told to wait for a Security representative to arrive, and a vaguely familiar Netopian security man walked up to him. When the man was close enough, he greeted duke with an oddly hollow sounding accent in his voice. "Good aftahnoon, Mr. Rigel. I am Leonard Korrigan, a member of Colosseum Security." The large Netopian man offered Duke a handshake as he introduced himself. "Whot can I do for you?"
Duke didn't respond to Pianissimo's comment about Voltman as the security representative arrived and introduced himself. He accepted the handshake, then said "Yes, I'm here about a weapon my navi was unable to use in the tournament. According to your records it was already picked up, but we never did."
((For the record, Leonard has a Dominican accent.))

Leonard shook hands with a firm, but metered grip. He released his grip and clasped his hands behind hsi back before speaking. "Ah yes, tha sword. A beautifolly rendered piece. Almost liek a reploca of some weapon from tha past." He brought his hands back around, and tapped a few keys on the PET he wore on his forearm. "Allow me to bring mahself up to speed." Leonard then stood there for the next several minutes while looking into his PET's display and occasionally tapping a key or two here and there. After a good ten or so minutes, he looked up from his pet, and spoke again. "Well, now. From all accounts, it really does look liek Pianissimo came in to pick up tha blade. Howevah, I do find it straange that he would choose to show up looking as he did, and tha way that he did."

Leonard tapped a few more keys on his PET, and an image of an internetwork gateway appeared in a small holographic window between him and Duke. The gateway itself looked like a ring with a portal filling the space within. As the video began to play, the Netopian man narrated helpfully. "This here is tha net gateway to Electown." A every so often, a beam of light would shoot through the open portal. The man paused the video and highlighted one of three beams interacting with the gateway. It was the one entering the portal. "That was your Navi." He resumed the video, and fast forwarded roughly 7 minutes, if the time stamp in the upper right corner was accurate that is. The video resumed normal speed, and about 12 seconds later, the shadowy doppleganger of Pianissimo stepped through the portal. "And this... Is also your Navi?"
Duke watched the second video, nodding at Pianissimo's departure from the NetSquare with the Bird God. Okay, that part definitely happened he thought as the video returned to real time. Twelve seconds passed, and...Pianissimo reappeared?

"Unless that statue somehow warped time to the point where that entire trip over Electown somehow took less than twelve seconds, no."

"Of course it's not me. I jacked out after the mission," Pianissimo added. And of course, for the amount of time they had spent flying, there was no way he would have walked back.
Leonard nodded. "If that isn't your Navi, then let us find out whose etwas." The man started punching keys on his PET, and the image vanished to be replaced by a list of some sort. A few more key punches, and a light green outline box scrolled down the list at high speed. It occasionally blinked, and displayed the contents of the entry it had blinked on in a second window. By the time the program had finished running, there were 11 names on that list, and Pianissimo was one of them. The security man frowned, and pressed a few more buttons, which cut the list down further. A few more rounds of this, and Leonard sighed. The list had long ago settled on 6 names, and didn't appear to decrease any further. "Well now. I've narrowed it down ta ah few Navis. We have Voltman, Mirage, RedRidingHood, and Void. They are tha only Navis with recorded interaction with your own. HoloBeta also appears here, but thar is no record of prior interaction with your Navi." Leonard did not mention the sixth name, making it more than likely Pianissimo.
"We never actually met Void, that was just Mirage impersonating him. Unless I missed something," Duke corrected. He made a note on his PET that Mirage was still the most likely suspect, even if she hadn't known about the sword at the time.

He noticed the unread sixth name and asked "Is there anyone else?"

"You know that's just going to be my name, right?" Pianissimo remarked.

Duke shrugged. "Might as well. But in that case, what exactly is that list of?"
"Yes, my apologies. Our records are off thanks to her." Leonard said as he punched in a series of commands. He kept punching in commands, but responded to Duke's questions as he did so. "No. Tha last entry is Pianissimo." And a few seconds later: "It is a list of Navis potentially capable of stealing the sword. It is far from perfect, since it is just a simple search of sorts with filters applied." The man smiled at something he saw on his PET screen. "Well now. I think this might interest you."

As Leonard punch a few keys, the holographic screen refreshed and displayed a public BBS message: BBS
Duke nodded in response, then posted a quick reply to the BBS. "I don't suppose I could get a copy of the video data, could I?" he asked.
"No problam." Leonard said as he took a flash card out of his pocket, and inserted it into his PET. A few seconds later, and he took the card back out and handed it to Duke. "I don't have any more info for you at tha moment. If you come back in a few hours, I may be able to help you further."