Antony Georgopoulos is the operator of a Bloodhounds navi known as PantheonMan, the powerful Rank 1 of the Bloodhounds and one of their most active advertisers. On the surface, Antony's appearance and lifestyle are those of an ordinary college-goer: his look is preppy and outgoing. In reality, however, he's a willing criminal who enjoys the frivolous brutality of his navi.
Driving his father's hand-me-down brown flatbed, Antony is headed for the residence of Wakana Fujimoto, the young operator of the Bloodhounds' Rank 6. A personal request was sent to him over e-mail and he is now all too eager to go out and resolve the issue with his usual pep and enthusiasm.
PantheonMan could not help but feel jealous at his operator's opportunity. Thus far, the navi had been wholly unsuccessful in wooing over the desirable FireYaku, despite his charm and efforts. In contrast, Antony, a shrimpy and springy-haired guy who always seemed to wear the wrong color of polo shirt, was getting to meet that navi's operator. PantheonMan could not help but fantasize that the operator was as attractive as the navi. "Do you know why she's called you? It seems like it would have been easier for Yaku to meet me at my homepage. I'd relish the opportunity to see her at my temple... ha ha," he laughed, rubbing his cleft chin thoughtfully.
Antony fixed up his shirt in the mirror (the shirt was as dreadfully bright green as PantheonMan would expect), smiling at everyone who could see him. His eyes were filled with glee behind his dark, fratty shades. "Hey, chillax. You're not the only big man in the mafia, right? She obviously wants a little lovin' from ol' Antonio, and can you blame her? I'm the operator of the rank 1 navi, right?" he laughed, grinning from ear to ear.
"Ha ha ha! That's some healthy optimism," PantheonMan laughed heartily, enjoying his operator's mood and releasing his jealousy. "Be careful, other Bloodhound operators may be just as beastly as their navis. You never know, this Wakana might be a powerful, angry woman or even a man. Do you know much about traditional Electopian names?"
Shrugging, Antony took his hands off the wheel to pop open a tab of gum and stick it into his mouth. Chewing and grinning cheekily, he looked down at his navi's PET, sitting on the seat next to him. "Guess we'll see."
The sunlight beamed down onto Antony's head as he stepped out from the car, looking right and left to take in the scenery of the Fujimoto residence. A huge staircase led up to something like a shrine; drums surrounded each side, giving it an impressive sense of grandeur. Further in, he could hear somebody beating a drum... "Seems pretty warm for that, he thought, wiping sweat off of his forehead and missing the blast of his AC.
"I admire a woman willing to come out in weather like this for some physical activity. Reminds me of Bull a bit. Of course, now that I've said that, he'll probably turn out to be a man, ha ha ha ha!" Antony's navi laughed.
Grunting, the operator dismissed the comment, thinking it sort of annoying with the heat he was braving to meet the girl in person. No offense to Bullrun, but she was not the sort of woman he was hoping to hook up with. "Oh ye Gods, now these stairs! This must be some kind of method to keep intruders out," he muttered, grabbing on to the stone side rails and making his way slowly up.
Finally reaching the top, Antony was drenched in sweat. The drumming was still continuing, to his amazement, and the sound was now a constant, loud reverberation in his ears. "Hey, I respect traditions and whatever, but sheesh! This is not something you should do when you're expecting a very important guest!" he huffed, nearly collapsing as his hand missed the stone rail.
"Seems navis aren't the only ones who need to keep in shape to be part of the Mafia," his navi chuckled dryly.
Knocking on the door desperately, Antony anticipated his journey's end. The drum did not cease beating, however, and two huge, muscled, bald men answered the door. By the looks of them, they may have been identical twins. Each stared fiercely down into Antony's eyes (Antony himself was over six feet tall) and did not speak. "Wakana... Fujimoto..." he gasped out, afraid to speak. Turning and nodding at one another for approval, the two men each stepped to the side. Antony grinned sheepishly, moving forward. As soon as he did, one of the brothers stepped to his side to accompany him.
The interior of the temple was richly decorated with... drums. Drums drums drums. Antony had a hard time imagining that anyone could need that many, even for a collection. Following the bald man slowly, he was led into the courtyard again, much to his chagrin. He had been thankful to get out of the heat and now he was being ushered right back into it. Quickly, he attempted to locate the source of the drumming and ask them (as politely as possible) to stop.
What he found was, surprisingly, not a hulking man at all. Instead, the source of the noise was a single drummer, a very short and tan girl with dark hair. Her lean body was covered in sweat but not a lot else, as all she'd elected to wear was a red, open jacket with a chest wrap beneath and a short-clothed white fundoshi on the bottom. All in all, he felt it had been worth the trip up and was glad that his image of a shrine full of burly men was dispelled. "W-Why hello!" he called out in surprise, waving one hand.
The girl shrieked with surprising girlishness, pointing one drum stick towards the house. Not knowing what to do but feeling the strong grip of the bald man pulling him, Antony found himself being wrestled back indoors. The two bald men were up in arms, apparently equally unsure about what had caused the commotion. The girl quickly entered the room, sliding open the door noisily. She had now tied her tunic with a thick rope and had slipped into matching red shorts. She was still, however, covered in sweat and looking very flustered. "Brothers! You should not have brought our guest out into the yard while I was practicing. He and I are equally disgraced!"
The two men bowed, then backed up, keeping their heads lowered repentantly. Antony was baffled, seeing the two so subservient to a single young woman, but he would take luck where he could get it. He figured he'd better show some respect too and thus bowed. "I'm sorry! I never would have come out if I knew you weren't dressed!" he insisted, although he'd been happy for the eyeful.
"I was dressed! That is nothing more than a garb that you wear when you play taiko!" she explained, looking more red-faced now.
"Okay, okay!" he babbled, backing up. "'Nothing more' is right," he thought to himself cheerfully, unable to suppress a grin. "Okay, well, I understand you're probably FireYaku's op and you requested that I come here. Wuzzup?" he asked comfortably, taking a more natural sitting position instead of kneeling.
"As per the GNA's new arrangements, we must now initiate new recruits. As one of the ranked officers, it is likely FireYaku will be called upon to handle some of these entries. I'd like any advice you can offer on the matter. I understand your navi is a natural leader, the type who takes pleasure in initiations, so I thought you might have some experience," she explained very formally.
Antony was a little depressed that the invite had been more over their navis than for him, but he figured he'd come this far and ought to offer some advice. "Sure thing," he said with a sigh, smiling and moving in closer. "But I feel like he'd like to offer some of that himself."
PantheonMan's face appeared on the monitor of Antony's PET, grinning charismatically. "Hello, beautiful miss Fujimoto. I'll impart to you everything that I know."
Antony drove home with a lot on his mind. The trip hadn't gone quite as he'd expected, but he'd set his eyes on a lovely spectacle that he wouldn't mind setting eyes upon again in the future. "Maaan, I'm not into buff chicks like you, but the hot-blooded types... I can get behind those, if you know what I mean," he laughed, pushing his foot down harder on the pedal. "Hey, you and me ought to make a little bet. I'll bet I can get Wakana faster than you can get FireYaku," he said with a serious smile.
The navi's eyebrows rose; he couldn't help surpressing a laugh and clutched his head as his neck snapped back. "What, are you serious?! Name the stakes!" he managed through the laughter.
"Just a gentleman's wager, bro," Antony snickered, giving a toothy and satisfied grin.