Springs have sprung!

"Bleck!" Sabrina exited the MetroLine station, but was greeted with an unmistakable smell. "I didn't know there was a zoo here, too! They're neat and all, but I came for an onsen, and that's what we're going to do!"


And so, the operator took a short walk, and arrived at her destination; the public onsen. "Bingo!...Ah, shoot!"


"I got so caught up in getting in the onsen, I overlooked the fact my swimsuit's back home!"

"Oh no! But, I did that search on onsens, and I have good and bad news!"

"Really? Well, give me the bad news first, so you can cheer me up with the good news."

"Actually, it's the same thing! You see, traditionally, you don't wear swimsuits in an onsen!"

"...Then what DO you wear?"

"Nothing at all!"

"...What?! Nothing?! That's like taking a bath with total strangers! Oh, those crazy Electopians..."

"So, are you going to get in?"

"...Nah, not right now..." In her slumped depression, Sabrina noticed something on the wall. "...Huh? Hey, I could jack in here! Blasting viruses into soaked nothingness oughta cheer me up some! Ready, SplashMan?"

"Ready when you are!"

"Good! Let's do it! Jack in! SplashMan, Execute!"

(to the Yoka Net!)
"Whew! That was really close! Are you okay?"

"Yeah...I just need a few minutes to recover my HP..." SplashMan already seemed to be a bit better, though he was forgetting to mention something...

"You know you're holding what we got from that battle right now, don't you?"

"Oh, right! I'll process it! ......Nope, no chip data. Lots of cash, though!"

"Doesn't surprise me. We'll be ready for something like that next time, though!"

"Yep! And I'm all ready now, too! Let's get back in there, and show those viruses who's boss!" SplashMan made a fist, and held it up for all to see...all two of them.

"Yeah, let's do it!" Sabrina aimed her PET at the jack-in port once again. "Jack in! SplashMan, Execute!"

(back to Yoka Net)
"There, you're back!" As soon as her Navi returned, Sabrina placed her PET in its case on her hip, then began a nice stroll. "Well, I didn't get to do any hot springs soaking, but at least we'll be able to get that Speed Upgrade, so we can take viruses out faster!"

"Works for me! So, where do we get it?"

"SciLab has a Navi shop. We can get one there!"

"SciLab? Oh yeah, that place! We were there before once, weren't we?"

"Yeah, but, I dunno...I like busting here more. It's more relaxed, you know?"

"Speak for yourself! The viruses are harder here than there..."

"Hey, we can handle them! And here we can actually get Aqua chips for you!"

"I guess...so when are we going to SciLab!"

"Let's see...about a few seconds ago." At this point, Sabrina was sitting down inside a MetroLine car. "I do move while I'm talking to you, ya know."

(off to SciLab)
"Welcome back!" With a twirl of her finger, Sabrina placed her PET back in its usual holster at her side. "You know, you were really brave when you fought those giant Lark. You were shaking like a leaf, but you still had the guts to fight them!"

"Well, I had to! They were gonna destroy that village!"

"I know! You were awesome out there, and I'm proud of you! And now, we're gonna go make sure you can take more of those huge WideShots!"

"We are?"

"Yep!" She started walking along, in order to reach Yoka's Metroline station, and subsequently make her way for the place that would let her do that; a certain little shop in SciLab...

(to SciLab!)
"Ahh...this is great...!" Finally, a chance for her to just sit back and chill...though it was hard to be cold when one was up to their neck in a hot spring. "I can't believe Dad got me into an inn this fancy!"

"Yeah...so, you're checked in and everything, right?" A hologram of a screen suddenly appeared in front of Sabrina, displaying a lovely picture of her Navi. "And you unpacked and stuff before you jumped in there?"

"Well, duh. I mean, who do you think I am? My brother?"

"Just checking!" SplashMan looked around, noticing the lack of other people in the spring. "I guess people don't usually come here this time of day, huh?"

"Yep...so it's perfect time to jack in and do stuff while I'm in here!"

"Huh?! You're almost completely in water...how can you operate me while you're in there?"

"Oh, this is one of those high tech holograms. I've got images of all our chips to the side, and if I want to use one, I can just drag it over to your screen, and it'll be just like I slotted it in! So we can bust all we want, and I don't have to get out once!"

"Well, if you say so! Though...I can still jack out if I need to, right?"

"Yep, that works like it always does."

"You really know how this works...how long was I asleep?"

"Very funny. Anyway, jack in whenever you want. I'm not really in a rush to do it, myself, but-"

"Jack in! SplashMan, Execute!" While that line would ordinarily not turn any heads, it was notable fofr the simple reason that it came from the Navi...

(to Yoka Net!)
"Ahh, man! I wish I could sleep in that hot spring!" At exactly 10:31 Electopian time, Sabrina fell back onto the bed in her room, and sighed at the fact she was lying on a bed in her pajamas, instead of soaking in the hot springs in a bathing suit. "Well, tomorrow's gonna be quite a day, huh SplashMan? We'll finally get to see how much all our training's paid off so far! I wonder if they'll show it on TV...?"

"TV?! I think I just got even more nervous about it..." Inside her PET on the nightstand, SplashMan couldn't help but shiver at the extra pressure a TV camera would add. "If I had actual nerves, they'd be wracked if I had to fight in front of a whole country..."

"Don't worry, it's not like we're going to have a ton of expectations on us or anything. I mean, this is Electopia, and we're not Electopian. So there's no pressure to win for the hometown fans!"

"I guess..."

"Well, unless this tournament gets internationally broadcasted. Then we'd have to try and win for Netopia!"


"Wonder if Mom would see us? And Dad and Brandon too, but who knows where they are right now..."

"...Can we end this conversation? I don't want to think about the tournament until tomorrow..."

"No prob! Hmm...we've got a lot of cash, so we could probaly upgrade you a bit over at that Navi shop in SciLab before we get serious. That a problem?"

"Of course not! I'm just wondering what you've got in mind..."

"You'll see!"

"...That's not very reassuring..."

"Well, it should be!" By now, Sabrina had made her way under the covers of the bed in a sitting up position, and grabbed a book that was next to her PET. The title read, "Navi Customization for Dummies". She read it for a little while, until she grew tired, which she expressed with a loud yawn. "Ahh...well, now I know how to do that...SplashMan, you still awake?"

No response.

"Guess not...and I'm pretty tired myself...I'll do that tomorrow morning before he wakes up. Bet he'll be surprised at it, too!" And with thoughts of the look of surprise on his face, she became tired to the point where she fell asleep...


"Morning, SplashMan!" At last, the day had come. However, Sabrina had actually been up for quite some time, engaging in such important tasks as seizing and consuming an inn provided breakfast. "...Aren't you awake yet?!"

"Huh...?" Well, that wasn't the best way he had ever had sleep mode disabled. "Oh, morning, Sabrina!"

"So, how are you feeling?"

"If I had a gut, it'd be in my throat..."

"I told you not to worry! And by the way...does anything feel...different?"

"Different? Not really..."

"Are you sure?"

"What are you talking about? ...Ahh!" And suddenly, it all made sense. SplashMan looked behind him, but instead found one of his water cannons interfering with his view. "What happened to my cannons?!"

"Well, you always have to bend over and stuff to use your own attacks...so I figured I'd change it so you wouldn't have to do that anymore! What do you think? You can change the angle they're pointed at, too!"

"Well, I..." After a few moments, he managed to get them to point straight ahead, over his shoulders. "Hey, I got it to work!" A few more moments passed, and their angle went from 0 degrees to 90 degrees. "It's not so bad once you get used to it! But I gotta ask...who'd you get to do this?"

"No one! I did it myself!"

"Heh...but really, who did it?"

"I told you, I did!" Sabrina whipped out "Navi Customization for Dummies" and presented it to her Navi. "See? I got this at the airport back in Netopia, and I've been reading it in case something came up!"

"Wow...nice! You've really gotten into this lately, haven't you?"

"Hey, it's fun! And I don't really want to look like a tourist, either!"

"Do what you gotta do!" SplashMan looked around, before sighing. "Well, I guess the tournament's calling..."

"Nah, not yet! We've still got a little time to burn, and I want to get some upgrades for you! Didn't we already discuss this last night?"

"...Oh yeah, I forgot about that..."

The young woman removed the PET from its stand, and placed it into its holster. "Well, we've got time, but not that much...so I guess we'll head over now!" And so, with her plans finalized, Sabrina left her room, the inn, and Yoka, and headed for SciLab via the Metroline.

(to SciLab!)
"So...tired..." Sabrina stumbled into her room at the inn, and flopped onto the bed. "What time is it...3:05 AM. Ugh..."

"I thought you slept in the plane?"

"Sleep?! Did you not notice the plane was shaking the entire time?"

"Oh, right...it didn't affect me much, obviously. I guess you're calling it a night, then?"

"...I can pretty much call it a morning now..." The girl flipped over to be face up, and closed her eyes. "But at any rate, I'm going to sleep now. Night, SplashM-er, SplashLady..." Around 5 seconds later, the sound of light snoring could be heard.




"WAKE UP!!!"

"Eh?!" Sabrina nearly fell off her bed as she jolted awake. "...Oh, it's you." She pulled out her PET and looked at the Navi inside of it. "I'm not used to that voice waking me up..."

"Well, it doesn't do a good job, because I've been trying to wake you up for the last 30 minutes!"

"Really? Sorry...what time is it, anyway?"

"11:01 AM, Electopian time."

"11:01? Which means...I've lost out on the free inn breakfast. Great. Oh well, guess I'll just grab lunch or something before we get started training."

"Yeah, but before that...maybe you should shower or something?"

"Shower? Why would I-" Memories of the previous day suddenly flooded into the girl's mind. "Oh, that's right! I came in and went right to sleep!" She looked down, to see a pair of blue boots. "I didn't even take my boots off first..."

"Well, get to it, then!"

"Yeah, yeah..." Sabrina dug through her suitcase for a change of clothes, then made her way for the bathroom, in order to partake in the miracle that was indoor plumbing.

"......Perfect! Now's my chance!" SplashLady brought up a certain BBS in front of her, and typed and sent a message for it. "Not having a SP really hurt us yesterday...and there's one easy way to get one! Not to mention the mission'll be good training! A win-win!"


And, after some waiting and replying, the mission had been accepted and received. And of course, that was the moment that Sabrina came out, looking...exactly the same before, aside from having slightly wet hair and lacking her usual ponytail. "Much better! So, SplashLady! Where do you wanna go for training?"

"Well, I was wondering that, too. And then it hit me. I think a big reason why we lost yesterday was because we didn't have a SP to help out. And missions are a great way to train. So I signed us up for a SP mission!"

"Oh, cool. What is it?"

"The GNA received a SOS message from an uncharted part of Yoka Area. Our job is to check it out!"

"Sweet, we don't have to go anywhere! ...Wait, 'uncharted part of Yoka Area'? You don't mean..."

"Yeah, the ocean-y part we reached once. Oh, we got two things to help us out. First up, we got a NCP that can summon a vehicle for me. It speeds things up, but it also makes viruses more likely to spot us. And second, we got the SOS message...though they couldn't translate all of it. I'll put it up on the PET!" A cryptic message suddenly appeared on the screen...cryptic, and full of asterisks signaling undetermined letters.

"'"Oc***", "Vil****e", "Pe**eful v****", "***ault", "BLARGH"'..." Sabrina read it out loud, trying to think of what it might mean. It took a couple of minutes, but..."Ah, I bet I know what most of that is. Mind making a copy of that message?"

"Sure!" And so it was done. "Here's the copy. Edit it as you see fit!"

That's just what she did. "'"Ocean", "Village", "Peaceful virus", "***ault", "BLARGH"'. All that would match what we saw last time! I dunno what that one word is, though..." She took a look at it for a moment, before deciding not to stress over something she really didn't know. "But that last word..."

"Yeah, they said to ignore it, since they didn't think there was anything to it."

"BLARGH...nah, I'm thinking too much." Shaking her head, and getting a face full of hair for it, Sabrina put her PET in her holster, as she grabbed a nearby hairband and acquired her usual ponytail. "Hmm...we can jack in anywhere we want. But I don't want to stay in this room, and I don't feel like soaking in the hot springs right now...ah, I know!"


About 15 minutes later, she was in a beach chair, next to the inn's pool. It was a little cool for swimming, but there were still a few people doing it anyway. What was wrong with people? "Okay, this'll work! I could probably use a little tan, anyway!"

"Well, I'm ready to get started. Jack me in whenever you're ready!"

"Right!" ...Er, was there any place nearby to jack in? She kinda forgot when she was looking for a place to be...oh, there was one over by the door. There was a sensor of some sort on it, and it had a maintenance port. At least that's what she thought. It was a little far to get a perfect read, but she was pretty sure about it, and it wasn't out of range to jack in from where she was sitting. "Back to the grind! Jack in! SplashMan, Execute!"

(to Yoka Net!)
"Whew!" Yet against, Sabrina found herself plopping onto her room's bed, though this time the hour was far more reasonable: 7:32 PM. "I can't believe that mission took the whole afternoon...at least we finished it in time for supper! What was it they were serving? I forget the name..."

"Tempura, a traditional Electopian dish that's been around for centuries! Though it says here it originally came from Netopia..."

"I don't care where it was from. That was great!" She suddenly whipped out her PET, and took a look at the screen. "Oh yeah! How's the SP Base doing? I'm trying to think of things we could make it into, but I can't decide..."

"...About that..." SplashMan's gaze suddenly shifted towards a lamp on the other side of the bed. "I picked it up to move it earlier, and, uh, well..." Reaching down, he picked up what looked like a small egg. "It suddenly transformed into this..."

"An egg? I really, REALLY hope that hatches..."

"Yeah, doing all that for a SP and then not even getting one in the end...ahh!!!" The egg suddenly bounced out of his hand, and onto his foot, severely cracking it..."I..I...I didn't drop it! It bounced out of my..." Wait, what was that green thing coming out of it? Whatever it was, there was more of it than an egg that size should have...


And now it was...bouncing? And it had eyes...what had he just unleashed on the cyberworld...? "Er, hi there!" And as if it was waiting for him to say something, it bounced all the way up into his arms, and started rubbing itself on him. "Is this some kind of sponge? Wherever it's rubbing on me is turning a little wet..

"Ohhh!! That's so adorable!" It almost looked like hearts were forming over Sabrina's eyes as she witnessed the scene between Navi and SP. "We have to come up with an equally adorable name, okay, SplashMan?"

"Okay..." Let's see...it was a sponge. It was green. It had eyes. ...And that was about it. And he needed to think up a name based on that? "Uh..." And before he could think about it, it suddenly leaped onto his head, causing small amounts of water to splash on his eyes. "Ack! Blub!"

...Bingo! "That's it!!! That's perfect! Blub!"

"...Blub?" As soon as he mentioned it again, the sponge began to bounce happily on his head. "Well, seems like he likes it..."

"Well, that settles that! Welcome to the team, Blub!"

With a sudden extra powerful bounce, the newly dubbed Blub made its way down to the floor, and acted like it was curling up...even though it didn't really have much to curl with. "Um...Sabrina? I think it's asleep..."

"I know! Isn't that just the cutest thing ever?"

"Y-Yeah..." He still wasn't sure how sponges were that cute, but maybe it'd grow on him? ...Preferably not literally. "You know, I think I'm going to follow suit. After that mission, I'm beat! You don't need me for anything else, do you?"

"Not that I know of, no. I'll probably just watch TV until I fall asleep."

"Okay then! Good night, Sabrina!" The PET's screen suddenly went dim as the Navi activated sleep mode...before a certain beeping noise went off from it 10 seconds later. "Ahh, I think you've got mail..."

"Mail? From who?"

"Lemme check..." SplashMan brought up the appropriate screens, and his eyes widened a bit when he saw the address. "Whoa! It's from May!"

"May?! Quick, open it!"

"Relax, it's not going anywhere..."

'Hey Sabrina! Where have you been the last week?! Whenever I call your house, you're not there, and you haven't been to school lately. This morning, I went over and asked your mom where you were, and she said you off training in Electopia or something. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, what with your dad getting you hooked on NetBattling recently. I even heard you were in the tournament here a couple days ago. It's too bad you lost, but if you ask me, that Navi you were fighting was just lucky. Speaking of Navis, I noticed you were using a girl Navi in that battle. But wasn't the one your dad made for you male? What happened? Anyway, I'm just rambling, and first period's about to start, so I'll let you keep up your training or whatever. Oh, and so you don't get behind, I talked to all your teachers, and got all the homework you missed to send over. Lucky for you it's not all that much, since

ATTACHMENTS: Homework.txt, Homework2.txt, BookScans.jpg'

"...Well, that ended kinda quick. Guess she couldn't finish before the bell..." The e-mail addressee looked over the attachments...even if it wasn't a lot, it was still a week's worth of homework. "I guess I'll work on it some tomorrow. I mean, you're really tired, right?"

"Nice try, but this changes things!" The PET screen became filled with text, as what appeared to be part of a page of a Netopian history book showed up on it. "Get to work!"

"Aww..." Sabrina begrudgingly picked herself off the bed, and plunked down near a table. For the next couple of hours, there was reading, learning, and a good amount of profanity during the algebra section. "Argh, that's two days...can I stop now?!"

"Okay, now's a good time to cut it out for a while! But tomorrow we're picking it up right where we left off!"

"I WON'T be looking forward to it, then!" She prepared to dock her PET in its recharge stand, but suddenly stopped short. "Oh, I should probably reply to May's e-mail. Think you could delay it sending until after school's out over there?"


"Okay, good!" And thus, mail was written...

'Hi May, I guess it's been a while, huh? My mom's right, though. I'm in Electopia training my NetBattling skills. And I gotta say, now I know why Dad and Brandon love it so much...it's really fun! And yeah, I signed up for that tournament. There were a lot of Electopians in it, though. Kinda made me wonder why they didn't just hold it here. And about SplashMan...it's complicated, so I'll wait until I can talk to you in person. It'd probably be easier to explain that way, anyway. And by the way, thanks for giving me all my homework. Not. I didn't come all the way to Electopia just to find out how 2x+y=9! Ugh, that's gonna give me nightmares when I go to sleep.'

And then, there was sleep. And then, then was delayed automated mail sending. And then...


"Wake up!!"

The PET screen suddenly lit up, as a semi-tired Navi appeared on it. "Ugh...morning already?"

"Yep! And I'm all ready for another day of whatever!"

"...Can you do that without me?"

"Of course not! I can't train without a Navi, and Blub needs to learn about battling, too!"

"Ahh...so much for sleeping in..." As he stretched, SplashMan started wondering how the sponge was doing. ...Still asleep..."Lucky you..."

"Okay, so...first, I was going to head over to SciLab, and get a couple things. That sound like a plan?"


"I'll take that as a yes..." Good thing she was wide awake, at least...and so, Sabrina left the inn, and headed for the area's Metroline station, in the name of upgrades...

(to SciLab!)
Ah, back to her home away from home. Specifically, the pool it maintained. Even more specifically, a lounge chair near the pool. "Well, back to the ol' grind..."

"Yep...wait, are we going to Yoka's Rogue Net?"

"Yep! But before we head there...I think you oughta switch forms. That way, we can use Crosses if we run into some nasty Elec viruses! And did I say if? I meant to say when...the Net can be mean like that..."

"All right, if it'll help us out!" SplashMan glowed a brilliant light blue for a moment, as his data structure became...about as different as it could possibly be while still maintaining a water theme. "Done!"

"Awesome! I know you're ready, but what about Blub?"

The now mermaid-like Navi looked over towards where the sponge/jellyfish usually hung out. "...Fast asleep..." Wait a sec, didn't he looked bigger than usual? A quick check of something was in order..."Hey, all our BugFrags are gone!"

"Yeah, I think he absorbed them on the ride over. He's probably tired from growing like that...and I think he'd just get wailed on if he stayed there anyway, like in Rogue ACDC." Sabrina positioned her PET so that its infrared sensor pointed towards a convenient nearby jack-in port. "Well, let's rock! Jack in! SplashLady, Execute!"...And a pop-up appeared on the PET screen, as if mocking her enthusiasm. "Yes, I want to to enter the Rogue Net...okay, take two! Jack in! SplashLady, Execute!" And this time, the Navi actually exited the device, and proceeded to enter a darker version Net...

(to Yoka Net...Rogue edition!)
Almost instantly, the form of one mermaid-like Navi appeared inside the PET of a guest of one of Yoka's inns, which quickly transformed into...some water tank with cannons, eyes, and limbs. "Sorry Sabrina, but my leg got damaged in that last battle. So I need to switch so the GMO can repair itself!"

"Eh, don't worry about it. Not like we're going to battle again right away!" Sabrina practically leaped out of her chair, taking a moment to stretch. "After all, we've got some cash to burn!" And with that revealed to the world, it'd probably be wise to scram. So, she made her way out of the pool area, out of the inn, and out of Yoka itself, en route to a certain little shop in SciLab...

(to SciLab!)
"Gah!" As soon as she entered her room, Sabrina flopped face down onto her bed. She just got chewed out for a good 30 minutes about how 'guests should not abandon their rooms for an extended length of time', or something. She hadn't even really listened, she just nodded her head and kept saying "Uh-huh".

"Well, that was fun." SplashLady just shook her head, having actually paid attention to the staff's lecture. "So, I know you're beat from the plane trip and the running around and the not really listening, but could we do some busting? I'm still itching for some good battles!"

"Fine..." Though muffled a bit by the pillow, the operator got the point across by pulling out her PET, and aiming it towards the jack-in port. "Rogue Yoka sound good?"

"Nah, I read my horoscope before the meeting, and it said good things would happen in NetFrica!"

"...NetFrica?" There wasn't anything there she could think of that would be of special interest to them...aside from that mission with VoltMan. But, if that's what she wanted..."Well, if you want to...Jack in! SplashLady, Execute!"

(to Rogue NetFrica!)
As soon as she returned to her PET, SplashLady let out a huge yawn, despite her HP being rapidly recovered. After going 5 rounds with NetFrica's Rogue Net, it was clear she was beat. "Sabrina, I'm totally whipped. I'm taking a nap now!"

"Hang on a sec, I-"

Too late. The mermaid Navi pressed a button, causing her to vanish and head straight for storage. However, this allowed her stouter brother in water power to appear once more. "Ahh, what a nice nap! Morning, Sabrina!"

"Morning, SplashMan! Feeling all right?"

"Yep! SplashLady looks like she got hit by a sledgehammer, but I feel great! So whenever you want to get to busting again, go for it!"

"Sure, but first, I've got a ton of cash I need to unload! Time to make a shopping round!" The Netopian girl leaped off her bed, exiting her room en route to SciLab.

(to SciLab!)
Yoka Inn. A place of rest. A place of relaxation. Those were two descriptions that now no longer applied to Sabrina Jetto. "SplashLady, what time is it?"

"Let's see...7:36 PM!"

...Well, wasn't that perfect. Suppertime. "Oh, boy. Suddenly I don't feel hungry, so I think I'm just going to go back to my room..."

"Not so fast, missy!" The Netopian girl was suddenly stopped by...a Netopian woman, perhaps in her mid to late 30s. And in a cooking apron. "I think you know better than anyone that I'm not going to let you skip supper!"

...Oh. Her. God. Slowly, Sabrina turned around, eventually looking eye to eye at very woman responsible for her existance. "Hi, Mom...you heard that?"

"I'm your mother. If either of my kids are within a mile of me, I'll come running with a good meal for them!" Mrs. Jetto applied her enthusiasm with a raised fist...which happened to contain a paring knife.

"...Yeah, awesome. Think you could put the knife down now...?"

"Knife? ...Oh, silly me!" The Netopian woman only appeared to just notice the potential weapon in her hand...and probably actually HAD only noticed then. "Guess I forgot to put it away. So, did you have a good day?"

"Uh...yeah, I guess. Went to the park in ACDC Town, made some friends, got in some NetBattling practice."

"That's great! Oh, it's so cute that we've all gotten the same hobby! Your father and brother were always into it, of course, but it's a family thing now!"

"Y-Yeah..." ...Her mom's NetBattling 'technique' consisted of sweet talking her Navi into coming up with a plan, then sending over chips so he could implement it. Granted, her dad had probably given her some nice chips, but..."So, Mom. I know that you, uh, got hired by the inn. But, uh...why did you...what in the heck is going on here?!"

"Oh, that? Actually, it's pretty simple. After your father had you come here to work on your NetBattling, I got bored being by myself. So I started looking around for places that needed a good cook. And, well...I applied here, since they wanted someone that specialized in Netopian cuisine. You know, it's funny, at first I thought this place was just an Electopian themed restaurant in Netopia Town! Guess I was wrong, huh?"

After a few seconds of careful thinking, Sabrina elected not to wonder out loud how she got the COUNTRY OF A PLACE SHE APPLIED FOR WORK wrong. "Oh, I'm sure it happens all the time, Mom." And by all the time, she meant 'this is probably the first time in the history of the world this has happened, Mom'. "I guess it's kinda neat, though...I mean, I can eat for free whenever I want, right?"

"Sure, but you're NOT going to pig out every night! Is that clear?"

"...Yes, Mom..." As if on cue, a very loud stomach grumble occured from the stomach of a certain Netopian that hadn't eaten in a while. "Oh, crap! I didn't eat lunch today!"

"Watch that mouth, young lady! But, if you're hungry, go to the dining room. For my first night here, I made chicken cacciatore, but there weren't many takers for some reason. I guess maybe I went with something a little too different from Electopian food right off the bat...but there should be plenty left. Don't worry about having to show you're my daughter, I made sure everyone on the entire inn staff knows who are!"

...Super. Now she probably couldn't go to the bathroom without someone taking notes about it. "Gotcha. I guess I'll see you back in the room, then." And now, temporary freedom!

"Hold on a sec, Sabrina." ...Or not! "About that...you've probably already settled into your room. And it's too small for both of us. So I got a single occupancy room for on-call staff, even though I'm technically not on-call."

"So, I still get my own room? Cool!"

"Yes. However! I'm going to be checking your room from time to time. I did earlier today, and really...I know it's nice to relax and not have to worry about your mother looking in your room every day, but you can at least TRY to make it not look like you're practicing your softball throwing with your dirty socks and underwear!"

...Wow, she was good. "I do not! I just...knocked the bag I keep them in over this morning, and I was going to clean it up tonight!" ...Still couldn't get over that her mom figured that out just by looking at her room.

"I'm sure you were. So, are you going to stand here and talk to me, or are you going to-" GRRRRR. "-go eat supper while it's still there. Because while I love talking to my only daughter, I don't like her going without eating."

GRRRR. "...Yeah, I'm going while I still can. Bye, mom!" With a mad dash and a wave, Sabrina bid adieu to her parent, in an attempt to finally get something in her stomach.


Around an hour later, the Netopian girl had made her way back into her room, finally full from her mother's cooking. "Electopian food's nice, but there's nothing like my mom's cooking! So, what should I do now..."

"You could always do a little thing called HOMEWORK!"

"Oh, gimme a break, Splash..." She looked at her PET, yet didn't quite see what she expected..."...Man? What are you doing here?"

"...You don't really have to put it like that...but SplashLady got tired, so she did a Navi switch! At least that's what the note she left me said. Wanna read it?"

"No thanks, I'll just trust her on that one. So, any ideas on what I can do?"

"How about that homework? May sent it over while you were eating!"

"Any ideas at all?"

"...Are you listening to me? Homework!"

"Really? Anything will work...I'm bored, and it's way too early to sleep."

"...You're impossible sometimes, Sabrina..." First he had to deal with those images of Voulge without clothes on, and now this? If he was a lesser Navi, he'd self-delete himself. "So...how about TV?"

"Eh, Electopian TV's weird. I can't find anything I really like."

"Okay...what about video games? Electopia's a Mecca for them, you know!"

"Didn't bring any with me."

"Uh...how about NetBattling practice?"

"I've already done that a lot today."

"Yeah...anything, right...so, you want to go out and do something?"

"It's not any fun when I don't really know anyone, though."

"So...how about that homework?"

"Ugh...fine. So, what do I have to do tonight?"

A stored e-mail popped up in front of the Aqua Navi, who started to read it. "...Huh. You don't have very much at all tonight!"

"Woo! Though...I don't have math homework, do I...?"

"Nope. The only homework you have is in Virus Busting."

"...Virus Busting? Since when did they start giving out homework in that?"

"Yep. You're supposed to record you and your Navi using a combo attack of at least 3. All the chips have to support at least one of the others. Support chips such as AreaGrab and Attack+10 don't count. Well, that's what it says. I know, let's do it in Rogue Net! That should get you some bonus points!"

"But I already did lots of busting there today...can't we take it easy?"

"The way we are now, I don't think we can get off a 3-hit combo in the regular Net even if we wanted to..."

"Oh, fine...I guess we'll jack into Rogue Yoka and get started."

"Gee, I'm sorry to impose on you..." Sarcasm Mode activated. Which was odd, considering which Splash had done it.

"All right, here we go. The last jack-in...for tonight!" Now, where was that port...oh, right, near the TV. "Jack in! SplashMan, Execute!"

Precisely one hour after jacking into the Net, she was done. Recorded, edited, sent. "Ugh...how did that take almost an hour to edit?!"

"Yeah, that editing program is a lot harder to use than it looks..." Both Navi and operator were spread eagle on the floor, trying to recover from the obvious nightmare they went through. "But we're done...and we'll never have to use it again..."

"I really hope you're right...if I have to do that again, I'm going to cry..." That said, Sabrina looked like she was going to do so without having to do it again. "Why...why would a human being force another human being to go through that?"

"I...don't know..."

"I'm just...going to call it a night early. The sooner we forget about that, the better..." The lights went out; when she wanted it out of her mind, she meant it...


A large yawn echoed throughout the room, as the Netopian girl awoke once again, the horrors of the previous night safely locked away. "Morning, SplashMan! You up yet?"

"Uh, yeah...it's 11:30 already!"

"Yeah, but, when did I go to bed last night?"

"I wasn't paying too much attention, but...maybe about 9?"

"...Ah..." Okay, so she got...14 hours of sleep? A personal best! "So, what to do...we've kinda fallen in a rut, just regular busting all the time...I wanna do something different!"

"Hmm...how about a mission? They can be fun, and it'd let us get in some tough training!"

"I dunno, I kinda wanted to do something that didn't involve the Net..."

"Oh...uh, then what could we do..."

"Eh, missions don't take the entire day. We can do that, then do stuff! But first, I gotta get ready, since, ya know, people don't appreciate it when you don't shower."

"Okay, you do that, and I'll get us signed up for a mission!" Now, where was that link to the BBS...


Well, it took a while, but he finally got assigned a mission. Now to wait so he could tell Sabrina the n-

"Whew! Nothing like a good shower to get a girl going for the morning!" The door to the bathroom opened, and a ball of dirty clothes was tossed towards a bag on the other side of the room. Miraculously, it all held together, and landed inside its intended destination. "Yes! And they're out!"

...Ignoring the fact it wasn't morning, and they weren't a softball diamond, SplashMan revealed himself as a hologram on the as-of-then unmade bed. Knowing her, it wasn't getting made anytime soon. "Sabrina! I got us a mission!"

"Oh, cool! ...Now where'd I put those socks..."

"It's located in Rogue DenTech, and it seemed sorta urgent, so-"

"There they are! And my boots are right there, of course..."

"So, you should probably jack me in sometime soon, so I can-"

"And, all set!" As though her Navi hadn't said another word, the Netopian girl whipped her PET back into its holster, and showed herself the door. It was a good door, albeit rather plain. "Next stop, SciLab!"

"Sc-SciLab?! I said it's at DenTech! That's the big university in town!"

"...DenTech? Why would I go there? SciLab's where you can buy Navi upgrades!"

"But, the mission..."

"The mission can wait 20-30 minutes while I get you something, right? They can't complain too much if you're a little late just because I powered you up a little more!"

"But...but...ugh, fine! But hurry it up, we shouldn't keep them waiting too long!"

"Right! In fact, we're almost at the station already! But, one question."

"What's that?"

"Where's the mission supposed to be? After I get you that upgrade, I can just go there and jack you in directly!"

If it wasn't so noisy, a sound awfully similar to a brain program breaking could probably be heard. "...DenTech..."

"Oh, that place! I've been meaning to check it out sometime. I'm sure I could pass as a student there, so we could sneak in all kinds of places and see what a big college is like!"

...Oh, he gave up. "...Well...just make sure you head there as soon as you can! The mission sounded sorta urgent..."

"Hah..." With a gigantic sigh, Sabrina entered her room, and flopped right onto the bed. "Today was fun, but..." She took off her fanny pack, removed the PET from it, and tossed it to the other side of the room. Which normally shouldn't even be possible, considering the complete lack of strength it had been thrown with. "I can't believe I snoozed on the MetroLine like that...and someone took some of my stuff while I was out..."

"Yeah, but it's weird...most of the stuff they took was worthless. Why would anyone bother stealing it?" SplashMan was also unamused. "But anyway, I'll inform the police about it. It's been a long day, so you just lay back and relax, okay?"

"Thanks, SplashMan..." Ugh, she really was completely beat. "By the way, after you do that, can you tell Mom I'm not going to get supper? I'm too wiped...I don't think I can even get off this bed..."

"Will do!"

"Thanks...and good night..." And the lights went off in the room. And only a few moments later, so were the lights of its occupant...


9:29:36. Almost time. Since he was already awake, he figured he'd just wake her up herself.


9:29:47. Just a few more seconds.


9:29:55. Counting down from 5 now...




"Zzz...ungh..." And with virtually no time left, a young lady sat up on her bed. "What time is it? Feels like I've been asleep for a year."

"Morning, Sabrina! It's 9:30, on the nose!"

"9:30? Why does it look so light outside, then? Something going on tonight?"

"Er, 9:30 in the morning..."

"...Oh. ..I didn't sleep through an entire day, did I?"

"Nope, you didn't. You walked in last night, jumped into bed, and slept until just now. I'm kinda surprised you got up on your own!"

"Well, it's not like I didn't get enough sleep. You can tell because I've only been up a minute and I feel great already!" This point was emphasized as she hopped out of bed. "Hmm, wonder what I should do today? Guess I can think about it while I take a quick shower."

"Well, didn't you want to check Beach Street out today?"

"Oh yeah, forgot about that. But I think I'll hold off until tomorrow. Today it'll probably be busy and all crowded. So if I wait, it'll be more relaxed. And I'm not in a huge hurry to go there or anything, since I'm pretty sure they won't shut the studio down in the next 24 hours."


Around an hour later, Sabrina was all set. Clean in every aspect of herself, even her fanny pack. Which explained why seemingly random things were strewn across her bed. "All right, all unnecessary stuff is out!"

"Same here! I decided to put some things we've gotten on the Net into compressed storage, so it wouldn't just be taking up space!"

"Huh, good idea!"

"That's what I thought, too! But, I couldn't quite bring myself to store this away..." SplashMan raised his hand towards the screen, displaying a rather large, rainbow colored pearl. "It's kinda special to me, to be honest. And I bet SplashLady feels the same way."

"Don't look at me, it's your call. If you want to keep it out, keep it out."

"Thanks!" Now, where to put it...the PET had more cyberspace than one would think. But he'd figure something out before he had to do anything. "So, any ideas on what you want to do today?"

"...Not really, no."

"Oh...actually, there's something I kinda want to do. Dunno if you're up for it, though..."

"If it's a mission, no way Jose. Yesterday was fun and all, but I don't want to do anything even resembling that any time soon."

"Don't worry, nothing like that. Actually, I kinda wanted to give Chaos Net another try."

A moment passed as the info was processed by the only actual brain in the room. "Are you serious?! You got smacked around by three Mettaur in there! Mettaur!" Granted, blue Mettaur, but Mettaur nonetheless. "I wasn't even fighting, and I was scarred for life from that!"

"Yeah...but, the best chips and stuff are supposed to be in Chaos Net, right? Then we should definitely keep trying in there! Especially if there's lots of water-based viruses there, like here in Yoka!"

"I really don't like that idea...but if you really want to..."

"And I do!"

"...All right. But the second things start looking bad, just run. I don't want to have to jack you in piece by piece, got it?"


"...Actually, before I send you in..." Grabbing her PET case, Sabrina dumped the contents of one of its side pockets onto a table, spilling the chips not in her main folder. "I'm going to make a couple of changes to our folder." Another side pocket was dumped, a fair distance from the spare chips, revealing the ones she actually did use. "It'll just take a minute or two!"

But five minutes passed, and there was still no finalization. Or so it seemed, until the operator started putting chips away. "Well, that was harder than I thought it'd be. Oh well, I'm done, SplashMan!"

"And I haven't changed my mind. Send me in!"

"I still don't like it...are you absolutely sure you want to do this?"

"Sorry, but my mind's made up!"

"All right, all right..." All right, what was something in the room she could jack into...ah, the TV should work. If you're bent on this, then I'll do it...Jack in! SplashMan, Execute!"

(to the most Chaotic of Nets!)

Also, the following folder changes were made:

OUT: Boomerang1, CornShot2, Shake1
IN: Attack+20, Mine2, PickPocket
In a flash, SplashMan found himself back in the comfortable confines of the PET. "Jack out complete! So, why did you want me out so quick?"

"Well, I was just thinking. The last time I watched TV, the show was set on a beach that looked sorta like the one you were battling in. And towards the end, it got kinda fuzzy...I'm wondering if those viruses were the ones responsible. I mean, those viruses were put there intentionally to ward off Navis, but that doesn't mean they can't do things like that anyway." Grabbing the remote control, she turned the TV on, which was luckily still on the aforementioned channel. And it was clear as crystal, even though another beach-related program was on. "Well, whatever was causing it, it's fixed now. I still think it was the viruses, though."


"What's wrong? You sound like you're sad or something..."

"Oh, it's nothing. It's just that I thought I could do better than that in Chaos Net, but I fell on my face. Even though I don't have a face! And I'm a little tired, even though I just did one battle. I'll be fine, but I'm a little disappointed in myself, that's all."

"Well, I thought you did great. Why don't you take a breather? SplashLady hasn't been pulling her weight much lately, anyway!"

"...All right, if you say so!" The stout water tank Navi disappeared, receding into the depths of the PET's programming...and pushing out a more slender, mermaid-like Navi. Who, upon looking out into the real world, greeted her operator with a frown. "I haven't been pulling my weight lately? Really, Sabrina?"

"Well, look at it this way. You don't weigh much, so you don't have to pull much!"

"Nice backpedal. But anyway, whatever you want to do, I'm up for!"

"Anything? ...Well, that's the question. That busting didn't take as long as I thought it would, so I dunno what I want to do..."


"Incoming phone call! From your mom!"


A call from her mother? That was odd, especially since they were already in the same building. "Hey Mom. Something wrong? You look kinda worried."

"Not worried, per se, but...well, for the last several years, I've had a friend that runs a small restaurant in DenCity. Every so often we talk and teach each other about our countries' native foods, and stuff like that. Anyway, yesterday she sent me an e-mail asking for a recipe, but I forgot to send it to her."

"Uh, maybe I missed something, but why are you telling me this? Just e-mail her the recipe."

"I wish it was that easy. Thing is, the server her e-mail account is on is down, and I feel bad about not giving her the recipe yesterday. If you're not busy, could you give it to her?"

Well, she definitely wasn't busy. "Sure. But think you can tell me who your friend is?"

"Her name is Susan Doreko, and while she doesn't look like it, she's actually half-Netopian. She runs Lightning Pastries, which is a few buildings down from the Spark Cafe. Ever heard of it?"

"...Actually, yeah. I've never been in your friend's shop, but I've walked by it a couple of times. I remember it smelled really good."

"Well, that makes life a little easier for both of us, doesn't it? She'll probably be in the back working, but just say you're my daughter and you should be able to see her." PING! A tone indicated the finishing of data transferral. "There's the recipe. It's kinda hard to lose it, but don't anyway!"

"...Yeah, got it, Mom."

"Thank you, Sabrina! You're a life saver! I'd do it myself, but I've got the full shift today, so I'll be in the kitchen all day...say hi to her for me!"


And thus did she not even get a goodbye. From her own mother. "Guess that settles the whole 'what do I do' thing. Guess we're off to ElecTown!"

"Sounds like a plan. You should probably do it now, while you're thinking of it."

"While I'm thinking of it? Who are you, my mother?"

"No, then I would've made a smart-aleck remark about the fact you haven't eaten yet today."

"Well, we ARE going to a pastry shop. Maybe I'll get a free donut or something for this!" And she was getting pretty hungry...so not engaging in further delays, Sabrina raced out of her room, making sure to lock it. Food was good, but getting her room ransacked, not so much.

With a flop, Sabrina bounced onto her bed, immediately kicking off her boots so she wouldn't get anything on it. Besides, who wore boots when they were lying in bed? That's just...weird. "Okay, I'm all nice and comfy!"

"...Lucky you."

"Lighten up already! Yes, you're gonna be working, but it's still a party! You'll probably have some fun while you're at it!"

"Maybe, but I can't shake the feeling this is going to be the kind of thing I hope no one I know's there..."

"You're just paranoid! Now come on! Use the coordinates we got and get this started!"

"...Yeah, I'm probably just overthinking things. Okay, inputting coordinates!"

"Let's get this party wet! Jack in! SplashLady, Execute!"

In a flash of light, an exhausted SplashLady returned to her PET. For some reason, however, the light was the same color as her skin, as opposed to the usual sea green. Even though she was in full normal outfit. Weird. "Well, I'm back."

"Yep, and I got the chip!" A small, yet potentially significant folder edit was made to celebrate the occasion. "There, now you can take...well, even crazier amounts of damage than you already can!"

"Woo. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm completely wiped out by that mission, and a nap would really hit the spot..."

"Oh, sure! You did great! Now go snooze!" The mermaid Navi vanished from the screen, making room for a Navi that decidedly did not look quite as good in a swimsuit. "Hi SplashMan!"

"Hi Sabrina! Don't worry, I'm wide awake, so I'm good to do whatever you want me to!"

"Good to know. ...Hmm."

"Something wrong?"

"Uh, not really, but...well, I have some money, but it's getting hard to spend it on you, since you're already so strong!"

"Oh...no ideas?"

"Hmm...actually, I think I'm getting one. Guess I'll head down to the Navi Shop and get it!"

And thus she did, in extremely unremarkable fashion. Aside from nearly going outside in her socks, anyway. Seriously, who walked around outside in their socks? That was just...weird.

The remainder of Sabrina's day was uneventful. She utilized the upgrades she had bought, she ate supper, she channel surfed some more, and she did homework. Then she went to bed relatively early, seeing as how she had plans for tomorrow...


And then, much too quickly for her liking, tomorrow arrived.


"Ungh...so loud..." The Netopian girl sat up in bed, rubbing her eyes.

"It's not THAT early! Come on, get up!"

"Hey, it's harder for a human to get up!" Which, of course, she said as she hopped out of bed with no problem. "But, not today, and not me! I've got touristy things to do!"

"Yeah, I'm kinda interested in it, myself! Especially the TV station!"

"Well, that's the first thing on the places to go list...I think. Bring it up, I downloaded it yesterday!"

And like that, it was brought up.

Quote (Den Tourism Itinerary For ##/**/20XX)

10:00 - Tour of Den News Network (DNN) Station
12:00 - Lunch at Beach Street Cafe
1:00 - Ferry and Tour of Hades Isle
4:00 - Tour of Seaside Hospital
5:30 - Farewell

"Yep, should be fun! Though, I dunno if I wanna do the Hades Isle tour..."

"Oh, come on, it'll be fun! Besides, you won't be alone, so if a demon walks up, it won't necessarily go after you!"

"Um, thanks?" Okay, enough talking about it. Time to get ready!


And around 45 minutes later, Sabrina was all set. "All set!"

"Didn't forget anything?"


"All right, let's go! You'll be a little early, but that's okay!"

"My thoughts exactly!" Now she just needed to lock her door, like so...and then she could head off to the MetroLine. Which she did.