Springs have sprung!

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!"

(TO BEACH NET)
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.

(TO SCILAB)
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.

"BRRRING! BRRRING!"

"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?"

"Nope!"

"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.

(TO BEACH STREET)
"Uh...you know, I'm not really so sure I want to do this now..."

"Oh, come on!"

"YOU come on! You're not the one wearing just a towel right now!"

"Yeah...too bad the other day was a special day, huh? But it's not like anyone else is in here. No one's gonna see anything! Well, except me, but I'll close my eyes if you want!"

"...Eh, I got an idea!"

"H-hey, where are you going?! You're not turning back now! We stood fast in the Undernet, I am NOT letting you run away from this because you don't want to be naked in public for a second or two!...Oh, you were just grabbing another towel. Okay, never mind."

"Yeah. Now, watch and learn! See how I get in the water with my towel, and then take it off! With that, I'm in the water! Sure, I'm not wearing anything, but with all this steamy water, no one's noticing that any time soon! And when I'm done, I just bring the towel up when I do, and there, no one's seen anything! Well, unless there's someone on the other side, but there's no doors or anything that way, so I'll know ahead of time if I have to change my plan!"

"Sneaky! All right, I've got the hologram system in! Simple point and touch interface, just like last time."

"Yeah, but now I'm going to have to bring my hand out of the water, and it feels soooooooooo good in here..."

"Too bad, it's the best I can do!"

"Oh, fine. All set for jacking in?"

"I've got the coordinates in. Ready, willing, and able!"

"All right, I have an entire arm out to send you in. Be thankful! Jack in! SplashLady, Execute!"

(TO THE MISSION SPOT)
Okay, she was completely alone. No one in sight. No one in ear range, either. If she was quick, it'd only take a sec...okay. Sabrina took a deep breath, then...rose her upper half out of the water, managing to snatch her towel. "Yay! Got it!" She held it high above her head, in triumph of obtaining it. "Ahh, it's so cold after being in there for so long...it feels like my boobs are gonna freeze off! ...Huh?" A look straight ahead revealed a middle aged Electopian man in a gray jumpsuit, holding a mop and a bucket, all of which looked extremely well worn. "...Who are you?"

"Name's Shabby, the janitor. Who're you?"

"Oh...um, I'm Sabrina. What brings you here?"

"Time fer the semi-weekly onsen area cleanin'. What're you doin' here.?" Oddly, it seemed like he was just making a regular statement, instead of a question...

"Oh, just relaxing!" A few moments passed, as neither so much as blinked. Though, the Netopian girl had a feeling that something important slipped her mind at the moment..."Um, any reason you're staring at me? Is there something on my face?"

"Nope, just noticin' yer nekkid from the waist up. Thought I'd get m' fill before cleanin'." And apparently, he reached his fill at that moment, as he began to whistle and mop the floor.

"Oh, okay!" ...Ugh, she was on the verge of remembering what was so important...oh, right, she needed to get out before someone saw her naked. ...Wait a minute. "......"

A few moments passed, as Sabrina's face went pale, then incredibly flushed as it dawned on her exactly what happened with that exchange. And with that, there was only one thing to do...

"EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK!"

(OKAY, NOW TO BEACH)
[color=blue]"Ahh, nothing like a good supper! Mom's Electopian food's already improving!"[/blue] A bit after the completion of her Navi's mission, Sabrina burst through her door, brimming with energy, all set to...well, not do much. Since her mother didn't want her wandering a foreign country after dark, her nightlife was less than spectacular. "Well, SplashLady? Any ideas on what we should do tonight?" ...Silence. "Hello?" She grabbed her PET at her side, and checked the screen. The system stated that there was a Navi in there, but there wasn't one in view...

A few moments later, the mermaid Navi walked into visual range, letting out an extremely content sigh as she did so. "That was nice..."

"Oh hey, there you are!"

"Aaahh!! Sabrina!"

"Yeah, it's me. So, what were you doing?"

"Um, absolutely nothing!" Her beet red face made it extremely clear that she was up to something...and that she had no plan to reveal what it was. "So, what's up?"

The Netopian girl knew her question just got sidestepped...but shrugged it off, deciding that her Navi had some reason for not spilling the beans. "I'm bored. Any ideas on how to fix that?"

"You can do some homework!"

"That's not what I meant...oh, whatever. Can we at least start with Virus Busting, if I've got any?"

"Sure!" SplashLady opened up a file, and started reading it. "Let's see, Netopian, Geometry...aha, Virus Busting! There's 1 new entry on the homework page. 'Record you and your Navi entering as difficult a locale in the Net as you can muster, and bust some viruses. But remember, don't get your Navi deleted!'...Well, that sounds easy enough. Wanna totally blow their minds with a super hard area? Maybe not the Undernet, but something tricky! Chaos level for sure!"

"Great idea! After going through all the battles in Netopia Area, Mr. Butcher'll be stunned when you pop up in...uh, exactly should we go?"

"Hmm...how about NetVegas? I've heard it's a really tough area, so it's probably the hardest place we can go, aside from the Undernet!"

"Chaos NetVegas, huh?...Sure, why not?" As was customary for the room, the only available spot for jacking in was the TV, so there was much pointing at its jack-in port. "You know, it's kinda weird how we're going from that mission to a really tough battle like this. Sure you're all ready?"

"Gimme a sec...okay, there. It'll start recording as soon as I'm jacked in. So, what were you saying?"

"Oh, never mind..." At least it wasn't important. "Jack in! SplashLady, Execute!"

(TO CHAOS NETVEGAS)
The instant SplashLady returned to the PET, Sabrina heard a knock on her door. "Hey, Sabrina! Can I come in for a sec?"

"Come on in, Mom!"

The elder female Jetto stepped inside, but still remained near the doorway. "I'm just headed to the store, and I wanted to know if you wanted anything while I was there."

"Uh...no. But, if you're heading out...if I give you the money for it, any chance you could swing by the Navi Shop in SciLab and pick up a few things for me?"

"Not a problem! Just make a list, and I'll get it for you!"

"All right, just a sec!" Ripping out a piece of paper from a nearby notebook, Sabrina hastily scribbled some things on it before handing it to her mother, along with a not insignificant amount of cash. "Here ya go!"

"...Well, aren't we Miss Moneybags?"

"Well, when you get to be a strong NetBattler, it's actually pretty easy to get some spending cash..."

"Your father said that, too. Guess it's true, huh? Anyway, if that's all you want, I'll be off. Be back soon!" And with that, Sabrina was left to her own devices. "Hmm...what should I do now?"

"Well, there IS that Netopian assignment due tomorrow..."

"Sigh...ask a stupid question..."
"I'm back!" With a quick knock on the door, Mrs. Jetto entered her daughter's room, noting that the occupant was laying back in her chair, her face in some kind of daze. "...Sabrina?"

A hologram of the elder Jetto's Navi popped up, and hovered over to Sabrina to take a closer look. "...She doesn't seem unconscious, but...what happened?"

Another hologram, this time of SplashLady, appeared on her operator's shoulder. "She valiantly fought her arch enemy, but in the end, it was too much for her."

"Her arch enemy? You don't mean-?"

"I do."

"I see...I'll just leave the stuff she asked for here on her desk, then....there. I guess I'll just head back to my room, now. Come on, FieldMan."

"Just a moment, Lady Josephine. Could you place your PET in your daughter's hand, or some similar area?"

"Sure...oh, you're going to do that, aren't you? Okay, but be careful!" Mrs. Jetto, after a moment of pondering, placed her daughter's hand on the desk, then her PET in said hand, as requested. "All set!"

"Thank you! Lady SplashLady, don't be alarmed at what's about to happen. We're just giving Lady Sabrina a hasty trip back to reality!" The magnetic Navi's claws began to crackle with electromagnetic energy, eventually creating a ball floating between them. "Magnetic Shock!!!" Though it couldn't be seen in the hologram, a beam of electricity fired from the sphere, at a specific wall of the PET's cyberworld. Upon hitting, the top of the PET began to spark, before electricity began to travel between two antennae that suddenly popped out of the top. Unfortunately for a certain someone, there was a hand in the way...

"YEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!" At least it brought her back into full consciousness. "What the hell was that?!"

"A, watch your mouth, young lady! And B, FieldMan, I think you went slightly overboard with the shocking."

"It seems so...I guess I underestimated my own strength!"

"...Mom? What happened?"

"Your brain kinda...snapped while you were doing homework. Then your mom came by with your upgrades, and FieldMan came up with the idea for a shock alarm clock!"

"Well, good for him...wait, how'd a Navi shock me?"

"Oh, as a precautionary measure, recently I added a stun gun feature to my PET! And since FieldMan's electricity based, he's the power source!"

"...Well, good for him..." By now there was an increasingly exasperated tone in Sabrina's voice...

"Anyway, I got you your stuff. They're in the paper bag. That all you needed? I'm a little worried you didn't ask for any food...you're starting to look all skinny!"

"...I'm fine, mom."

"Guess there's not much else to do, then...guess I'll head back to my room!"

"You do that, mom."

"If you need me, you know where I am!" The Jetto matriarch reobtained her PET and pocketed it, before starting to head out.

The electrical Navi's hologram beat a hasty retreat to his operator's shoulder, not wanting to be left behind...or something. "Sorry about the rude awakening, Lady Sabrina! But it was the only way to snap you back in a reasonable time!"

And like that, there was only one operator and one Navi in the room. "I hate to say it, but he's right. There wasn't a lot of options..."

"So, now I have a headache, AND I got zapped by my own mother." That was it. There was only one thing to do in this situation: raise her head to the heavens, and shout the name of her greatest for..."GEOMETRYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!"

========================================================================

"Zzz..." The morning had come, and Sabrina was once again out like a light...for the more traditional reason of sleep. Though, that didn't explain why she was laying on her bed sideways, without a single sheet covering her. "Zzz...uh...ahhh!" She stretched as she came to, and sat up on her bed. "I can't believe I finally got all that done! It should be illegal to give out that much homework!"

SplashLady popped up as a hologram, looking a bit less chipper than her operator. "Keep it down, some of us are trying to sleep!"

"What? It's morning!"

"I know. And between homework, upgrade installation, and figuring out which chips to add to the folder, it was what? Half past 1 when we finally got to sleep? Maybe even later?"

"Something like that. What time is it now?"

"...6:52! Now go back to sleep!"

"...Really? 6:52? That's weird, since I feel great!"

"Good for you. Since you feel great, I'm sure you can come up with something to do that doesn't involve me being awake."

"Not a problem! Just send over SplashMan!"

"Nope. We're two different entities, but if I'm still this whipped, he'll feel it, too. So yeah. Wake me up when it's 10 or so. Good night..." SplashLady vanished into the deep recesses of the PET, with a message popping up in the corner of the screen to inform the viewer that she had an earplug program installed until 10 AM.

"...This is really weird, though. Why do I feel so good after that little sleep? Hmm...maybe it's a delayed effect of the shock or something? Eh, whatever. I guess I should shower and stuff, since I'm up. It'll kill time, at least."

And so she did. And after that, she went off to eat a delicious breakfast. Eccentric as she was, having a top-class chef for a mother paid off sometimes. And after that, she headed back. "Heh, I really surprised Mom by being there so early! Speaking of which, what's the time...8:00 on the dot. So, another two hours without a Navi. Ouch. I don't have anything to do, either..." Sabrina plopped down in her chair, and started fiddling with her PET. "What to do, what to do...eh? I'm out of Untrap SubChip data? That's...not good. I hear those trapped data are really nasty...guess I should go get some. And it's not like I need a Navi to do that!" Okay, that settled that. Off to the shop with her!

(Off to the shop!)
From the moment she stepped in the inn, Sabrina's day lost any special qualities. Supper, homework, TV...it was basically proof that, if she really wanted to, she could do things not involving BattleChips, and not mind doing it. Which, as it turned out, was about to become highly relevant...

---

"Heh, SplashMan's gonna be proud of me!" An extremely happy girl walked out of the bathroom, having fully prepared herself for another day of whatever. She looked over at her alarm clock...8:59 AM. "Got up feelin' great without my alarm, and I'm ready for the day!" As if on cue, the clock hit 9, and started to ring. But...

"Uhhhhnn..." A groan, followed by what sounded like SplashMan hacking up a lung, made it clear that the Navi didn't follow his operator's example. Even though it should be impossible for him to make a sound like that. "M-Morning...urgh..."

"SplashMan?" Sabrina walked over to her PET and picked it up. What she saw...was a Navi that looked like he hadn't recharged in a week. "You look awful! What happened?"

"I'm sick...I think during the Hades trek, I got infected with a virus..."

"Wait, infected by a virus? But you can about defeat them by thinking about them!"

"Your homework a few nights ago actually had something about this...not all viruses are the bustable kind. Some can infect a Navi directly, and hurt their performance..."

"Oh yeah, now that you mention it, I remember. So, we need to buy a patch or something. Not a prob. What one do you need?"

"That's the problem...this isn't an ordinary virus. As soon as my systems get close to being able to repair themselves automatically, it...changes, somehow, and it has to start again from scratch."

"Well, that's a bummer...that's okay, though. I'll just switch to SplashLady, and you can get some-"

"No! Don't! Don't forget, we have some shared programming. If you switch to her, I'm pretty sure it'll just infect her...achoo! Ugh, how am I even sneezing..."

"Oh yeah...so, is there nothing we can do?"

"Not right now, I don't think...but I do think my repairs are getting a teeny bit quicker each time. I think if I just rest today, it'll catch up to the virus's auto-changing eventually."

"All right, you do that. Get all the rest you need!"

"Thanks...I'm kinda sleepy now...my processes are really slow right now..." With a yawn, SplashMan entered sleep mode. Which left the young woman standing there with a problem. What to do?

=============

"Bo-ring!" About half an hour later, Sabrina found herself sitting on the couch in the inn's lobby. She took a look at her PET...with no Navi inside. She'd left SplashMan in a secluded part of the inn's homepage to make sure he didn't get disturbed. If he needed anything, FieldMan wouldn't be far away, and Blub was right at his side. Whatever he'd been infected with, apparently it only infected Navis. So, let's see. She was free to do anything she wanted, without supervision. The only catch was that she couldn't do much online. Hmm...well, she could go out and do something. But what? It wasn't much fun going out alone.

...But she could think of something that'd make sure she wasn't alone while doing that something. They set up missions that mainly used people, and not Navis, right? She could get something nice for SplashMan as a get well present. And posting was one thing she could do on the internet without a Navi. Time to make a request...
And, she was back. Sabrina had returned to her home away from home, but she wasn't exactly in a great mood. Before entering, she grabbed her PET, and made a call.

It was swiftly answered, but by a Navi instead a human. "Greetings, I'm afraid Lady Josephine is unable to-oh, Lady Sabrina! How may I help you?"

"FieldMan, where's SplashMan? I'm back and I wanna see what's going on with him."

"I currently have him detained where you had left him. He should be fine, though movement is currently a problem for him." The camera angle changed, showing that FieldMan was emitting some sort of electrical wave from one of his arms, and covering SplashMan with it. Next to him, Blub looked on at his Navi nervously. "I'm not entirely sure how much longer I can do this, however..."

"Inn homepage, then? Got it! Just a sec!" Without hanging up, the young Netopian woman raced over to her room, and entered. "Lemme establish a connection...there. Okay, I can look over SplashMan's condition. I can jack him out in case of an emergency, so you can stop now."

"Very well." The wave faded, and the electrical Navi wiped his forehead...even though it was impossible for him to sweat. "I'd like to remain here while you investigate, just in case."

"Sure, doesn't bother me any." About 20 minutes passed, as Sabrina started digging into her Navi's various programming. She brought out a book and consulted it at one point, but otherwise was glued to her screen. At least, until she triggered an error message. "...Okay, I think I've made a breakthrough!"

"Wonderful! What's that?"

"Some of the programming for SplashMan's innate move data is corrupted. Normally, that wouldn't do anything beyond blocking off his innate attacks, but he's kinda jury rigged in spots, so that my brother's more advanced personality program can work with my dad's older stuff. That led to a breakdown, and drove him berserk!"

"I see. Is it possible to fix that data?"

"I...think so? Honestly, I'm kinda wingin' this. The corrupted data part is definitely true, though. If I'm lucky, the signature system will let me edit it." Opening program...yeah, she knew there was an error, it was kind of the reason she opened it...oh good, Emergency Repair was an option. Pick that option...automatic or manual? Automatic, she could always fine tune something she didn't like later...estimated time: 15 minutes. Oh boy. "Good news, looks like it'll get fixed."

"Hooray!"

"But it'll be 15 minutes before we know for sure."

"Understood. Then we shall wait as well!...Er, Lady Sabrina? Your camera's just showing the ceiling."

"I know, I put my PET down."

"Ah. ...Now I hear some sort of grating noise. It sounds a bit familiar..."

"Um, yeah, it's called the nail on my pinky finger is a little longer than the others and it's driving me nuts so I'm filing it down while I have a little downtime."

"...Ah. ...Now I'm hearing-"

"I moved and it made the chair squeak. Look, it's sweet that you're worried, but I'm sure everything'll be just fine, and SplashMan'll be just fine before we know it!."

"...Yes, you're right. It's just, Sir SplashMan's the only other Navi in the family to treat me nicely. Lady Target treats me like a low servant, and Sir FlareMan...anyone that couldn't best him in battle is beneath notice to him. I suppose that makes him a friend, even though we don't interact very often."

"No, I get it. ...You know, it's kinda weird how the men have jerks for Navis while we ladies got nice ones."

"Quite. A coincidence, I'm sure."

"Maybe. Maybe not. I kinda get Target, anyone that has to put up with Brendan for that long's going to snap. FlareMan...not a clue, I'd think being around Dad for so long would mellow anyone out, but not him."

"Indeed. ...To Sir FlareMan's part. I'd hesitate to say that about your brother..."

"That's just because he's not your brother. I mean, one time, he..." Sabrina proceeded to regale FieldMan with various stories of how annoying he could be. "...And after I ate it, the only food my brother ever made for me, I threw up! And he laughed at me! I totally forgot that one until just now, too!"

"...I wouldn't be too critical of him on that one."

"Why not? You make your cute little sister spew like a fire hose, you don't think it was funny!"

"...I was there that day, in the oven's computer space.. Your brother spent well over an hour on that soup, and was worried about you the whole time. He kept saying to himself things like 'I hope this makes Sabrina feel better', and 'poor Sabrina'. When he went to serve it to you, I saw what he'd used. There were the usual soup ingredients...and a good 3 or 4 types of medicines he'd blocked off from my sight. He might have laughed when you threw up, but his intentions were pure, as far as I could see."

"...Really?"

"Really."

"..." Ding! "Oh hey, auto-repair's done!"

"It is? Wonderful! Go ahead and wake him." FieldMan aimed an arm at the unconscious Navi, and started emitting the electrical energy again. "Just in case."

"All right, sending over a wake up command..."

"......Ungh, my aching...huh?" SplashMan's eyes opened, and nervously started to dart around. "Hey! I can't move!"

"Excellent, it seems you've regained your reason!" The energy faded. "How are you feeling, Sir SplashMan?"

"Eh? FieldMan? I'm...fine. Way better than I was earlier!"

"I'm here too, you know."

"Oh, hi Sabrina! So, how long was I out? 24 hours? 30?"

"Well...FieldMan, you wanna tell him? You know more about it than I do."

"Tell me what?"

"You see...it started a couple of hours ago..." And so it was explained how he had gone into a rage, and nearly caused problems for the inn. "...And after the auto-repair program was finished, Lady Sabrina woke you up."

"Wow, I went nuts? I don't even remember that..."

"Oh, yes. Now that you're feeling better, I should go and help restore the damage you did."

"...Yeah, you should. I'd help too, but I don't think anyone'll be happy to see me..."

"On the contrary, I think they'd be delighted to see you're up and at 'em!"

"I dunno about that..."

"Actually, I want to keep him around for a little bit, FieldMan. Make sure it's not temporary or anything."

"I suppose that's wise...but should you be up to it, I'm sure you'll be welcomed with open arms!" The electrical Navi looked at his own arms, opening and closing the claws. "I shouldn't dilly-dally any longer...appliance systems are my specialty, after all. I'm happy to see you're better, Sir SplashMan!"

"Hey, I got to bump into you, at least. We should totally hang out one of these days! We get along great, and we're part of the same family, but we don't see each other much..."

"I couldn't agree more!"

"I'm glad you two get along, but can you wrap it up?"

"Oh, my apologies. I suppose I'll be off now. Don't hesitate to e-mail, Sir SplashMan!" FieldMan waved, then disappered in a typical beam of light.

"Bye, FieldMan!" SplashMan also waved, then looked back at his operator. "That was kinda rude, you know. But I'm guessing it's important."

"Yeah. I went through your programs manually, and I found the problem. ...It wasn't a virus. It was an error with your signature systems."

"It...what?"

"Yeah. Something's going on with you, but I'm not sure what...but promise me something. If something, anything, feels off even a little, tell me. I may not be a programming ace, but I wanna do whatever I can to help!"

"Of course I will! There's no secrets between the two of us!"

"Anyway, I just wanted you to know that, and I didn't want to randomly forget."

Knock knock! Knock knock!

"Wow, someone's really banging on a door hard. They must wanna see someone really bad!"

"Yeah...thing is, it's MY door." Who'd want to see her so bad that they'd literally go to her doorstep? And who even knew this was where you'd go to see her? "Mom? That you?" No response. Sabrina slowly opened the door, peeking out to see who it was. ...No one? "Either we've got ghosts, or someone doesn't know how to pull off a prank." She stepped out, to try and get an idea of who did it...look ahead, no one. Look to the right, no one. Look to the left-

"SURPRISE HUG!"

"Ack!" The force of the assailant knocked Sabrina to the floor, who took a split second to try and learn about her attacker. Arms were firmly locked around her chest, but the hands weren't trying to grab said chest. There was something pressed against her back...something soft. And that voice sounded familiar...

"Sorry, wasn't trying to tackle you! But c'mon, it's been so long!"

...So long? "I know that voice...wait a sec! May! It's you!" Well, that settled what was pressing on her back...May was pretty well-endowed. "You idiot, I can't hug you back while we're like this!"

"True, true! Sorry Sabrina! I wasn't trying to knock you down, but I guess I don't know my own strength!" The two girls got up on their feet, and Sabrina got a good look at her 'attacker'. Yep, she was wearing her favorite: a red turtleneck with black jeans. "Bet you're surprised to see me here!"

"Honestly? Knowing you, I'm kinda surprised it took you this long. It's great seeing you, May!" Now that she had the chance to, she returned the hug.

"I wanted to, but Daddy was all 'if I charter a private jet to Electopia for you, all my girls will want to do it'! But, today he needed to take a business trip to these parts, so I talked him into letting me come along! And now we're together again!"

"Oh May...you make it sound like it's been years."

"It just isn't the same without you, Sabrina. I mean, I keep busy, but without my best friend, it's like there's a tiny empty spot in my heart!"

"Aww."

"Speaking of hearts, met any hot Electopian guys yet?"

"Well that came out of nowhere."

"Oh, I get it. Met any hot Electopian girls yet?"

"Very funny." Same old May. "You wanna come in?"

"Well, am I interrupting anything?"

"Not a thing!"

"Great! We can go over everything that's gone on in school, and you can tell me all about your adventures in Electopia!"

And so they spent the next couple of hours doing just that.

"...Wow, you've been through some stuff, Sabrina."

"Tell me about it. And I've barely said anything about the Net part of it!"

"Yeah, the school said you came here to hone your NetBattling skills. No one believed it, though. People thought you were sick, or quit school, or got pregnant!"

"Well, as you can see, I'm none of those things."

"It's kind of a relief to know for sure, to be totally honest. ...Oh! There was something I wanted to ask you."

"Sure, anything."

"There was a homework assignment where you had to film yourself doing some virus busting. Most people used the local Net, but it looked like you picked some weird grayscale area. Where was it?"

"Oh, that wasn't grayscale. That was the Undernet. Thought if I managed to pull something off there, I'd get a 100 for sure."

"No, seriously, where was it? It looked weird, but it was kinda cool."

"No, seriously, it was the Undernet. SplashMan's gotten super strong!"

"Yeah, no. I bet you've gotten stronger, but THAT strong?"

"What, you don't believe me?" Sabrina reached for her PET, and spun it in her hand. "How about if I show you, so you can see it with your own eyes?"

"...Um, I can see it in your eyes that you're really going to try it, but I'm not forcing you to do it or anything. If you do it, it's because you wanted to! I'm not responsible if your Navi gets deleted!"

"Oh, I know SplashMan's not getting deleted!"

"Psst, Sabrina!" The water tank Navi popped up on his operator's shoulder, trying to not be very loud. "Is it really a good idea to do this right after what happened?"

"I think it's a great idea. There's no better way to tell if you're back in peak performance than by taking on a peak challenge!"

"Hmm, I guess. Okay, I'm up for it!"

"...Ohmigod, you two are actually doing it. Well, since you're both crazy enough to try it, let's make it interesting. ...30000 zenny!"

"Huh?"

"You don't even have to win. Fight, do some damage, and don't get SplashMan killed, and I'll give you 30000 zenny. "

"That's a lot of money, May. Well, maybe not for you, but still...besides, we'll do better than not lose. We'll win!"

"At least you're confident, I guess. But there's a reason no one goes there aside from, like, super strong criminals, you know?"

"And me, because I'm just that good!"

"...And you're totally okay with this, SplashMan?"

"Totally! I'll send those viruses packing!"

"Convinced we can do it yet? Or do we really need to show you?"

"You guys are talking the talk, but I'll believe it when I see it."

"Then you should sit back, and get ready to enjoy the show we're gonna put on! Ready, SplashMan?"

"Willing and able!"

"It's a good thing you're rich, May, or else we'd be about to make your wallet cry!" And now, classic point PET at the jack in port action. "Jack in! SplashMan, Execute!"

(TO THE UNDERNET)