Shenanigans Abound!

A green beam crashed home on one of NetSquare's many entry points, forming the seven-foot colossus otherwise known as HandyMan.EXE. "Sire, I hath arriv'd with nary a consequence. What is thy bidding?" said colossus rumbled, stepping courteously aside to allow a couple aside. He tipped his hat to them, then straightened and awaited his order.

"Ehhhh, I got no clue!" Eoghan admitted cheerily. "Why not take a stroll, browse the Nets, find some chancers and start us a fight? JAYSUS, THE KNOCKERS ON THAT ONE!!" His suggestions were torpedoed by one of those buxom CustomNavis that seemed everywhere these days walking past his Navi; his unabashed ogling through the PET window made her sniff, cross her arms in front of her enviable assets, and reverse directions. "Nerve o' that one! Anyway, HandyMan, just go strollin', you'll see summat what catches yer eye soon enough!" Eoghan grinned another cat's grin, and settled back in his couch to watch things play out.

"By thy will be done," HandyMan clapped his hand to his chest, saluting his Operator with utmost sincerity, and proceeded to go on walkabout. Unfortunately for the denizens of the NetSquare, a seven-foot Navi on walkabout made for a considerable hazard for any Navis below his eyeshot; so focused on the sights as he was, HandyMan wasn't paying as careful attention as he could be to where he was walking...
((From Netopia))

A short distance away, a blue data beam rocketed down to the net floor below. The light quickly faded, revealing ClampMan still in the same upward-gazing pose prior to being logged in, mid retort to the now non-existent NetOp window. "Mr. Bubbles?!? Now your dredging up- Eh?" The Navi's delayed situational awareness finally kicked in, and he finally realized he had since switched locations, plus amongst a multitude of strangers moving about. He immediately switched to the defensive, widening the stance of his eight legs as he waved his massive claw threateningly. "Hey, heyheyhey! Back off! You wanna piece of me!?" he foamed, and snapped his claw out at several passing Navis. A few flat out ignored him as they changed their path around him, while others jumped slightly out of the way while giving him condescending looks.

The Navi didn't move from his position, save for a few minor, choppy steps to the left and right out of nervousness. A window opened up in front of the ClampMan, prompting him to futilely snap away at it, his claw passed through harmlessly. "It's just other Navis, sheesh," Danny sighed, his face near Jack's. "Aye, don't get all steamed up, you're embarrassing yourself!" Jack added, the pun not unnoticed by the Navi. ClampMan grumbled and spat several streams of bubbles as he lowered his body a bit, trying to calm himself down as his eyes darted back and forth, following every Navi within his field of vision. His claw moved mostly in front of his body, shielding him from these strangers.

"C'mon ClampMan, it's okay, there's no battling here! They're just other Navis like you doing Navi stuff." Danny explained from the small window. Jack listened, learning just as much as his Navi; though he poked fun at the crustacean, he probably would've reacted the same way in that situation. Danny continued, the window rotated slightly to the side to help point out a point of interest, "There should be signs to different networks, like ACDC, go ahead and follow them." "Aye aye..." the Navi groaned, and started to slowly make his way, sideways of course, along the path. He waved his claws about as he moved along, shooing away any Navis that got close.
HandyMan did not often venture into the Net for any matters other than business; in his past days as a Maintenance Navi, any areas he'd worked on had generally been closed off to the public. Such as it was, the giant was rather unused to manoeuvring through a crowd...and especially unused to having to watch his step, lest he accidentally crush the smaller denizens of the Net underfoot. A low stream of 'forsooths' and 'in faith, I do apologize' rumbled forth from his lips as he jostled his way through the crowd, several Navis having to avoid the swing of his HandyPack. So he went, until his Operator's window shot straight before him with a cry of, "STOP THE LOIGHTS!!"

Automatically, HandyMan did his best to freeze, but momentum would not be denied. His foot came down...and so it was that HandyMan's first casualty of the Net excursion was not even a virus, but rather a small Navi shaped as a mechanical crab. There was a beat in which Navi and Operator alike turned their eyes down to the Navi underfoot...before HandyMan immediately retracted his foot and stood up to full height, and Eoghan descended into a gale of helpless laughter.

Two separate trails of dialogue then ensued. HandyMan, with all the pomp and circumstance of his knightly ways, boomed his apology, "By the honour of mine blood, in good sooth, I beg your forgiveness. My good...crab, t'was ne'er my intent to lay mine boot upon thee. By thy troth, have I any means of recompense? I am at thy service." His bluster was rendering his linguistics increasingly incomprehensible...Eoghan, on the other hand, was just laughing.

"He stepped...he stepped on the wee guy! Oh, that's a class performance, that is!" Eoghan wiped a tear from his eye, and only in that moment noticed the PET window opposite him, hovering around the little crab-guy. "Sorry 'bout that; big boy here don't know his size!" He chuckled again, then got the crash-into hello back under control. "Eoghan O'Seachnasaigh, if ye please; the git what just stepped on yer boy there is HandyMan," he introduced himself and his Navi, a cheery grin alighting his face. "Where're you lads headed, then?" Certainly, the chance that the Operators might be offended by his Navi stepping on theirs had barely, if at all, crossed the man's head.
ClampMan continued his lateral, scuttling path towards the guiding signs. He tried to take a direct path, and have is claws do all the traffic control, but he was still occasionally slowed down by the occasional program/Navi that was directly in his way. Almost out of nowhere, a shadow descended upon him. The Navi looked up to see a large Navi on a directly perpendicular path to his own, and was striding directly over him, along with a large foot. The Navi reflexively brought his claw up in front of his body, shielding himself from the descending foot. He heard a cry to stop over the din of the crowd, but the Navi stepped squarely on his claw, and was applying more and more weight.

ClampMan grunted, and his body hissed as the water in his carapace started to froth from the pressure. His eight legs folded slightly lower to the ground from the weight, but his unsurprisingly stable platform did well to disperse the force of the Navi's foot. That said, it was a toss-up if he would've handled the stranger's full weight, but luckily that needn't be decided as the foot retreated. ClampMan finally got a full look at the towering Navi, and lifted his body as high as he could go in a futile attempt to match his height. The extra pressure was relieved by a nice lather of bubbles foaming from his mouth as he shouted. "WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST STEP ON ME LIKE SOME PILING?!? I'LL GUT YA LIKE A FISH!!" ClampMan started to circle the Navi, his large right claw snapped like a hammer hitting an anvil, while his significantly smaller left claw sounded like a pair of tin snips.

While ClampMan continued to circle and threaten, the NetOp window faced the Navi and his own NetOp window. Jack was nearly as pissed off as his Navi, but tried his best to mute his emotion, as he didn't want to invoke the fury of the hostess. ["Hey, watch it, pal!"] The collective apologies from the Navi and his NetOp didn't amp him up, thankfully, and started to become a bit more cordial than defensive. ClampMan was still circling like he was initiating a street fight though... ["I'm Jack Canton, and this be my nephew Danny. That 'wee guy' is ClampMan... snap out of it man, and introduce yerself,"] he replied, returning the introduction as well as chiding his own Navi. ClampMan looked up at the pair, his claw issued another clanging snap. "Why should I? I just got stepped on like a living floor mat!"

Seeing as ClampMan wasn't so easily convinced to be hospitable, Jack reverted his attention to the HandyMan's NetOp. ["Don't mind him; we were headed to a uh... ay see dee see. Right?"] Danny rolled his eyes. ["ACDC, Uncle Jack..."]
HandyMan was, quite rightfully so, rather taken aback at ClampMan's vitriol; the clanging of his mismatched claws and the sudden change in height made the larger Navi raise his gloved hands in a perhaps-futile attempt at placating the affronted party. "Please, Sirrah, I cry your worships mercy! T'was a most unhappy accident!" Indeed, this was not how he'd expected this trip into the Net to go.

Eoghan, on his end of things, was having a somewhat easier time of it. Even his drunken self had spotted the legitimate fury in the man, Jack's voice, but thankfully it looked to be dying down. "ACDC, eh? Brill, HandyMan was just off there hisself!" He actually hadn't decided, but it was as good a place to start as any...and anyway, HandyMan was already nodding in agreement down in the Net. "Sayyyy," the flame-haired youth stroked his beard, a mischievous twinkle sparking forth in his eyes, "I had me a thought: what if HandyMan here tags along with you, to make up the manky start? ClampMan here looks a fine bit of stuff, but it's always good to have an extra man mindin' your ar-" here, Eoghan noted the young lad aside Jack, and caught his choice of word in the nick of time, "-back, it is!"

"Thine logicks art sound, sire," HandyMan rumbled. He turned to face ClampMan (however much turning on the spot it might take) and made his own pitch, "Mine eyes doth see a fellow warrior in thou, ClampMan, I am mistaking not? What say ye? Wouldst thou do me and mine the honour of thy comradeship? By thy will, from mine misdeed I may seek'st a pardon." There was no trace of a falsehood in the Navi's eyes, nor in the rumble of his voice; whatever ClampMan might think, there was a clear path to repaying the dishonour in HandyMan's mind, and he clearly wished to pursue the thought.

"HandyMan an' I were only out for a bit o' th' brawl, so it's not a bit of trouble for us...stop the lights, just to check, ClampMan is a fighter, aye? Be a mite silly of me to be askin' if he weren't!" True to form, Eoghan was quick to assume that everyone present loved to take it out back now and then, and it was only in this moment of having to be thoughtful that it sprang to mind. "Well, better late than never!" the lad cheerfully mused, awaiting the yay/nay with no small bit of excitement: this was already looking like a right bit of fun!
ClampMan's eyes still leered at HandyMan as the large Navi continued to apologize. From what Jack could hear over ClampMan's bubbling and clanking, the Navi had a very... unique voice. HandyMan looked like, well, a handy man, but he spoke as if he were still in character from an ancient Netopian play. HandyMan's netop addressed the man and his nephew, changing the focus of the conversation and suggesting they team up. "Owen" had an interesting voice as well, but it sounded more like a mix of a strong accent and equally strong drink. At least now they had something in common, Jack mused to himself as he took a swig from his glass. ["Well, I guess it wouldn't hurt to have more hands on deck, but what do ya think, Danny?"] Jack looked over at his nephew, who seemed to be deep in thought for a brief moment. ["Sure! My Navi and I team up all the time with friends from school, it's fun!"] Jack shrugged and upturned one of his hands in a "well, there's your answer," gesture.

While the NetOps discussed, HandyMan spoke sincerely to his potential ally. ClampMan watched as a few bubbles slowly floated up from his mouth, but his eyes started to occasionally dart from side to side, and his periscope "eyebrows" twitched uneasily. His right claw opened as if he were about to speak, but then it slowly closed before the Navi pivoted his body a bit towards his NetOp's window. "Uh... skipper? Methinks he's trying to say something... but..." the Navi bubbled, suggesting he didn't understand HandyMan. At all. While Jack didn't understand a good portion of the words being said, he at least got the jist of the request. He rolled his eyes and cleared his throat. ["He's asking ya to join him, ya dummy."] Before ClampMan could respond, Eoghan asked if ClampMan was even capable of fighting; he didn't appear to insult, just clarifying. ["Aye, he's been rigged up for this uh, 'busting' thing, but we haven't done it before, hence why Danny's talkin' us through it."]
"Excellent, then we're off! This'll be a right class show, it will!" Eoghan grinned wide, kicking back on his sofa and preparing for entertainment. "HandyMan, quit acting the maggot and start buggerin' off to ACDC, would ye kindly?" The words were rather rude on their own, but the man was so jovial that there could be no mistaking his attitude as caustic.

"O summer's day, we embark towards many a merriment!" HandyMan was a fair match for his Operator in attitude, if dressed in much flowerier language. The nod to the ancient sonnet caught Eoghan's attention, however, as did ClampMan's utter confusion in reaction to the archaic speech. It took him a moment or two, as HandyMan started walking off towards the ACDC portal network (being wide of frame enough to carve a fair-sized wake through the sea of business-issue NormalNavis), to realize the issue.

"Oho, sorry lads, forgot about HandyMan's wee speech impediment!" the redhead chuckled through the PET window following the tradesman-Navi, tapping a fist into his upturned palm in a minor eureka moment. "I was a theatre brat when I was a small fella - right 'round your age, there, Danny! - and I got raised on all that sh...stuff HandyMan's spoutin'!" Eoghan cleared his throat where it felt like the curse had gotten stuck, and continued, "Anyhoo, I can translate if he starts gettin' really off his' don't be worryin' too much about 'cher first time there, Jack! Could get a bit messy, bustin' the little blighters usually does, but no reason you can't have fun while you're at it!"

By the time Eoghan had finished his spiel, HandyMan (and presumably ClampMan as well) had arrived before a direct link to ACDC Net. "To forge ahead, mine boot shall cast forward by th' steppe; ne'er shall mine path to order stray," HandyMan mused to himself, stroking his impressive mustache and obviously meaning to sound profound.

"Blah blah lifelong quest to bring order to the Net, blah blah getcher silly self through that portal!" Eoghan spurred on. Through the TV, he watched his Navi clasp his hand to his chest in a knight's salute, and promptly step into the portal. As he was broken into an emerald datastream and the TV displayed a 'Traveling to: ACDC Net, please wait' progress bar, the man looked around his flat for a bit...and promptly excused himself, running to the kitchen; the night was far from over, and he was far from out of drinks.

[To ACDC Net]
With the decision made to head to ACDC, HandyMan started to make his way over, acting like an icebreaker as he cut a wide swath in the crowd. ClampMan saw the opportunity and scuttled in behind HandyMan's path. He continued to eye the other navis cautiously while on his sideways path, his claws occasionally waving out to shoo away programs that got close.

Jack and Danny listened to Eoghan's explanation for HandyMan's vernacular, seems it came from the NetOp's previous experiences in theater. It seemed almost farfetched to think he was a theater buff, from his current demeanor, but different strokes for different folks right? Jack turned to his nephew, ["So what happens once we get to ACDC?"] ["We find viruses and delete 'em!"] Danny replied enthusiastically. Jack raised an eyebrow and pointed to his Navi falling in behind HandyMan's 'stern wake' ["Using ClampMan."] ["Yep!"] Jack shrugged and took Danny's word for it, all he'd seen the Navi do was turn the occasional valve, pinch shut leaks, and complain.

Upon reaching the portal, HandyMan was the first to get on the platform and link in. Once the light faded, ClampMan clambered up on the platform. As soon as he stopped, he too disappeared in a flash of light and was sent in to the network.

((To ACDCNet))