Once more drinking some Cyber-Tea

Splitman looked around the area. Still seemed to be the same place he once knew. The air was virtual and neither pleasing nor unpleasing, as was generally the way in properly maintained networks. He shuffled idly by the entrance and began looking around the location passively. Just to be safe he paid a particular bit of attention to the 9th table on the right, to see if it had a reserved marker placed today.

Hopefully this wouldn't take too long, but he was unconcerned about his scheduling now. The convince of the meeting place being in approximately the same location as his serial murders of virii was a boon. Hopefully this meeting might enable him to find out a bit of what was going on in Hades before everything went to hell, but whatever the reason he was here, Splitman was pretty sure that it was a good one.
There was indeed a reserved marker placed upon the table, exactly as Splitman had expected. This time however, the table was occupied already. The young lady Navi clad in in dimmed white and silver Splitman had met here last time already sat at the table. She was quietly nursing a cup of tea while staring idly out at the bustling network activity of NetopiaNet, apparently without a care in the world. She did not give the slightest indication she was paying any attention to the inside of the Cafe, however...

Welcome, Splitman.
[font=French Script MT][b][/font][/b]
The flowing text wrote itself into the space before Splitman's eyes, then disappeared as more wrote itself in it's place.

Please take a seat.
[font=French Script MT][b][/font][/b]
She never once turned her head to look at him, and no-one else appeared to have seen the now-fading ghost-written script except Splitman. The silvery-white clad Navi took another sip from her cup as she continued to gaze placidly out the window.
"Always a pleasure" Splitman commented, before taking the seat opposite her. He did his best to reflect her general composure and complete sense of apathy, but his act missed a beat when he found himself without a cup of tea to call his own. He frowned slightly at the realization, but such was the way of things. She would have to be some omniscient super-being to always have a waitress bring a cup of fresh tea just as he arrived.

He did his best to assume a relaxed posture without a cup of tea or any genuine interest in the surroundings. He noted quietly to himself that it was likely an abysmal failure.
"Now then, I hope our last discussion was fruitful for you. What can I do for you today"

He might not have been able to mimic comfort without a cup of tea, but Split soon realized he was mimicking the last part of the experience all too well. Because of a combination of seating arrangement, awkward posture, and a genuine desire for tea - Splitman found himself looking into the tea-shop rather than at his host. The non-descript banter of patrons in the background provided a suitably pleasant view. It always made him chuckle when people wasted their time in a place like this without cause or reason.

Splitman would have both once his cup of tea finally arrived.
"Honestly, I don't know how you can guzzle this stuff down like you do-- And here's yours." A male voice said from over Splitman's shoulder before a dark purple long-coat clad Custom Navi stepped into his field of vision holding a loaded tray. The Navi deposited a cup of tea in front of Splitman before quickly unloading two carafes, one filled with tea and the other with coffee, onto the table. He then took a seat next to Silencia. "I'm a coffee man, myself, but even then, that's your... what... fifteenth cup of tea today?"

Silencia made a sour expression and shook her head at the mention of coffee before taking another sip of tea. That apparently washed the memory from her mind as her expression smoothed over once again. Flowing text began to write itself in the air between Splitman and the Navi sitting across from him.
I haven't been keeping track... And coffee is vile.[font=French Script MT][b][/font][/b]

The Navi's tone was very much teasing as he replied: "You're like a black hole when it comes to tea. Whenever we come here, you down a pitcher or two."
Silencia shot the Navi next to her a sideways, slit-eyed glance as
Quiet, you.[font=French Script MT][b][/font][/b]
wrote itself into being. As the text faded, she closed her eyes and took another sip from her cup while another message flowed it's way into being.
The blend that Sommelier mixes for me is excellent.[font=French Script MT][b][/font][/b]
She opened one eye to glance at the darkly clad Navi as she finished her tea.
And you're certainly one to talk about black holes.[font=French Script MT][b][/font][/b]
Silencia set the empty cup up the table as the text faded.

"Indeed I am." The darkly clad Navi responded easily, almost with a hint of pride, as he finally took a taste from his own mug; an act that did little to hide the amused smile on his human-like face. He set the mug back down, glanced sideways at Silencia and impishly asked: "More tea?"
Yes, please.[font=French Script MT][b][/font][/b]
Wrote itself into being as she lightly pushed the teacup towards the pitcher. Splitman noticed the sound of the teacup sliding across the table begin to quickly die off as if someone were turning the volume down. Too, the sounds of the Cafe around them were similarly dimmed away.

The darkly clad Navi proceeded to pour another cup of tea for both Silencia and Splitman before setting the pitcher down. "Well now, I never get tired of that. Anyhow..." The Navi looked up from the table and directly at Splitman as he began to address the Mafia Navi for the first time. "Yo, and a pleasure. Name's Horizon." Horizon's casual manner gave off the impression he was winging this conversation; no prior practice involved... And that he was perfectly comfortable with doing things that way. "I'd apologize for the necessary rudeness of the last few minutes, but frankly I was enjoying myself too much. Instead, I'll get straight to the point." Horizon leaned back. "I called you here today so I could thank you for your earlier help. Now, to a businessman like you, this must seem a monumental waste of time, and time is money. However..." Horizon raised one hand and gestured to both emphasize his speech and to forestall an interruption at the same time. "...I happen to know that there are things in life that hold value far surpassing the concept of price. And as a thank you, we're here to give you one of those things." Horizon stopped speaking abruptly, apparently deliberately giving Splitman time to process what had been said thus far.
Split glanced at the two clearly capable individuals. For people who acted like super-spies they clearly fell short of the ideal.
"I mean no offense when I say this, but you really haven't done your research when it comes to me. If I recall correctly I did not even receive monetary compensation from your last visit, I merely received [size0]the satisfaction in knowing that a pathetic insult to reality has begun his descent into destruction[/size]" His tone fell quiet and sharp at the end of the statement, as though someone had poured potent acid down his throat. A brilliant red danced across his eyes as his spoke, like a screen of bloody static that seemed to envelop the surface. His hand, which had been reaching for his cup, fell short and momentarily clenched into a fist.

And then the moment was passed and he suddenly looked quite calm once more. His eyes displayed a dull blue, and his movement relayed a aura of peace.
"Ahem" Splitman coughed politely

"What I meant to say is that I personally do not generally deal with the business affairs, though Chad happens to specialize in that sort of work. I merely prefer to make the world a superior place in the most efficient ways possible. A superior world is a more profitable world for all parties, so my... owner... might make a better profit"

He glanced at the two before pausing to pour himself a cup of tea.
"In any event, I am quite curious if your visit has any immediate implications for the... task.. I am supposed to be completing shortly, something about a dead Navi in Hades or some-such. Based on your tones it would sound rather unlikely, but I would prefer to me thorough."
"My that reaction was interesting, and worth seeing for myself. It shows spirit, in a quasi-psychotic way. Hmm, HadesNet...." Horizon stopped speaking long enough to take a drink from his mug. "Oh, them." The darkly clad Navi shook his head while grinning. "No, no... Our organization has no interest in the matter of which you speak. We really aren't here for any other reason than the one I mentioned. Whether you believe that or not is all you. And with that in mind, Silencia, if you would."

The mute lady Navi in white reached up into the cascade of white hair that fell from her helmet. When she withdrew her hand again she was holding a 3-inch diameter round piece of glass that looked a lot like a telescope lens. Silencia laid the lens down on the table with a click, then pushed it to the center of the table with one finger.
Pick up the lens and look through it.
[font=French Script MT][b][/font][/b]
Split looked at the lens cautiously. He extended his right hand out and gripped it firmly between his thumb and index finger. He took a moment to twirl the glass disk in his hand before taking a deep breath. "This had better not do anything absurd" He muttered before holding out the glass disk at arms length. He looked through the lens cautiously, to make sure it was not some sort of completely pointless trap.

Then a grin began to come across his face.
As Splitman looked into the lens, his vision began to narrow, eventually becoming entirely focused on the view the lens was projecting to the exclusion of all else. There wasn't much to see at first, as the view apparently consisted of some sort of stand-by screen, sort of like a screen saver on someone's desktop, only circular instead of square. A moment later, and the image blinked out. It was replaced by a black screen, with red boxes filled with red text running down the right side. The boxes went green with a check beside them as whatever system he was looking at performed its power-on self test.

Unfortunately, the symbols that made up the text boxes were unknown to Splitman... He couldn't read them at all. However, once the 9th box went green, the screen went from black to a real-time view of the interior of a data vault, as seen through a single lens. The image gained clarity rather quickly, and the resolution kept climbing, eventually past what was normal for the average Navi's own sight. The image's definition stabilized just before the view rotated to point out at a cyberspace city-scape, as seen from 40+ floors above network ground level. From here, it was nearly impossible to make out the shape of anything smaller than a bulk E-mail delivery program--

Or not.

The view zoomed in at a dizzying rate. It appeared that Splitman had been thrust bodily forward, as buildings shot past to either side, and the street flew up to meet him head-on. But before the view 'collided' with the street, it started to scroll upwards as it continued to zoom in, following the street as it went. One notable thing about the scene.... there were no Navis or Progs in the street that Splitman could see, at all. It was deserted. Deserted... with the exception of a large group of Navis that eventually swept into view. They appeared to be carrying carrying a coffin between them.

The display Splitman had been looking through went through a sudden change as a red string of text wrote itself across the top. The nature of the display now revealed itself as the cross-hair drew itself into being in the middle of the sniper scope, and the Navis within view were all lit up with a glowing blue outline. Arrows blinked into being around the edge of the scope's circular view as it tracked across the procession to look at each Navi in turn, each of the arrows obviously indicating a nearby Navi. The sight noted the HP indicator values of the Navis as it scrolled by... a very few of them were hovering just above the 1000 mark, though the majority were far below it. And there were nearly 40 of them, in total.

The sight eventually came to rest on the box a final time. A few silent seconds later, and a long, thin dark purple beam lanced out from beneath the sight to pierce the box. There was a stunned moment as everyone around the coffin stopped, obviously stunned by this development. The scope shifted to lock onto one of them. The new target was one of the Navis with a really high HP count, clearing 1400 easily. A second beam lanced out, and deleted the target as soon as it struck. The image faded to black just as the scope began to shift to a third target.


Splitman found himself sitting in the booth where he had been a few minutes before. He found he was no longer in possession of the lens, as Horizon had plucked it from his grasp and was now leaning back into his heat again. "So then... I'll give you three guesses at who was in the coffin... and the first two don't count." The Navi smiled at Splitman.
Split continued grinning, but his smile had faded slightly. It wasn't the sort of scene he had wanted to find. It wasn't the face to face destruction of a wretched entity who had made the world a more pathetic place. It wasn't even a visual of his death.

This was on the same level of watching a building blow up, and being told that your mortal enemy was inside. It was.... disappointing...

"Yes, and can gather who was inside." He started before he paused for a moment and sighed
"I... I just kinda wanted to see it happen. To be sure. Now I will never really know, not with the same... certainty..."

He began to get up from the table.
"Look, I don't mean to insult you guys or anything. I prefer that you went out of your way to do it and all... it's just...."
"Not as satisfying. Yeah, I get you." Horizon shrugged. "Well, that's all we had for you. You're free to walk away at any time unless you had other business to discuss with us. Oh, yes, and..." The Navi held the silver platter he'd brought the drinks on up next to him. It was well cared for, and polished to a reflective finish. Splitman could see the Navi's reflection... It wasn't the same as what he saw when he looked at Horizon, it was that of a blue and aqua normal Navi. Silencia just wasn't there at all in the reflection, though she still sat by the window idly sipping another cup of tea. "...This conversation never happened, of course."
Splitman shurgged "Clearly it didn't"

He stepped towards the exit before pausing
"Contact me if you need me- you know how. I am clearly in your debt, if only marginally."

He decided to forsake waving and took a swig of the tea before leaving.
"Not that you really ever need me, being functionally.... as useful as... five of me"

With that he walked towards the door and out of the shop.