It was just another day in the bright and cheery Cyber Café, where the lovely serving girls rushed to and fro, bringing drinks and snacks to the friendly navis that come to relax, socialize and generally unwind in this rare safe zone of the Netopia Network.
But today was a day that all those present would never forget, as the network seemed to dim and darken with flickering power for a few brief moments. Though it was brief, and the system seemed to recover within moments, all eyes had found themselves captured by the lone figure that slowly materialized through the teleportation portal.
This tall figure, cloaked and hidden away beneath a heavy black robe, slowly stepped its way into the café, leaving a sense of chill and unnerve when it passed to closely to the casually resting navis at a table. Quickly the two shuffled away as the robed figure ventured through the once cheerful room.
"E-excuse me, may we be of service?" Called the hesitant voice of one of the primary waitresses for the café, though her call seemed to have fallen upon deaf ears at the dark figure continued unheeded to its destination, the back corner of the café, devoid of tables or chairs.
Slowly the figured raised a hand from the robe, holding it up above the floor panels, and for a moment, the patrons and staff were silent. Only for gasps and surprised screams followed as the network seemed to fall into flux again, the lights of the network blinked and hissed as if fighting against the darkness trying to overtake it. While far below, sharp tendrils started to shoot up through the void, jerking and veering almost without rhythm or reason as they finally smashed against the panel beneath the figure's outstretched hand.
Though it seemed to not end with just changing the single panel of the private network, as it begun to grow upwards, the metal stretching with cracks and groans. In places, a dark red glow was revealed, until it eventually cracked and split apart. At last, all grew quiet once more, and the figure lowered their arm as the network finally seemed to gain full control of itself once more, leaving all present to stare in silent wonder while the robed figure abruptly logged out.
For several long moments, those present watched on in silence, as if afraid to move as they stared at the new machine that seemed to have been called up from the depths of the internet. Cracked and marred, with raw, red burning data seeming to seep through the fine lines and splits of this navi sized tower that now took space in the corner of the otherwise friendly café. Its only distinguishing features seemed to be three small buttons beside a picture, and a scorched flip number counter above a small hatch.
As nerves at last settled, and fear gave way to calmer minds, several of those present moved to examine the strange, sinister device.
"What do you think it is? Should we call the NetPolice?" Came the whispered voice of those who dared not stand towards the front.
"Quiet!" was barked back at them by the gruff looking navi who seemed to have found his backbone now that the danger had passed, "Looks like a picture of a BugFrag.." Hesitantly, he reached up and tapped the top button, which brought a mechanical whirr from the machine as numbers started to flip through the counter. Once it came to a stop, the hatch opened with a rusted groan to reveal a simple chute inside. "Huh, well not like I've got a reason for em right now."
Little by little, the useless fragments of broken code were given to the machine, and one by one the counter flipped as the number grew ever smaller. Though once the last fragment fell through the open panel, and counter reached zero, the door slammed closed with a loud squeal of dragging metal. The machine's interior started to grow brighter and brighter, and for the next few moments, all navis backed away.
But then a soft click was heard, and the tower seemed to calm down, its tray slowly opening once more, revealing not a chute into the darkness below, but a patch of data floating just within.
"What in the net..." Came a questioned murmur as the navi reached out to touch it, and in a flash, it downloaded and he gave a gasped surprise. "Battlechip! H-hey! This thing gave me a battlechip!"