Small-time Busting

In the typical 180-degree-divebomb into the Net, Phoenix appeared. "Well, this fairly ... sucks," he said, crossing his arms. "I was doing a badass mission, and now I'm carted back to this noobtown."

"Oh, Phoenix? We have an email from Chris. Its an offer to exchange the Spirit.GMO for another file," Silas interrupted, a poofy white cooking hat and apron on.

"Oh, really? Cool, I was getting really tired of the same thing. Does it say anything about what it looks like?" Phoenix asked, interested.

"Well, I was getting to that. All it says is "If you get into any trouble with cat Navis, use this," Silas answered.

"Well, activate it, will you, but mind that you keep your mind on the stove and not on me, will ya'," Phoenix exclaimed, excited at the proposition of a new makeover.

Nodding, Silas did a few rapid-file taps on the holographic menu screen, then waited.

In a bright flash of light, Phoenix felt an unseeable force bending his back. He couldn't fight it, so he submitted to it. He felt his hands touch the cool ground, then underwent an unfamiliar transformation. When the light faded, he looked around. He was a lot lower to the ground than before; had Silas turned him into a midget? But the colors of the Net seemed much more vibrant, and he sensed hundreds of different smells. A Mr. Prog from the PET appeared, silently placed a mirror in front of him, and promptly left. As Phoenix looked into the mirror, he gasped at his new look: a large, snow-white wolf.

"How do you feel?" Silas asked.

"I feel...." Phoenix began, trailing off, "beautiful." He didn't feel much like fighting, so he looked around, found a nice soft area of grassy terrain, and lay down, inhaling the scent of grass, honey, and even the sweet air itself.

<(I declare this thread BUMPED!! Case closed.)>
[Argh. Very sorry for the delay.]

SeedbatA: 50 HP
SeedbatB: 50 HP
MetoolA: 40 HP
MetoolB: 40 HP
CanodumbA: 50 HP

Phoenix.EXE: 120 HP

"Mmm?" Phoenix muttered dully, watching the quartet of virii advancing, as well as a green Cannondumb he'd missed, camouflaged against the green meadow Phoenix had settled down in. "Aww, man, viruses? And just when I was getting comfy..." he complained.

"Well, no sense in letting them tear you apart while you're trying to sleep. Here, take 'em down quick with the Sword, and use your Golden Wing on those bats. I'll let you decide on the rest," Silas replied, manually executing Phoenix's battle routines and slotting in the Sword chip.

As soon as the combat data was sent. Phoenix's low rumbling growl turned into a full-fledged howl as he underwent the transformation from wolf to werewolf. His skeletal structure changed as such that he was now standing on his hind legs, his limbs beefed up, his silky hair bristled, his teeth elongated, and his blunted nails were replaced with huge, wicked curved claws. "...Woah," he said, looking himself up and down. Fulling his toothed mug into a twisted grin, he lit the fuse, and sprang into action.

In a total of three seconds, Phoenix went from a total standstill to maximum speed, his curved legs acting like springs and propelling him farther than a normal human leg could ever go. In another three seconds, a white flame had appeared on his forepaws and spread across his body. Braking and scratching up a line of tile, he blasted into top speed again, this time not bothering to turn, but this time with a second Phoenix running at an equal pace behind him. A flash of light, and another appeared behind the second. This continued on, until there were seven white, flaming Phoenixes, all running at exactly the same speed. In unison, they braked, screeching to a halt. Turning towards the viruses, they continued in an arrowhead formation. The three on each side broke off, targeting the two unlucky Seedbats. The last one kept on running, right towards one of the two Metools. Upon reaching their targets, the firey wolves put their burning teeth and claws to use, rending data particle from data particle under their relentless assault.

Satisfied with the damage, the seven wolves ran back to the same spot Phoenix had formed the first copy on. One ran to the spot, and the other six charged him, becoming absorbed in the process. The seven had become one again. "Miss me?" Phoenix mocked, snapping his clawed fingers.

"Very funny, Mr. Comedian. Now get to work on the others," Silas ordered, but with an amused face.

"Sir, yes, sir!" Phoenix shouted, disappating the white flames, revealing snow-white hair, and a blue glow around one arm. Cackling, he rushed the Cannondumb, hacking madly at it with his Swordifyed arm. It was over surprisingly quickly, and Phoenix, unsatisfied, called to Silas, "Silas, I need a Cannon!"

"If you say so, but just make sure you make room for dodging," Silas said, slotting in a Cannon chip.

The blue glow of the Sword disappeared, only to be replaced with the green glow of Cannon fire. His cackling turned into a laughing, he let the glow discharge off his arm and soar towards his target: the other Metool.

His chips exhausted, he couldn't think of anything else to do. Then he remembered that by his calculations, there should be one Metool left. Knowing that Mets use ground-based shockwaves to attack, he shot upwards, letting the winds carry him up in a humongous backflip.

1. Golden Wing (Silver Hunter) (30x2 to both Seedbats, 10 to MetoolA)

2. Sword to Cannondumb (80)

3. Cannon to MetoolB (40)

- Use Gust to execute high-flyin' backflip -
The two Seedbats exploded into silver-streaked golden flame, and burnt away into ashes. His swinging blade made very short, very slashed work of the only Canodumb, and a Cannon blast decimated one of the Metools. The helmeted virus that he had damaged sent a badly-aimed shockwave his way, but Phoewolf leapt right over it.

SeedbatA: DELETED!
SeedbatB: DELETED!
MetoolA: 30 HP
CanodumbA: DELETED!

Phoenix.EXE: 120 HP
<(EN, you just gave me an idea for names of the .GMOs. I'll use Phoewolf for this one.)>

Phoewolf laughed as ashes from the Seedbats littered the air. Drawing in a breath, he sucked them in, feeling his digestive programs getting to work dismantling the data and turning it into energy for him. Landing on the ground, slightly battered from having the weak shockwave pass over its surface, he prepared for his final assault.

Silas was about to slot in another chip, when he was halted by Phoewolf. "Don't give me chips. I want to try something," he said briefly, then took his eyes off the window.

The area started to get very hot. The lush green meadow turned parched and yellow, the trees wilted, and a few things caught fire. And in the middle of the now-desert area, distorted by the shimmering heat waves, was Phoewolf. Then, even with the heat waves making him appear distorted, changes were visible on him. His abdomen puffed up, his hair stood on end, and his normally tufty tail was bristled. Also, every now and then a few licks of white flame tinged with silver appeared around Phoewolf's toothed jaw.

"Woah, I can almost feel the heat from here. How the heck did he turn that meadow into an African savannah?" Silas asked himself, then exclaimed, "AKK, MY STEAK'S ON FIRE!"

Phoewolf, finally done charging, drew in all excess heat from the Net. Now a normal temperature, the Net still retained the scorch marks from when Phoenix burnt up the green land. Drawing up his arms to get in as much in with his last breath, he exhaled a gigantic, brilliant tongue of flame. The virtual torrent of white-and-silver fire screeched through the dry air, towards the unfortunate Metool. While still creating the stream, Phoewolf said to himself, "I guess I'm about to find out what the melting point of Metool armor is."

1. Charge

2. Charge

3. Charge Shot: Flame Torrent to MetoolA (32)
Screeching terribly, the final Metool was consumed by Phoenix's fire, completely reducing it to nothing but floating ashes.

SeedbatA: DELETED!
SeedbatB: DELETED!
CanodumbA: DELETED!

Phoenix.EXE: 120 HP


Get: Cannon x1, 200z!
Battle routines finished, Phoewolf transformed back into his more docile, calm state. Panting, he said, "Woah, that was one hell of a double-edged sword."

"Why?" Silas asked, setting the table.

"Sure it was hot enough to melt Metool armor, but everything in my stomach got disintigrated," Phoewolf explained.

"Well, either way, you're totally fine, so get that data and move along," Silas commanded, pretending to threaten him with a butter knife.

Treading lightly on his padded feet, Phoewolf made his way through the blackened wasteland he'd created, noticing the particularly scorched area that he'd burnt while torching the Met.

<(Battle 2)>
<(Bumper cars)>
CanodumbA: 50 HP
CanodumbB: 50 HP
CanodumbC: 50 HP
CanodumbD: 50 HP
SpookyA: 50 HP
SpookyB: 50 HP
SpookyC: 50 HP

Phoenix.EXE: 120 HP

After seeing the viruses and downloading his battle routines, Phoewolf once again became a werewolf. "Hmm, I could get used to this, I guess," he said to himself. Turning to Silas, he called, "Silas, I'm gonna need a Rageclaw."

"Nothing else?" Sias asked, confused.

"Nothing else."

Shrugging, Silas sent a Rageclaw chip. He wanted to see what would happen.

Before letting loose with the Rageclaw, Phoewolf jumped. Higher and higher he rose, until in a brilliant flash of silver flame that lit up the area like a beacon, he split. Where one Phoewolf had jumped, seven landed. However, unlike all the other times he'd used the Golden Wing, or Silver Hunter, as it was called in his Werewolf.GMO, they weren't organized. They were simply chaos.

Each wolf chose its prey, then warned the others to stay away from it with a mental image spread throughout the link and a wolflike snarl. After the exchanges were completed, each wolf ran after its prey. The four going after the Canodumbs reached their stationary prey within seconds, and dove at it, ripping as much data as they could with their hungry maws. Likewise, the three targeting the Spookys did the exact same thing, except the Spookys weren't stuck to the ground, so they expected a bit of a harder time attacking them. Either way, after a full minute of the madness had passed, the seven let out a simultaneous howl, and exploded.

White and silver ashes filled the air, looking very much like normal ash, except it sparkled when it caught the sun. The ash swirled in the wind, but the winds were acting very odd. There was a large spiral of wind, making the ashes spin like a top. It got faster and faster, until the ash penatrated the eye of the tornado. A huge explosion took place on that one spot, and when the smoke cleared, there was no ash, only Phoewolf.

"Miss me?"

Cackling, Phoewolf's right arm started bulging with muscle via the Rageclaw. The normally wicked claws curved and extended, and the white hair turned grey. Rushing a Canodumb, he made an open-palmed punch, trying to plunge his hand into the Canodumb's inner, vital data resources.

Either way, miss or hit, he went right through what he'd determined to be the Canodumb. He took to running after that. Joyfully blasting through the open space, Phoewolf left the viruses in his dust, the winds assisting him by always being at his back..

0. Gust - Use for speed boost on Turn 3

1. Silver Hunter to all (10 to all)

2. Rageclaw to CanodumbA (40)

3. Gust-assisted running dodge
Each of the viruses had rather vital parts torn off by the attacking wolves, and one of the Canodumbs was just unlucky enough to have that compounded into deletion by a certain Navi's Rageclaw. A Canodumb blast bounced off Phoewolf's Guard, but he wasn't quite quick enough to avoid a sound tongue-slapping by a Spooky.

CanodumbA: DELETED!
CanodumbB: 40 HP
CanodumbC: 20 HP
CanodumbD: 40 HP
SpookyA: 40 HP
SpookyB: 40 HP
SpookyC: 40 HP

Phoenix.EXE: 105 HP
<(Just a note, that I never used a Guard. I was running. I don't even own a freakin' Guard in the first place!)>

Phoewolf growled as the wet, pale tongue slapped against his flank, making a spot damp with saliva and stung like hell. He remembered the appearance of the Spooky; it was missing an eye from when the wolf had attacked it, and had a scratch on its right cheek. (SpookyB) Thrown off balance, he made a not-so-graceful, but still workable emergency stop by digging his claws into the ground and holding on. He got a terrific jolt as he suddenly came to a halt, but it was worth it. He wasn't skidding out of control anymore.

"Need any chips, or is that Rageclaw just fine for now?" Silas asked, before getting a faceful of smoke. "Ahh, piece of garbage stove!" he cursed, kicking the stove, only to get another puff of smoke out of the kitchen appliance.

"I'm fine, thanks," Phoenix answered.

Rubbing the stinging flank with his un-Rageclawed arm to get some feeling back into it, and to reduce the pain, Phoewolf sighted the one-eyed Spooky that had gotten him with its tongue. Running at it, Phoewolf targeted its other eye. Readying his arm, he attempted to gouge the other eye out of its socket.

Disengaging the Rageclaw, Phoewolf shouted, "Silas, a Cannon would be great about now!"

Slotting in the chip in a hurry, Silas returned back, shouting over the hissing and popping of the stove, "Sent!"

On Phoewolf's left arm, a faint green glow appeared, barely seeable against his snow-white hair. The aura shifted, becoming more and more concentrated as it moved down his arm, and turning more and more green. Finally, when the Cannon's energy was emerald green and collected in a ball on his hand, he released it at another Spooky, this one with a large chunk taken out of its skull-like face.

Phoewolf, now freshly out of chip data for the moment, ran like the wind. Well, at least the wind was helping him run, but you get the idea. The wind pushed him forwards, faster than he could ever run. He was determined not to get humiliated again.

0. Gust - use for speed boost in Turn 3

1. Rageclaw to SpookyB - try to gouge out other eye (40)

2. Cannon to SpookyC (40)

[...what the hell. I totally read that 'Guard-assisted dodge'. Moar sleep.]

Well, the Spooky lost its other eye--and its life, too. The Rageclaw deleted it outright. A followup Cannon took care of its buddy, and a Canodumb that had locked on to Phoewolf fired a hopeful shot. However, the quick little doggie was more than speedy enough to get the heck out of the flight path of the projectile.

CanodumbA: DELETED!
CanodumbB: 40 HP
CanodumbC: 20 HP
CanodumbD: 40 HP
SpookyA: 40 HP

Phoenix.EXE: 105 HP
<(*Listening to moosak while posting this*)>

Phoewolf gradually slowed to a stop. Looking down, he saw the eye, staring at him. It almost looked a bit pleading, but Phoewolf thought nothing of it. Sniffing it, he opened his mouth wide and stuffed the whole thing into it. Chewing vigorously, he swallowed the eye, feeling a welcomed burst of energy inside him.

"Hey, Phoenix, know how you got logged out for some reason in the Electric Town's 'Net?" Silas asked, out of the blue. He seemed quite gleeful about the situation.

"Yeah, but for now, I'd like the Heatshot and the Cornshot," Phoewolf growled, eyeing the viruses.

"It gets better!" Silas exclaimed. "You see, we just got 1500 zenny transfered to our Busting account! Now, you say you wanted chips? Here you go!"

"Ugh, finally," Phoewolf exclaimed, loading the Heatshot.

Phoewolf started taking deep breaths. Whenever he exhaled, a small puff of smoke came from his mouth. He stood still, appearing not to move, except for his hair waving in the wind. Suddenly, he unexpectedly let loose a mighty fireball, dirtying the air with smoke and ash. The ball of flame screamed towards a Canndumb, but the beauty of it lay within the position. While he had still been running, Phoewolf had calculated the exact position that would have one Canodumb right behind another, and stopped right at that spot. Thus, there was one right behind the one about to get barbequed, extra-crispy-style.

Phoenix nodded, satisfied when he saw the fireball explode, sending a wave of heat throughout the area. He loaded up the Cornshot. As usual, yellow energy built up in his clawed paws. He saw two targets left: a lone Canodumb, and a Spooky. Thankfully, the Cornshot was directed to both his hands, so he had a lot more flexability on his aim. Pointing one paw at the Spooky, and one paw at the Canodumb, Phoenix let loose two rapid-fire bursts of yellow energy, not unlike two energy-shooting miniguns.

Convinced that all the virii would have been deleted by the assault, Phoenix saw no need to pay anymore attention to the battle site. So, he exited his battle routine form, returning his appearance to that of a totally ordinary wolf, except for the size difference and eyes; black with sapphire-blue irises. He joyfully ran, barking like a puppy.

0. Gust - use to line up Canodumbs B and C

1. Heatshot to CanodumbB (45, potential splash to C)

2. Cornshot to CanodumbD and SpookyA (50 to both)

3. Run away (not in battle routine though)
<(Bump, give or take 10 or so minutes)>
Pheonix.EXE flees the battle successfully, having left no virii alive in his wake.

CanodumbA: DELETED!
CanodumbB: Deleted
CanodumbC: Deleted
CanodumbD: Deleted
SpookyA: Deleted

Phoenix.EXE: 105 HP
Rewards: None (you... left... wtf?)
Not caring about the spoils of battle, Phoewolf ran free, galloping this way, than that....

...Meanwhile, a few hundred navimetres away, the air was behaving oddly. There was a spot that the air could not touch, and instead swirled around. The temperature in that very spot was also a lot chillier, even though the digital sun was blazing down, pouring heat onto the ground below. Out of nowhere, a voice whispered, "Come here, little puppy."

Silas was laughing at Phoewolf's antics, including chasing his tail and chasing some Mr. Progs around. Then, he saw a small red flare flash at one point before cloaking itself immediately.

Phoewolf's ears had perked up, hearing the whisper, but not caring about the malevolent feel to it. Instead, he charged straight towards it, barking his silly head off. He didn't care about the eerie sudden drop in temperature, he just went right towards it.

Silas saw what was about to happen, and suddenly yelled, "Phoenix, STOP!"

Phoewolf heard his Operator's warning, and braked just as the invisible figure revealed himself. Grinning evilly, the Navi shoved a fist embued with blood-red energy right into Phoewolf's chest. A strangled yelp turning into a pained yell, Phoenix was thrown clean out of his disguise, the .GMO file disappating into junk data. Picking himself up, he looked his attacker from bottom to top, then shouted, "YOU!!!"

The figure wore a black Navi bodysuit, with blood red armor protecting the upper torso and the emblem: a meteorite spiraling away from a faroff star against a scarlet background, in the centre of it. He wore a tattered hooded cloak; black, with blood red trim, overtop this, though it was so shredded and worn the bodysuit beneath it was plainly visible. A pair of massive black angel wings sprouted from behind him, also tattered and bloody. Under the hood was a face pale as a ghost. A pair of vampiric fangs could be seen poking out of his colourless lips. Completing the look were a pair of eyes; blood red in colour, but so holow they looked like empty tunnels.

It was Infinity.EXE, aka, the Zetsumei Angel.

"Me," the demonic Navi hissed. "Pleased to see me?" he asked, mocking Phoenix.

Phoenix's only answer was to launch off a volley of curses and fireballs, somehow shouting the whole time.

"Something tells me you are not," Zetsumei answers, drifting lazily away from Phoenix's assault with ridiculous ease. "Do something about that filthy mouth of yours," he added, firing off a perfectly aimed blast right into Phoenix's mouth, going right through it and out the back of his head. Screaming inagony as data began to pour out, Phoenix asked him," What do you want from me?" spitting blood with every word.

"Why, a chance to redeem your name," Zetsumei answered, with a knowing smile.

Not expecting this, Phoenix cocked his head to one side, only to stiffen as another wave of pain shot through his wound.

"I know you, Phoenix. After I punished you for hunting me down so rudely, you wanted that power back. You're power-hungry," the Navi went on. "And you want revenge against me," he added.

Phoenix answered with a low growl, but he knew that Zetsumei was right.

"But now, I'm giving you an offer. If you promise never to bother me, or hunt me down, I will give you all the power you lost back to you," Zetsumei Angel proposed.

Phoenix was torn. Which was more important, getting his power back, or revenge against the one who took that power away. After about a minute of deciding, he croaked out, "I'll take the power."

"PHOENIX, NO!!" Silas yelled.

"A wise choice. I forgive you for your actions, Phoenix" Zetsumei said softly. "First, I will heal your wound." With a flash of light, the hole going clear through Phoenix was healed. "And now, I give you your power back," the demon Navi concluded.

Energy pulsed in the Navis hands, as he cupped them and pressed them against Phoenix's Navi emblem. Blood-red energy traveled through the two Navis. As Zetsumei Angel transferred the power to Phoenix, he smiled evilly.

Phoenix felt a familiar power flood him. To the Navi, it was like getting an old friend back; one that was closer to him than any other, even Silas. It was himself.

Yet, as Phoenix accepted his old power with open hands, he was so absorbed in the feel of power, he didn't notice a small tendril of data seeping into his mind. The tendril of thought paused, then lept, diving in. It was this moment that changed Phoenix forever.

On the Net, Phoenix was not only undergoing a power increase, but also a change in appearance. His feathers turned a little darker, and went from a dark red-gold at the tip to black at the base. His wings grew cruel spikes along the ridge, and his fanned-out bird tail split into five different parts, and lengthened to vaguely resemble dark, feathery streamers waving around. His hair grew knotted and pitch black, and his face went from a red-gold to white as a sheet. His already razor-sharp claws on his arms lengthened and grew a jagged edge, and his six-inch foot talons grew serrated edges and about a foot long each. His teeth, normally perfectly kept, grew sharp and curved backwards like fangs. Finally, his two eyes; one red, one gold; both turned blood red. He had transformed from a raven to a phoenix, and a phoenix to a bird of hell.

"Well, how do you feel?" Zetsumei asked, satisfied with his new minion.

"I feel ... powerful," Phoenix answered. Turning, he saw a pack of twenty-or-so terrified schoolchildren's Navis. All were trembling at the new creature that lay before him. Phoenix turned, and saw that Zetsumei had disappeared. "I want to see how you handle this," he whispered.

One Navi, obviously the teacher's, said, "Okay, class, I know it looks scary, but its really a weakling," trembling. "Now, all of you get your three A-coded Cannons out, and we'll practice on this ... thing."

"Weak?" Phoenix growled. "WEAK??!?!" he yelled again. Pointing one finger at the instructor Navi, she screamed as she was torched in a sudden burst of flames. The ashes drifted around, then got sucked into Phoenix's open mouth.

The student Navis began to panic. "QUICK, THE EMERGENCY ESCAPE SUBCHIPS!!" one yelled. All of them tried to jack out, only to be deleted as they tried to go through a huge horizontal wall of fire blocking their way out. The ashes again swirled into Phoenix's open mouth.

"Good, good," Zetsumei said, clapping in approval. "And now, we must leave. Say goodbye to your former Operator, if you'd like," he said, rising a few feet into the air on his black wings.

Turning to the speechless Silas, Phoenix said, "You said there were no shortcuts to getting stronger. I think I just found one, and I welcome it with open arms. Goodbye forever, Silas Lemrock." And with that, he spread his wings and flew off after Zetsumei, tails streaming behind him.

<(Lock, plz. Also, longest post I've ever written. Woohoo.)>