Ship Sets Sail

Ship appeared on the net with a splash, the cruise ship fading into the Net floor with a rocking motion and raising a wave just before her smaller female portion appeared from the smokestack, waving her arms at the side to keep balance and once pushing the hat back up on her head as it threatened to topple onto the deck below. The rocking soon came to a stop and Ship addressed her operator again. "This is Ship! I've successfully jacked into the Net."

"Whoop-de-fricking-doo," Lyn replied, cleaning out her ear again as her lips twisted into a show of disgust. "Are you one of those 'permission to breathe' types?"

"Well, no Lyn, but..." Ship said, pausing to consider, "I think this is my first time on the open Net before. I've never seen an area like this!"

Lyn continued cleaning out her ear and simply responded with a lower frown than usual. She was surprised, but at this point there was no point in freaking out over anything. "Well, welcome to the Net, home of viruses that all seem to instinctively want a shot at you. If you want me to love ya, you gotta prove you can hold your own first."

"R-right!" Ship had never Net-battled, of course, having never been outside her PET except to enter the sterilized serenity of the advertising company. "I'll be counting on you too for the battle operations!" Ship added with a smile.

"You bet your *ss," Lyn muttered, moving to picking her teeth in light of her apparently cleansed ear cavities.

(Battle 1)
As the maritime Navi jacks in, it catches the attention of some of the net-goers, especially of the viral variety. A trio of Metools waddle towards Ship, pickaxes held above their heads at the ready. They pick up the pace and stop a few feet from her, ready to "welcome" her to the Net.

Viruses Identified!

MetoolA: 40HP
MetoolB: 40HP
MetoolC: 40HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

Ship.EXE: 100HP

<(Battle #1: A new experience! Ready, Cast Off!)>
Ship regarded the identified viruses carefully. "These are the viruses I'm supposed to... erm... bust?" the Navi asked her operator, keeping her eyes on them as she talked.

"That's right," Lyn said with a malicious grin, tilting her hat down for effect despite the fact that her Navi wasn't looking at their two-way communication screen. "And unless you want these punks to undergo a bottle-breaking ceremony on your *ss for your first voyage, I recommend you deal with them with caution."

"I have to bust these poor little things?" Ship replied, causing her operator to draw back. "But they're just defenseless little... um..." The Navi trailed off, unable to quite find the words she was searching for.

"Well, sure, they're mostly defenseless..." Lyn said, scratching her nose and now avoiding her Navi's gaze on the communicator. "If you were to look up 'Busting Tutorial' in the dictionary, this guy's picture would be there in black and white. Well, normally I give the guys some pointers for these guys strategies..." Lyn began. Switching to a sarcastic expression of thoughtfulness with her finger to her lip, she added, "But, if you're gonna be MY Navi, you'll have to be a head above those guys, right? I'm sure you can handle this with your own intuition. I'll upload you some chips then watch you go to town, alright?"

"You're the operator," Ship replied without breaking a sweat. "I'll sail off the end of the Earth at your command!"

"The Earth is round, dumb*ss," Lyn barked at her Navi as she uploaded the chip data. "And you're not on Earth, you're on the freaking Net!"

"R-right... Being a ship and all, trying to make an, um... Christopher Columbus era reference and..." Receiving the same boiled and glazed hostility from her operator's gaze, Ship decided to go ahead and get cracking on her assignment. I'll take these viruses down if I have to do it all myself. If I don't succeed... I can't even think about it. Ship new her chances weren't good, but she didn't have anything to lose.

After accepting and processing the uploaded data, a furry claw which formed over her dainty arm up to the elbow, Ship had no doubt that Lyn intended for her to go in close immediately. It took a moment for the Navi to consider what to do with the weapon: after all, her arm was all the way up here, and without risking simply bowling into the viruses she'd be hard-pressed to reach them with the claw. In the future, the realization that came to her would feel like a natural reflex, but for this first she allowed herself an audible "Aha!"

Turning around and giving her operator another winning wink (which simply caused Lyn to grimace uncomfortably), Ship proceeded to quickly shimmy down her smokestack, raising her arms above her head to make the improbable journey simpler. As soon as the tip of her arm had disappeared into the tube, an identical appendage emerged from a newly-opened window on the right side of her hull. With the dimensions of the ship and the way the entire arm up to its armpit was protruding, Lyn guessed it was impossible that it was the same arm she'd seen disappear earlier, but then again, she imagined worrying about it in the context of Navis was pointless anyway. It wouldn't be the weirdest feature she'd seen in a Navi (the Navi she'd just been training had talked in a bizarre vocoder voice, as a the first example that came to mind...).

Ship's operator didn't have much time to focus on it, however, because soon the Net was blurring by as the Navi went full speed ahead to put the arm to use. The distance was only a few feet ahead, so Ship figured she wouldn't need much steam, but she didn't want to risk a slow approach since their weapons were clearly already at the ready. The Navi gulped inwardly as it rapidly neared the sharpened blades of the pickaxes. Still sailing along, the Navi attempted to maneuver on the outside of the viruses while focusing on moving as straight as possible so as not to lose momentum. When she was in range, Ship attempted to get her claw around a pickaxe handle in passing and drag the creature along with her. She made a sharp bank, attempting to dodge while setting up for her attack. She allowed the creature to fly at what she deemed the proper timing, counting on the turn's velocity to carry the Metool to its destination. That accomplished, she rushed in for the one that should still be on its guard. She wasn't counting on being able to pull the same grabbing trick twice, and the distance between her and her quarry wouldn't allow much room for error. The Navi's claw was at the ready at the side as she shifted her course left to ensure the proper alignment.

As Ship closed in to make this blow, she couldn't help but wonder to herself how her body and mind had reacted so quickly. She realized (and later reflected on how little it surprised her) that Morty had probably taken care of those functions in the beginning when he handled her finer details. She had probably been perfectly combat capable all along and simply never understood its purpose. The thought reassured Ship a bit in the task she had to undertake. Just you watch, Lyn...!

RageClaw Metool A to Metool B [20 to each]
RageClaw Metool C [40]
The Rageclaw completely missed the two Metools Ship was aiming for, but a pair of hefty paragraphs landed from above and dented their helmets. Similarly, the third Metool evaded the single Rageclaw swipe only to be crushed into oblivion by a mighty wall of text.

MetoolA: 20 HP
MetoolB: 20 HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

Ship.EXE: 100 HP
Ship made a banking turn as she swiveled in her stack to see the effects of her run. The Navi could tell she'd made a serious dent in her opposition, and what's more, she hadn't taken a scratch herself. She almost let out a cheer for herself but stopped short as she considered what her operator's reaction would be. Underestimating Lyn's stubbornness, Ship had convinced herself that Lyn simply had very particular qualities she was looking for in a Navi. Should Ship downplay her achievement, treating it as though it had been no trouble for her, or would that simply come off as impertinent? The Navi didn't know what course of action to take, but...

"Oi, Earth to Cruise Ship!" Lyn shouted into her PET. "You don't just stop fighting in the middle of a netbattle, okay?" The operator backed off and again returned to whatever mundane task she could to avoid giving her Navi her full attention. Cleaning her ears, the operator glared back at her PET. "Well?"

Ship tried to decipher whether her operator was genuinely this disinterested in her progress or if she was withholding her opinion for a final review. Nonetheless, Ship could tell backtalking wouldn't do any good. "So, um, what this time?"

"You've got the Rageclaw, right?" Lyn responded, evidently very intent on picking her ear clean. "Mop up with that."

"Alright..." Ship decided, giving her hat a shove down with her clawed arm. In her mind, this had a cool, getting-to-work look about it, but the gesture clearly didn't leave any impression on Lyn and Ship very much doubted that the viruses she was about to delete took any notice of it either. In any case, the Navi wasted no time popping in to her smokestack and beginning full speed ahead toward her prey. Torrents of water raised from the net floor around her as she went in for the kill. This time, the Navi's entire body emerged in a cartoon-like fashion from a port window: first, her head squeezed through independently, and with quick motions she wiggled until she could shoulder the rest of her body to the waist through. In the end, she sat on the windowsill holding on with one hand as the beastly arm grasped for her victims. She attempted to carry her ship in a circular path surrounding the metools and to, closing an eye against the seaspray around her, reached for her targets to chuck them as far as she could manage. Realizing that the miniature ship was threatening to capsize from her unchecked motion, Ship let out a small gasp and popped back through the window. Soon, the girl appeared in the smokestack once again and in a comical motion, holding her arms out and wobbling as though trying to keep balance on a tightrope, managed to retain her balance while moving at a high speed to try and evade any straggling attacks.

Rageclaw to MetoolA [20, throw for 20]
Rageclaw to MetoolB [20, throw for 20]
In spectacular nautical fashion, Ship sails by, swiping at the Metools like a bear catching salmon. The first swing sends one of the poor helmeted viruses crashing into the other, and the waves of pain would only get choppier as the transport-qualified Navi hooked back around and crashed the two into each other once more, giving the viruses their tickets to set off on the river Styx.


Terrain: 100% Normal

Ship.EXE: 100 HP


Ship get: 200z, Guard1
Ship came to a halt, realizing that the noise of the viruses behind her had ceased. As the waves around her hull became silent, she too waited in eager anticipation of her operator's appraisal.

Lyn was used to her pampered Navis whining about her methods or trying to act cool by this point. Truth be told, she was caught off guard when Ship came seeking a review. The operator was used to giving harsh criticisms of Navis who thought they'd done everything right. For her first time out, however, she'd done almost flawlessly. What's more, Lyn had certainly expected Ship to be a whiny or arrogant about it... her stereotypes weren't standing up in face of this strange Navi.

And there were Ship's big, clear eyes shining up at her... how could she...?

Lyn shifted her pipe in her mouth and stiffened her lip. If she was going to be any use to this Navi, here was the moment.

"I'll give you an A for effort," Lyn said, shutting her eyes and nonchalantly dumping ash out of her pipe onto the ground as she spoke. "Your form, however, is way sloppy. Truth be told, I kick Navis to the curb if they take damage from shrimps like that. We aren't here to f*cking mess around. You've survived the first round and passed the first test: we've got a long road ahead of us, still. This is nothing to get a big head over, eh?" Lyn smiled, confident that she'd done her part at playing the tough operator and reinforcing a young pupil's determination through a scathing "You've got a way to go, kid" speech. With that, she would be able to face the softie's tears as she cracked one eye open...

No tears. Oi... Lyn thought to herself. I've got to stop telling myself I know what to expect with this thing... Whatever, I only have to put up with it for so much longer...

Clearly unaffected by her operator's criticism (and inwardly ecstatic at the begrudging approval), Ship gave a salute and went onward for her next challenge.

(Battle 2)
Ship proceeded further into the deeper end of the Net, not encountering any viruses for a good length. She came across a field full of wild bushes and suddenly found her self trying to dodge an incoming log! Ship barely steered clear from the surprise attack and found a group of Shrubby that was hiding within the bushes!

ShrubbyA: 50
ShrubbyB: 50
ShrubbyC: 50

Terrain: 100% Normal

Ship.EXE: 100 HP

Lyn rested her head in her hand and watched calmly as her Navi scoured the seven seas of the Net in defiance of the solid panels beneath the ship's surface. She was happy to see that at least she wasn't going to be dealing with a whiner. Lyn had steeled herself against the long waits between virus attacks: patience was a virtue she'd learned quickly from her fishing excursions as a girl. She wasn't sure if her bright-eyed would-be partner would share that trait, but Ship appeared to be quite content looking at the scenery (what scenery?) as she made her voyage.

The operator was on the verge of nodding off in what was once an imitation of relaxation when a loud, feminine cry rang from her PET. Lyn strongly doubted she'd get used to this Navi, but she'd never get used to that.

"Ms. Lyn, er Mrs, I mean Lyn ma'am!" Ship cried as the log grazed her bow. "Viruses!"

"Get a hold of yourself!" Lyn barked, her teeth clenching tightly on her father's pipe. "The scenery has been different for a good while now, and that's always a sign for an ambush. You can't start going off like a burglar alarm whenever a few viruses just happen to get the jump on you!"

Ship guessed that was true, but then again she was still uninitiated on the issue of how much a virus attack actually hurt. What was a log thrown by some sort of animated bush, a stubbed toe or an amputated arm? Which, of course, brought Ship to the very interesting question of what pain felt like at all. The matter would have to be put aside... "Requesting battlechips, Lyn."

"There's something I want to see first," Lyn replied quickly, crossing her arms.

"Hm?" Ship replied. "I thought you said we couldn't stop and take a break?"

"Dumb-*ss," Lyn responded, gritting her teeth and once again shifting her pipe. "Related to the battle, of course. I want to see your special attack. All custom Navis are programmed with one, right? Yours should be something simple, since your power level is low. I want to see your... Bank Wave."

"Eh?!" Ship responded, faking astonishment. "Lyn, you can't just go and ask a lady to see something like her bank wave!" After a brief period of silence during which Lyn's gaze grew hotter and hotter, Ship realized she hadn't caught it as a joke. "R-right, a Bank Wave, coming up..."

"Hold on," Lyn interrupted. "This says you use a sharp turn to raise a wave. Doesn't that mean you have to be moving with some speed to begin with?"

"Technically, I suppose," Ship replied. "But what does that-"

"You're already in the thick of battle," Lyn told her, happy to assert her grasp of battle tactics. "Charging forward is going to put you right in the thick of those viruses, and this battle will go more smoothly if we stay at a range. With that, dodge for now and let me reassess the situation."

Ship complied happily enough, the waves beginning to form around her as she picked up speed to weave. After just a brief moment of weaving around, however, Ship piped up again. "Hey, Lyn, I don't mean to interrupt..."

Lyn shifted her pipe, momentarily showing her clenched teeth. "Uhuh."

"I've discovered that the waves will begin forming if... well, I don't have to move." Ship demonstrated by stopping her dodge motion abruptly. The waves continued lapsing around her as though she were in movement. "It makes sense, since the waves aren't actually created from the floor of the net, but rather-"

"Yeah, right," Lyn said, annoyed that she'd lost her chance to assert her commanding abilities. "Cutting the sh*t, it means you don't have to move for bank wave, right? That's handy, but I swear, more and more these 'features' seem like they're loosely covering potholes in whatever plan your designer had for you."

Leaving Lyn to her complaining, Ship went ahead with her attack. Water began rushing around the Navi as she began her equivalent of running in place. She then banked suddenly to raise the wave. With an impressive slice, water rose from the floor of the net toward the bushes. "It just occured to me... if they're plants, will this water hurt them?"

Lyn grunted, smiling a bit at being let back into the driver's seat. "Don't worry about it. That wave has an impressive amount of force to it. I think we'll see some results. Now... to finish up... How about we try out that new chip you got? It's a freaking Guard, so they're a dime-a-dozen 'round the net, but it's good to get a feel for the chips you earn yourself."

Ship smiled brightly as she recieved the data. As she raised the considerably large shield against the assault of the enemies, she was again wandering off on what her life would be like when she and Lyn were a real busting pair.

Bank Wave to ShrubbyB [40 AQUA + Splash]
Guard [reflect one attack]
Ship steered clear away from the "hidden" Shrubbys, but it was the right choice when a few fired its log right pass the navi. When the distance was good enough, even though she didn't need this much, Ship sent the powerful wave to sweep the first virus in a torrent and the one next to it was swept by a slightly weaker wave. The last virus, in slight desperation, fired it log, only to be rebounded straight back at 'im!

ShrubbyA: 40
ShrubbyB: 10
ShrubbyC: 30

Terrain: 100% Normal

Ship.EXE: 100 HP [Guard Destroyed]
"All right!" Ship shouted giddily. "That was another good run, wasn't it?"

Lyn was cracking a half-cocked smile in spite of herself, the closest she would comfortably come to undisguised pleasure. Her hand rose to her chin as usual and she became aware of the foreign expression. Dammit, Lyn though to herself, her mouth once again tightening in a scowl, this is exactly what that Navi wants. I have to face it: if I keep up this way, even I'm going to have a hard time cutting this off. Lyn was well aware by now that Ship's performance was above that of every Navi she'd trained so far: after all, the people who came to her for training normally did so because their Navis fought like sh*t in the first place. How could that be, when these were Ship's very first battles? More and more it was starting to seem like there was...

A connection.

Lyn snapped the word out of her mind as soon as it arose. In a quite unfair judgment, Lyn decided that Ship was a manipulative b*tch who was having her way with her operator. Ship had been forced upon her, and who cared if she had some problems? Those were her own.

What Lyn had to do was sever the... connection.

"All right, playtime's over," Lyn said, shifting the pipe in her mouth and casually drawing out two chips. "I've basically assessed by now that you're a Navi who will work most effectively at a range. I'll begin treating this as a regular combat operation and supply you the chips I feel most appropriate. That way, whenever your actual operator receives you, you'll be prepared." Lyn emphasized the word "actual" and was pleased to see the girl on the screen recoil as if stung. "Here comes a Shotgun and Cannon. Target the Shrubbies that still look the liveliest and handle the evasive maneuvers as appropriate."

Truth be told, Ship had been being manipulative in one matter: hiding her nervousness. Her normally bright smile flickered notably at her operator's words. It fell at the corners, still showing teeth but cooperating with her eyes to show her fear. Ship knew she was putting forth her 100%, but she could tell at that moment that simply performing well wasn't going to be enough for her operator. Lyn had consciously decided that she would not have a personal Navi under any circumstances. The Navi felt depression wash over her at the thought. Her confidence faltered and she really had no idea what to do. Half-heartedly, Ship came to the conclusion that all she could do was keeping trying her hardest. If she slipped up, that would be all the excuse Lyn needed to dump her.

"Right," Ship said, attempting to curb her enthusiasm on behalf of her operator. Recieving these chips was simple enough: while their were fancier ways to do it, the girl could simply put the Shotgun on the left arm and cannon on the right. The sleek weaponry appeared over her arms and she went into action. The ship rotated and began to head in an arc around the viruses. This accomplished a strafing maneuver for the Navi, who remained facing the enemies in her stack. The Navi had to fight to hold her arms steady against the recoil of one shot after another. She actually wished she had kept one arm free at a time to steady the other, but she felt owning up to that would hurt her chances with Lyn. The boat continued in its sideways motion, and near the end of its arc Ship turned and grabbed her wheel to turn it along with her again.

Shotgun to ShrubbyA [50 + splash]
Cannon to ShrubbyC [40 + knockback]
Nobody would think that a ship trying to strafe could work, but the navi managed to pull it off somehow, dodging a log attack from one of the injured Shrubbies. With her weaponry, she managed to finish off the other two before they could attack. The spray from the shotgun managed to catch another shrubby who was already injured, burning away whatever energy the virus had left.


Terrain: 100% Normal

Ship.EXE: 100 HP


GET: 200 Zenny, RingLog1

"Another good run, right?" Ship asked, looking to her operator for approval with a note of desperation. "Don't you think?"

Lyn kept her eyes closed, readying her pipe in the lull of the action. "Very sound. I'm sure your operator will be impressed and I'll get a good price for recommending you."

Ship bit her lip and looked away from the 2-way communication screen. There was now no questioning that her operator had no intention of keeping her, no matter how well she performed. On the other hand, her operator had mentioned selling her.

Lyn didn't know Ship's situation, and so she didn't know that she'd unwittingly given Ship a reason to stop trying so hard. The Navi didn't have to keep trying to impress this inhuman, stone-hearted woman any longer. And yet...

((Battle 3))
The dejected nautical Navi moved onward, searching for more viruses to fight. She soon found a Bunny virus standing a dozen yards away from her, its back turned. Just when it seemed like it would be all too easy, a Spikey came bounding up to the Bunny and alerted it to Ship's presence. Behind the two, another Bunny hopped over to see what was going on, and all three of them looked ready for a battle.

BunnyA: 50HP
BunnyB: 50HP
Spikey: 90HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

Ship: 100HP

Battle 3 Start!
Ship was still deep in her own thoughts and gliding along when she caught sight of the viruses ahead. She could see enough to infer that she'd just missed an excellent chance at a surprise attack on the viruses that were now staring her down.

Ship saw Lyn start as if she were going to call her Navi out on that, but then fall back into her pensive silence at the last second. "Right, a number of viruses with a bit more health than you've seen in the past. For this time, your operator would typically slot you chips with the ability to hit multiple targets at once, so-"

"Cut it, all right?!" Ship shouted suddenly, raising her voice to a shrill yell that caused her operator to flinch. "If you're not going to take this seriously, keep your chips. I'll show you I can do this with my own power. I'll make you want to have me for a Navi!" As her operator stood with her pipe jutting upward from her clinched teeth and the chips still held pointlessly in her left hand, Ship rushed heedlessly toward the viruses ahead.

"Oi!" Lyn shouted, now clenching the Shotgun chip in her fist as she watched the practically unarmed Navi rush forward. "Dumb*ss, you see that sparkly yellow sh*t between the ears of those Bunnies?! It's called 'electricity,' and if you don't slow the hell down and wait for the chips you're going to find out the hard way!"

Ship continued unphased, weaving quickly left and right despite her boat's mass in her approach. As she neared the viruses, she suddenly dipped the ship's bow into the water, sending the girl in her steampipe lunging forward. That girl suddenly threw herself back against the pipe's edge, however, causing a wave to form beneath the Ship's hull that sent it airborne.

Lyn's grasp on the chips loosened as she watched the spectacle of the miniature cruise ship flying through the air, the strange patch of fake water following along beneath it, the little girl now attempting to straighten herself and gradually lean forward as the shock of the landing came.

When the boat did come crashing to the net surface, the boat dipped about halfway into the water and careened dangerously before the girl materialized her wheel in hand and began to pull back sharply to save her stability. The desired effect, of course, was the huge wave she had sent crashing toward her opponents from her stunt.

Tactical movement (get closer)
Dodge (into air)
Bank Wave [40 WATER + Spread] To Spikey
Ship snapped at her operator before refusing to follow orders. Taking things into her own hands, she rushed forward as one of the Bunny viruses shot a ring of electricity at her. It sailed (pun not intended) past Ship, who was already airborne. On landing, a large wave sped at the Spikey virus. Faced with a giant aquatic threat, the Spikey endeavored to dodge but failed, getting washed up in the attack. Said attack continued past and enveloped one of the Bunnies as well, leaving both viruses in critical condition.

BunnyA: 50HP
BunnyB: 10HP
Spikey: 10HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

Ship: 100HP
Lyn wasn't ready to admit that she was concerned for her Navi; her mind rationalized the discomfort she was feeling as "loss of control." Lyn's twisted sense of "professionalism" was always one of her best fall backs. The operator told herself that this was the first time she'd ever really lost control of a Navi she'd been training (despite the fact that she wasn't actually being paid to train Ship at all) and that leaving the problem uncorrected would be a blemish on her career. "All right, all rightm you've made your point. From now until I figure out what the hell to do with you, you're MY Navi, okay? It's just a f*ckin' technicality, anyway..." Lyn could see the Navi's eyes shining and even possibly tearing up at her change of heart. "A-anyhow! Just enough with the crying, all right? I said I was going to give you to someone else, right, and let's face it, no reason you shouldn't hate my guts. What's the deal with you...?"

Ship just grinned her widest before turning back to the viruses. "I'll tell you more about it later, all right? You're the operator, so you need to be on the strategy!"

"What the... oh, right, uh..." Lyn dimly regarded the chips she'd been grasping before her Navi had interrupted. "Well, we got a Ringlog, right? If we're thinking of you as 'my' Navi..." Lyn found herself blushing a bit in spite of herself and spitting out the two uncomfortable words, "You should still be getting a feel for them, eh?"

Ship nodded and accepted the data, which began to form as a bound cargo of tied lumber on the deck. "I'll do my best with this!"

"Ugh, oi, Earth to dumb*ss again!" Lyn began. "The lumber's all stringed up, how are you going to-"

As Lyn rambled on, of course, Ship had already set into motion in her familiar strafing pattern. After she had built up speed, the knot came untied and the logs began to roll off the tilted deck. The logs then flew with surprising (and probably also unrealistic) speed towards their targets, bouncing as they hit the fake water around Ship's base and continuing to roll as they hit the net floor. Realizing that Lyn had stopped mid-sentence, probably due to her realization at the folly of expecting realism from Ship's clearly quirky chip interface, Ship drummed up the conversation again. "So, Lyn, why don't you tell me about the chip, as the operator?"

"Yeah..." Lyn had moved from looking embarrassed to just being fed up with the situation. Once again, she'd moved from seeming offended to just apathetic. "So, you remember I told you these rabbits are electrically charged? Right?" Receiving an attentive nod from Ship, still circling and dropping the payload, Lyn was encouraged and continued with her lecture. "Well, Ringlog is a WOOD type chip, which means that when they're hit with it..."


Ringlog to BunnyA and Spikey [50, WOOD]
Ringlog to BunnyA and BunnyB [50, WOOD]