Author's First Tale

Colours materialized around me as I appeared in the Net in a flash of light. I knew this was not Yoka Net, but the exact location escaped me.

Awashima, ever the observer, asked Sage, "Hey, where are we? This isn't Yoka's network!"

A window opened to my left; Sage's face appeared within it. "I sent you to ACDC's net. From what my buddy told me, it's the tamest in terms of viruses, so I thought it'd make for good practice. Now, why don't you get moving and see what pops up?"

"Great idea, forward ho!" Absolom cried. Without a word, I started floating soundlessly down an unnamed road, my wings slowly moving purposelessly behind me.

<(Battle 1)>
Though Author moved silently through the network, the flash of light seemed to alert the surrounding area of his presence. A trio of Metools arrived to investigate, and stared at the Navi with a seemingly puzzled gaze for a few moments before they raised their pickaxes in anticipation. One seemed to lose interest in the Navi's odd appearance, and moved to the offensive and belted out a battle cry.


Viruses Identified

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

Terrain: 100% Normal

Author.EXE: 100HP

-(Battle #1: 1 vs 3, or 6 vs 3? You decide! Ready, Fight!)-
"Whoa, incoming!" Eyan called as I halted my movement. "Any ideas, guys?"

Liam chose the moment to finally speak up. "Destroy them with whatever we have. Sage, what do we have?"

"A Cannon, Shotgun, and Rageclaw; I'm sending the specs of the chips to you," Sage replied, punching in a few numbers on the PET before returning to his drawing. "Ooh, hold that smile, little more, excellent," he muttered to himself as he people-watched.

"When you're done ogling the general populace, bud, could you send us the Shotgun and Rageclaw? I mean, right now I've got a butt-itch that only a really sharp pointy thing could reach, and..." Shiroi trailed off; had he a mouth, a goofy idiot's grin would've been hanging off it.

"You don't have a butt, Shiroi!" Awashima chimed in as the chips were received. "Now, who's going to be in charge of these?" As the four elemental Personae discussed, nobody noticed Liam assume control of me; my bead's golden hue dimmed significantly as his black one merged with it. I felt my form changing to create an amorphous cloak around my main body as Liam's influence fully sunk in, not saying a word as he prepared himself.

Liam directed my body to circle the three Metools; his cloak flapped as he extended a hand from underneath it. My palm outstretched, a myriad of tiny little black balls appeared floating around my hand; I continued to float to the right as Liam aligned two of the Metools in my sight, slowly raising my hand.

"Hey whoa, since when did Liam take the steering wheel?" Shiroi asked, breaking from the conversation he'd been having with the other Personae.

"Beats me, but it looks like he's already got everything figured out. Agree to let him do his thing?" Absolom suggested.

"Agreed," the rest chorused, and if eating were possible for several small beads, there would have been popcorn involved.

Meanwhile, Liam had finally decided on an angle he thought most efficient. "Disappear," he stated simply, and let fly the Shotgun. The hundreds of tiny little black balls flew from their static state floating around my hand, each one making a tiny whistling noise as it went. As they collided, the little beads burst into a miniature explosion, peppering the general area of the Metools with a great many bangs. Whether the viruses themselves were harmed was another matter, but Liam didn't seem to care about that.

"Author," he called to me from inside my head. I silently acknowledged him, and he continued, "There are powers Sage has installed in us that only you can access; use what he has given you. And the inside of my head was once again silent.

Overriding a small part of Liam's control, I extended the other arm from Liam's cloak, and to the one Metool he had not targeted, beckoned with slender, transparent fingers. In my barely-used voice, I intoned, "Come to me." As I said it, an unseen force pushed the little virus towards me.

As it happened, Liam prepared the second chip in his other arm. Several black, very sharp shards of the same material my arrays were composed of appeared floating around my arm as the Rageclaw was loaded. As the Metool came to me, I was moved towards it, my deadly arm held at the ready. As it came within striking distance, Liam directed the shards to begin whirling around my hand and wrist with all the efficiency of a buzzsaw. The hand moved towards the Metool in what, to my eyes, seemed like slow motion...

*Come To Me, MetoolA (Pull, Passive)

1. Align Metools B and C

2. Shotgun to Metools B and C (50, Splash)

3. Rageclaw to MetoolA (40)
Firing black pellets at the Metools proved to be successful, as Liam struck the targets with pinpoint accuracy. The remaining Metool tried to retaliate with its pickaxe, but was interrupted when it was cleaved in half by the RageClaw.


Terrain: 100% Normal

Author.EXE: 100HP

-- BATTLE 01, VICTORY!! --


[Guard1] Battlechip, 240z
The leftover data vanished in a flash of light as Liam retracted his influence, to general cheering from the other Personae.

"Liam, you finished them all off so quickly! That was awesome!" Awashima exclaimed, her bead bobbing up in midair as though she were bouncing on the balls of her feet.

"If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly," Liam quoted, before going silent once more.

"Good stuff, guys. Looks like we've got another chip on our hands as well, which is a plus," Sage noted, popping the new chip into his folder before returning to his artwork.

"Well, that wasn't bad at all, let's keep moving!" Absolom shouted, prompting me to continue moving again. I pondered how far I would go into this Net before I would be forced to turn back.

<(Battle 2)>
Author had come across a pair of playful bunnies, joyfully hoping around the two stationary Canodumbs as the turret spun its head round and around to follow around. However, their playtime was brought to a crash when the mere presence of the navi had alerted them into a fiercer mood, preparing themselves to take down the navi for ruining their fun time!

BunnyA: 50 HP
BunnyB: 50 HP
CanodumbA: 50 HP
CanodumbB: 50 HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

Author.EXE: 100 HP

"We've got more company, everyone!" Eyan called, gathering the rest of the Personae's attention. "Any ideas, guys?"

"Why don't we hand Liam the reins? He seems to have a knack for it already and all..." Absolom suggested, trailing off as Liam ignored what was said and took control of my body anyway. The cloak of light formed around me as Liam turned my head to look skyward

"Sage, the Shotgun... and the Guard," Liam murmured, his voice ringing out to reach our Operator, who was already in the process of arming us.

"All set to go. Be careful, guys," Sage warned, before leaning back to watch the show.

From within my gleaming gold bead, I watched my unseen, impossibly-convoluted systems going to work preparing for battle; I knew that the only sign heavy activity was going on on the outside was the decagon I bear in place of a face spinning rapidly. A thought came to me as I observed, extending a tendril of my influence to gain control of an arm, sliding it out of the cloak that was Liam.

"Come to me," I commanded softly, beckoning to a Bunny virus that had been hopping beside its friend. As I felt the forces go to work drawing the virus forward, I retreated my influence back to my bead, letting myself become fully shrouded in the Nil Persona.

"Whoa, Liam, are you sure the face can take that much data?" Awashima asked, shocked as Liam directed the data from the first chip upwards, into the blurred decagon. However, the gleaming plate happily accepted the new data regardless of the influx of systems being force-fed into it, projecting it into a second, pitch-black decagon floating parallel to the first. For a few seconds while Liam turned to face the two Bunnys, it spun opposite to the original. Then, as he leaned forward slightly, the new plate shattered into innumerable fragments, the ebony shards flying forward with deadly accuracy.

As I watched the midnight death flying, Liam began to draw upon a well of data I hadn't noticed. The data I found within was as dark as Liam's bead, and the entire packet felt like a plague kept within a glass box; it would take very little to set this diseased data loose. Liam took the wellspring of corruption, and drained it dry, though I could already see it refilling. The glitch-data formed in a swirling ball floating above my hand, as Liam pointed my hand, palm facing a Canodumb.

"Surrender to corruption," Liam said as the ball of glitched data left his hand, speeding towards the immobile cannon. I expected him to continue on, but instead Liam retracted his influence from me, his pitch-essence leaving my bead and reforming his own, which began to swirl around me once more. I was left back in control of my body, as Liam's voice rang out to me.

"We trust in you, our shield and our defender;
we do not fight alone against the foe:
strong in your strength, safe in your keeping tender,
we trust in you, and in your name we go,"

Liam's ethereal voice sang as I activated the Guard myself. My wings surrounded me and angled their shining points up, the glowing material warping and stretching to enshroud my form in a cocoon. Through the gaps between the 'feathers', I could see the Canodumbs, and their barrels bearing down on me. I simply floated in my gleaming shield, and awaited what was to come.

*Come To Me, BunnyA (Pull)

1: Shotgun to Bunnys A, B (50, Splash)

2. Surrender To Corruption, CanodumbA (Glitch)

3. Guard1
Though the Bunny felt itself enticed to come forward, it did not, eventually, and thus, the attack afterwards was not as effective, only having the effect of one deletion. Afterwards, the glitch ball flung towards the Canodumb took effect. Suddenly, a pair of comical-looking stumpy feet appeared underneath it, and it immediately began running around! How strange. Anyway, the turret half of the viruses were unaffected by this, and started to swivel around towards Author, locking on their sights. The Bunny that survived launched an electrical ring towards him, but it missed by some distance.

BunnyA: 50 HP
CanodumbA: 50 HP (Glitch: Suddenly legs)
CanodumbB: 50 HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

Author.EXE: 100 HP (Guard1)