HighwayMan, bad beginnings

(( From NetSquare ))

In a flash of light, data and energy configures it's self into an ornery-looking navi (Gangster.GMO). He looks around at the rolling data hills and wide open net space and scratches his head. "Uhh wow SciLab sure has changed a lot in a year", he said. His operator remained silent, but he picked up a lightly audible sigh and the clacking of a trio of battle chips rubbing against each other a few times. He picked up the pace and left the link area, beginning to roam out into the net space.

He glanced back at the link he stepped through and grumbled "Stupid thing musta redirected me. Well I'm not trusting it again, might wind up who knows where". He looked around at the skies and said "I'm pretty sure this is the right country, at least. SciLab has gotta be around here somewhere".

His operator mumbled "Data says your in ACDC net".

The navi gave a nod and a big grin "Yeah, I was just testing you. See, ACDC and SciLab are connected. This is some little crappy net sitting on the outskirts of nothing. It's a good spot to get you used to leading a killer like me. Everything is goin' down".

Reilyn just rolled her eyes a moment then mumbled again, in the same even, emotionless tone "Just get to it, 'killer'".

Her navi gave another grin and a dramatic bow, as he said "You got it, Princess". And get to it he did. Hopefully anyway.

(( Requesting Battle 1 ))

HighwayMan crawls the streets of ACDC Net's suburbia for a while, looking to and fro between the homepage links for something, anything to show off on, and comes up completely empty several times. Finally he decides to wait near one of the more common entrances to ACDC Net, and picks out a nice little place with some cover to hide behind and a clear view of a NetSquare link. No security on this side, though the reverse is obviously not true.

After a little while, a couple of contemporarily-dressed navis come through the link; one of them is dressed in a sleeveless top, skirt and heels, and is actually carrying a purse. A purse! On a navi! With frizzy brown hair! Her boy-toy seems pretty well muscled, a beefcake dressed in a pair of black pants, some sensible shoes, and a white shirt, with his jet black hair combed up into the most pompous-looking hairstyle HighwayMan has ever seen... though that isn't saying much. They set down a NetStreet headed east.

A few seconds later, a kid navi comes out of the same link; he's got a cute little toy sword strapped to his waist, but it seems to be shimmering with a light that is slightly more... deadly. The kid's bushy brown hair and the fact that he's cloaked in a brown shawl that hides his body make him a little suspicious, however. He heads south.

And as if that weren't enough, an elderly-looking navi dressed in a flowing blue robe exits the link, carrying an ornate-looking staff that is topped with a gem. He looks around warily, his gray beard shaking with each tip of his head, and slowly plods off down a northern street.
HighwayMan scratched his chin as he considered his options. While it was true that he had been powered back down to almost nothing, it's not like anyone could tell that by looking at him. Along those same lines, something about the kid and the old man gave him a bad feeling. Not to mention he was trying to show off here to his operator and the big muscled boy toy was the closest to her dad he could get. He got the impression that his operator was all about looks and probably didn't even know what a battlechip was, assuming the pair of them even had operators. Yeah that would be the best show.

He heads east , taking a brisk pace but trying to appear as casual as possible. His katana is rested up on his shoulder, the chain that usually extends from the hilt with it's dagger seems to have retracted somehow for the moment to keep out of his way.

(( Eastward, Ho ))
HighwayMan follows behind the pair, and they continue to yammer on about topics so boring, so inane, so completely insipid that HighwayMan forgets about them almost as soon as they are said. He looks around; the street they're on right now is fairly broad, fairly open... he'd have a hard time chasing them down, but if he needed to cap someone it's a nearly open space.
Now was as good a time as any, the navi figured. Also, if he had to listen to their chatter any longer he was going to throw up. If all went well a casual, confident attitude, with the right amount of threat would get them scared and willing to cough up their belongings without a fight. It was best to let them know a peaceful solution was always possible but to defy him meant their demise. Man he was rusty at this.

HighwayMan came up behind the pair, he was close but not too close, the equivalent of 20 feet perhaps, in the net world. He loudly cleared his throat and spoke up above their chatter "Yo. 'Need to have a word with you two. 'Business proposal, if you will". He still has his katana casually resting on his shoulder but sends a few trailing licks of green flame along the blade from time to time, to add some intimidation.
"Hm?" The girl turns, briefly; her boy-toy follows suit. "Sorry, we're like, not interested." She says, scoffing. The pair then turn and continue to walk onward.
Highwayman takes a few steps forward to keep the same distance as before from them, green flames beginning to blade about his body in a threatening aura. He speaks up again, his voice still confident but now a bit annoyed too "I wasn't asking, lady. And pardon me for rushing ahead with this limited-time-offer, but there's a toll needs payed, to go any further along this road".

Following a puff of flame, the chain spills from the hilt of his katana, with dagger attached. He casually retrieves it and drapes it around his neck. He finishes up with a grin, showing off his sharp canines as he says "In one piece".
"A toll? I walk this road every day, what are you talking about?" the woman says, clearly annoyed.

"Honey, it would appear he's a robber." Her boy-toy responds, apparently having at least some sense compared to his partner.

"What!?" She says, turning around all the way and flinching back. "W-well, don't just stand there Jacque, do something!"

"Jacque" appears rather put on the spot, hesitating for a few moments, then steps forward after sizing HighwayMan up. He pounds his fists together. "Why should we have to pay you any toll?" 'Jacque' asks HighwayMan, trying to put on a cocky grin and sort of failing with how plastic his face looks.
The navi outwardly smirks but on the inside hes hesitating to make his next move. He knows what he should do to get an immediate reaction but it also risks making him loose his mind and force them into a fight even if they are willing to pay. Well, may as well get some practice in.

[Gangster.GMO dropped]
The flames surrounding him change from green to red and then in an instant he appears to be immolated completely. His body expands rapidly and when the flast clears he is in his true form (though he would never admit it). A muscular 8-foot tall Oni looks down at the muscled man now. All horns, fangs and fire. A plume of black exhaust trickles out from each of the double-exhaust pipes coming from the backs of his forearms and calves.

His hands light up with blazing wheels of flame as he clenches his clawed hands into fists. His clawed feet, meanwhile, tear at the ground as he widens his stance. He shudders with the feeling of raw power compared to his restrained form. Glaring at the boy-toy he snarls. "Talk no more! Pay or DIE", he shouts at the pair of them with a deep roar, flame trailing from his mouth as he speaks and smoke coming from his flaring nostrils.

Inwardly, the navi is restraining himself with everything he has. Every fiber of his being is telling him it's lunchtime, or at least time to turn these two into ashes.
Jacque takes a step back. Then another, then turns and runs, screaming like a little girl. His girlfriend pauses for only a few moments longer, shakily grabbing her purse off her arm and offering it to him for about exactly half a second before dropping it and running away, screaming.

HighwayMan picks up the purse she left behind and looks inside; most of the contents are clothing files, or other useless junk, but... hey!


[Modlock dropped, next battle should be battle 2]
[Gangster.GMO reapplied]

As HighwayMan reverted to the casual form he preferred so much, he could hear snickering coming from his operator. He cracked a smile himself and took the zenni from the purse, tossing the rest to the side. "Heh, did ya hear him scream? Priceless", he said.

Reilyn gave a hollow chuckle and added "I think he sh*t himself a bit. Any brown data lying around?"

Roaring with laughter, the navi walked at a brisk pace away from the scene, and off to further adventure, perchance!

(( Requesting Battle 2 ))
In a good mood after his successful shakedown, HighwayMan progressed through the network until he came across something of interest. Punctuating the flat ACDC landscape were three diminutive Metools. The Navi approached with the slightest caution, stopping about twenty feet from the viruses when a fourth, ghostly entity phased into view before him. The Spooky stuck out its tongue mockingly before floating back behind the three Mets.

MetoolA: 40 HP
MetoolB: 40 HP
MetoolC: 40 HP
Spooky: 30 HP

100% Normal

HighwayMan.EXE: 150 HP

HighwayMan stumbles into a trio of Metools, and freathes a sigh of relief. He's aware of how powered-down he is and wants to show off properly. Metools should do just fine. As he is extending the chain from the hilt of his sword, allowing it to spill upon the dround, he suddenly gets... well, spooked by a Spooky.

Ok, no problem. Just.. One.. More. I got this, he thinks to himself.

Although the droop on his face is noticible to Reilyn, she doesn't say anything, she just reaches up and slides in one of the battlechips. That's her role right? There's lots of foes so a Shotgun sounds appropriate. As she puts the chip into the top of the PET, it doesn't seem to want to go in, and she pushes harder. Finally she slaps the chip hard a few times to try and get it in, and the ejection port on the back spits out another chip, one she doesn't recognise.

"Huh", she mumbles. "Looks like someone left a chip in here". She flips it over and looks at the tiny label on top "Recover30, is that useful?", she asks.

HighwayMan takes a step forward and stabs his sword into the ground. He raises his now-empty hand and a volotile ball of green energy forms in it. He gives a grin to the viruses as he lets rip the blast that is designed to burst at it's primary target and bathe those behind it in death. A moment later he recovers his blade, crosses the sword and dagger, and builds up green flame between them.

"Eat this!", he exclaims as he flings the flame at the Spooky. This one isn't designed to just harm or blow up on, it's more like a flaming net or some kind of sticky fire that just keeps burning the victim turn after turn.. If it lands.

Finally, not exactly sure what will be left standing, he chooses to evade any incoming as best he can, knowing that Spookys' are known to teleport about.

1 - Use Battlechip: Shotgun (50+Spread1) @ MetoolA

2 - Use Sig: Road Rash [Delayed Damage 20Fire/turn (Burn), 2 turn duration; 1TCD] @ Spooky

3 - Dodge

Sig Road Rash cooldown: 1
HighwayMan fired his green shotgun towards the Metools as it shredded through the viruses with ease, leaving the enemies only half the force they began with. The next attack done by the fiery navi was also a success as it entrapped the Spooky in a burning net...However, as soon as the fire began to burn into the ghostly virus, it activated its safety-protocol as it was able to fully heal it self!

The lone Metool, confused and desperate, swung its pickaxe down against the ground as it launched a shockwave towards HighwayMan, dealing a small amount of damage on him.

MetoolC: 40 HP
Spooky: 30 HP [-20 Delayed Damage (1 turn)]

100% Normal

HighwayMan.EXE: 140 HP
Everything going mostly as intended, the navi gives a grin. Well at least untill the Metool's shockwave smacks into him, hurting mostly his pride.

"You little sh*t! Lucky shot", he calls out. A moment later the grin is back and he says behind him "Rei, pass me the cannon eh?"

Reilyn blinks and looks over the chips that are left. She sees claws on one and a gun on the other, not including the one she knows is a Recover30. "Cannon huh? This must be it", she mumbles.

She tries to slide in the new chip but it jams again, making her force the new chip into the PET, with a couple violent smacks. Funny how hitting things seemed to solve so many problems. Well... Now that she thinks about it, thats not right at all. Thats messed up. She will have to try to hit things less often, at least as long as she can keep her cool.

HighwayMan raises his arm as chip data loads into his mind and in a flash of green flame his hand is replace by a cannon... Facing downward. He blinks and looks at it in disbelief before asking "Uhh Rei, did you force a chip in backwards?"

The girl blushes lightly and grumbles "Shut up, I'm new to this. Just... Make the best of it or something".

HighwayMan scowls but fires the cannon, as it were, from a highly-raised hand off at the Metool that nicked him earlier. He finishes things up as his hand reverts by grabbing his sword and dagger and whirling the smaller blade. With the flick of his wrist and momentum from the spin, he sends the dagger sailing in an arc at the virus.

Taking another step forward, as the chain flies back around, he grabs it at a point to alter it's course, letting it swing around again near him to send it sailing at the virus again the next rotation.

1 - Use Battlechip: Cannon (40+Knockback) @ MetoolC

2 - Rapidshot @ Spooky

3 - Rapidshot @ Spooky

Sig Road Rash cooldown: 0 READY
The green flame burned the last Metool into crisp, leaving nothing but the also-burnt Spooky, who received the afterburn from HighwayMan's burning net. The dagger wasn't able to do any sizable damage against the lonely virus, but it did weaken it enough. At its last attempt, the Spooky teleported behind HighwayMan and stuck its tongue out for a lick...Fortunately, his aim was way off after being burned and stabbed one too many.

Spooky: 6 HP

100% Normal

HighwayMan.EXE: 140 HP
Tha navi grins as he sidesteps the spooky and a blast of green flame appears in his hand, swirling around as it forms into an almost sticky green flame, like flamable gel, and he fires it at the spooky for what is hopefully the end.

Unsure if the thing will dodge or not however, he doesn't want to waste hwat could be productive time and as he clenches his fists, the blames within him build like a raging furnace as they beg to be released.

1 - Activate Sig: Road Rash [Delayed Damage 20Fire/turn (Burn), 2 turn duration; 1TCD]

2 - Charge Buster

3 - Charge Buster

Sig Road Rash cooldown: 1
It's dead, Jim.


100% Normal

HighwayMan.EXE: 140


Rewards: 240z, Shockwave chip!
His latest conquests burnt to a crisp, HighwayMan heads on down the net road. His chuckle and grin is unmistakable, but his operator is still silent. Trying to lite the mood in his own way, he said "C'mon Rei, that was pretty fun. Didya see the way the spooky was on fire and screaming and threw it's self at me out desperatin'". He chuckled darkly and added "Classic".

The girl was still looking over the PET, wondering how she had even got a chip in backwards, let alone how the device even read it. Apparently it's fairly idiot-proof, she mused to herself. "Fun? Ehh.. That robbery was fun, the sad little viruses though mostly died before they could even react", she grumbled.

HighwayMan blinked, trying to figure his operator out, he asked "Wait, so you want em to realize how screwed over they are, that it? Like... Draw it out? make it last?"

Reilyn, still new to all this and unsure what she even wanted, just shrugged. She mumbled halfheartedly "I guess".

And with that, determined to show his operator a 'pleasant slaughter', as it were, the navi sets out along the roads of ACDC again, looking for navi, prog, virus, anything to ply his trade against really. Reilyn, meanwhile stared blankly at the screen telling her to insert a blank chip. She looked down at the measly four chips she owned, noticed no blanks and just frowned. Great, now her PET was even making unfair demands of her. She gave it a slap and grumbled "Stupid... Thing".

Her navi grumbled "Hey watch it, I don't go around slapping your house. What's the problem?"

She motioned at the screen, helplessly and mumbles "Says put in a blank chip, the hell am I supposed to do?"

Her navi gave a little smirk and said "Pop off the battery cover, there's a bit of room in there for people who want to trick it out with extra batteries, trackers or stuff, the last kid to own me put his blanks in there. If there's any left they are yours now". The girl tugs off the battery cover and nods with approval when a trio of blank chips indeed falls out. She studies them over and with a shrug puts one in, making sure it's in the right way this time. Within a moment the text changed to 'writing...', and finally flashed 'done', as she had to claw her new chip out of the broken ejection port.

"Shockwave, huh", she said as she looked it over. "That usefull?".

HighwayMan gave a shrug and said "It's crap, I'd sell it if I were you. It can do damage but it's gotta have a perfect setup and more than a bit of luck". She frowned, of course her first ever earned battlechip would be garbage, her dad said once that trash just makes trash. He was talking about her and her brother leaving a mess behind in the house but it seems to have multiple applications.

(( Requesting Battle 3 ))
After getting the "sub-par" shockwave chip, Highway continued on till he came across a strange sight. A pair of fiery, boxing viruses were practicing their jabs against two other viruses that looked very much like a punching bag. Unfortunately for the navi, their punch didn't barely inflicted any sort of damage against the Powie viruses, unable to give HighwayMan the much needed advantage when the viruses realized his presence!

PowieA: 60 HP
PowieB: 60 HP
ChampuA: 60 HP
ChampuB: 60 HP

50% Normal
50% Gym (Normal)

HighwayMan.EXE: 140