Hard Water

The Aqua Navi arrived in ACDC Net once again...but almost immediately, something was off. There was no signs of other Navis around, and the entire area just seemed more...ominous. "Um, Sabrina? Is it just me, or there something weird about ACDC Area?"

"Uh, it's kinda quiet, but it IS still pretty early. We just beat the crowd, I think."

"I guess...but something doesn't feel right..." Ugh, why couldn't he shake that feeling? "Well, might as well get started..." He set his SP down behind him, and started moving along. "Blub, stay right behind me. I really have a bad feeling about this..."

(searching for Battle #1)
The reason that the net was so quiet wasn't completely obvious...until hopping noises could be heard approaching the man of water. Bunnies. Electrical. Cute. PURE EVIL! Several hopped up to the aquatic warrior, giving off a cute and nice fasad...before throwing a couple zaprings in his general direction, missing mere inches from the warrior and his pet. Obviously. The term "one shouldn't judge a book by it's cover" would be applicable in this situation. Of course. The fact they were completely different in color would also tip off the fact they were not normal bunnies...their HP values also tip off the navi and his SP.

TuffBunnyA: 100
TuffBunnyB: 100
TuffBunnyC: 100

Splashman.EXE: 240
Blub.SP: 40

Looked like a usual Bunny battle...but, something was off. Why were the Bunny blue? "Hey, Sabrina? Isn't there something weird about those viruses?"

"Yeah, and I get the feeling I've seem that coloring before, too..." Not to mention her PET called them 'TuffBunny' instead of 'Bunny' or even 'BunnyEX'. That was pretty...weird...aha! She pulled out a chip from her spares, and held it next to the PET's screen; it had a picture of a blue Bunny, which was a perfectly match to the viruses they were fighting. The chip was called ZapRing2, and thus was an upgrade over ZapRing1. Did that mean that these were version 2 viruses? "Um, I think these are official upgraded Bunny. Not like EX, which are...uh...upgraded? Yeah, it's hard to explain..."

"So basically, they're really hard Bunny? Well, they're still Bunny, and they'll still hurt really bad if they actually hit with those ZapRings. So we should beat them all before they get the chance to recharge!"

"I agree..." The operator thought for a moment, before removing four identical, Lark-featuring chips, and started to insert them one at a time. "Let's get to it! Battlechip, WideShot! Massive slot in!"

Massive slot in? Based on the arriving chip data, that meant...four, which hopefully would be more than enough for three viruses. SplashMan lifted his arm towards the trio of Elec viruses, as his hand transformed into a wide water gun he knew how to use all too well. He just pointed it towards the TuffBunny, and...a tsunami of water waves were propelled forward towards them, and each of them seemed just a tiny bit stronger than usual, like he had pumped a little more power into it than before. Overall, it might've been overkill, but he just couldn't be too careful...hence why he chose to completely exhaust every last shot.

And now, just in case one managed to magically withstand that...some protection. "Battlechip, IronShield! Slot in!"

A large metal shield appropriately formed in front of SplashMan and Blub, who both made sure they were safely behind it. Blub, in particular, made sure he was safely tucked away in between the Navi's legs, doubly not wanting to get zapped. However, it was in nice position to help out a little if need be...

[Order of Turn:
1-WideShot1 chip attack on TuffBunnyA, TuffBunnyB, and TuffBunnyC (60+15, Aqua) (Aqua Boost)
2-WideShot1 chip attack on TuffBunnyA, TuffBunnyB, and TuffBunnyC (60+15, Aqua) (Aqua Boost)
3-WideShot1 chip attack on TuffBunnyA, TuffBunnyB, and TuffBunnyC (60+15, Aqua) (Aqua Boost)
4-WideShot1 chip attack on TuffBunnyA, TuffBunnyB, and TuffBunnyC (60+15, Aqua) (Aqua Boost)
5-IronShield1 chip (2-hit shield)

1-Paramedic on SplashMan if he gets stunned (6, Recovery, heals status)
2-Paramedic on SplashMan if he gets stunned (6, Recovery, heals status)]
Splashman's Wideshots tore apart the TuffBunnies despite their evasive movements. Between the explosions of water from the impacts, he could hear at least one of the viruses charging an electric counterattack. Fortunately, he had just finished firing the last shot and pulled up a shield and braced himself. The lack of sound coming from the other side alerted Splashman to the battle's conclusion. He lowered the shield and looked to see a cache of zenny where the Tuffbunnies once were. He turned to Blub to celebrate his swift victory but his support program was nowhere to be found. Then it struck him that the viruses must have managed to attack before the shield was fully formed.

Now Splashman was truly alone in the empty network.


Splashman.EXE: 240
Blub.SP: EJO

[Battle 1 - Victory!]

Get: 800z
Phew, all clear. Time to go get that reward. "Come on, Blub!"

...No response.

"Blub?" SplashMan turned around, but saw nothing. A second turn proved fruitless, as well. "What happened to Blub?!"

"He's back in the PET..." Sabrina looked at the now split-screen, the top half featuring a certain sponge looking like he was trying not to explode into a huge puddle of water. "I think one of the viruses got an attack in before the IronShield went up, and wound up nailing him...he should be okay soon, but for now it's completely up to you to beat any viruses that show up."

"Up to me, huh..." The Navi looked deeper into the Net, not especially looking forward to any future battles here. "Well, I guess I should move on...maybe we'll find out more about what's up with ACDC Area..."

"Yeah, but be careful. It's probably not going to get any easier..."

"Right..." SplashMan cautiously started to move forward, in search of more things...

(searching for Battle #2)
SplashMan walked into the dangerous ACDC Rogue area, all alone as her faithful Blub was deleted just a few moment ago. Soon, the navi came across an uncommonly dark area and something was definitely lurking in there. SplashMan was reluctant to step in, but a virus appeared from inside and dove straight at the navi, prompting the navi to quickly take cover! Before he knew it, he was already inside the area, already a prey to these viruses.

PulseBat2A: 160 HP
PulseBat2B: 160 HP
PulseBat2C: 160 HP
PulseBat2D: 160 HP

Terrain: 100% Normal

Splashman.EXE: 240 [Darkness: -1 Accuracy / -1 Evasion]

It took a few moments, but one scream later, SplashMan found himself with his operator's attention. And now

he had to beat some powerful Batty viruses in the dark, where bats usually had an advantage. Sounded like


"All right SplashMan, gimme the situation!"

"Okay...there's four upgraded Batty, from what I can tell. I can sorta see them, but it's so dark that it's like they're fading in and out..."

"Fading in and out? Wonder if there's a way we can fix that..." Hmm...was there a way to lighten things up? "Umm...oh! It's like that time in Yoka, only this time we're on dry land! And the enemies can probably really put the hurt on you if we're not careful...but if I remember right, we did something like...this!" That time, they created non-watery explosions to light up the dark water. And to make sure they'd get one in the approximate area, they used a certain high accuracy chip...however, Sabrina made sure to take out two chips instead of just that one. After all, these were really strong viruses, even if the name her PET gave them, Fatty, seemed completely ridiculous. "Okay, first up! Battlechip, MarkCannon! Slot in!"

A green and gray cannon formed upon the Navi's right hand, which immediately created crosshairs in front of him. It immediately began to sweep across the area, nearly hurting his eyes due to its brightness compared to the rest of the area...until it appeared to suddenly stop, having found something that piqued its targetting interest. The MarkCannon turned his arm over to where the cursor had halted, and released what appeared to be a rather generic cannon blast. But perhaps more importantly, that would be a very good visual aid for a follow-up attack...

Which took all of one second to commence, due to Sabrina previously grabbed two chips instead of one. "Quick, before it can recover! Battlechip, DoubleNeedle! Slot in!"

The cannon re-transformed into a bow-like gun, which remained pointed towards where it had been fired. With the aiming all but already done for him, SplashMan fired a pair of metal needles the bat's way, if indeed that was still where it was. But much like the Fatty themselves were doing, the needles quickly faded out of view in the darkness. At this point, it occured to him that he should be very grateful that it was never nighttime on the Net, considering his eyes weren't exactly designed for areas so dim.

Well, that was one down. As long as they were careful, that exact trick could probably work again, but...there needed to be some way to mix it up a little. MarkCannon should make the explosion, but...bah, no point in overthinking it. They could only move up and down, to the best of her knowledge, so if she used something that could ignore that effect...yep, that should work. "Let's try and beat a second one before we call it good for now! Battelchip, MarkCannon! Slot in!"

Almost as if someone hit a rewind button, the Aqua Navi's hand shifted from DoubleNeedle's bow back into MarkCannon's, well, cannon. Then, after the play button was pressed, the crosshairs emitted from it searched for a suitable target, before stopping not too far from the spot where the previous one had fired towards. And of course, a regular blasting cannon attack that somehow caused him to reposition his aim without even consciously trying was the result, just like last time. And again, that was his chance to know where his enemy was, if only for a short period of time.

Of course, when your operator is waiting for the exact moment of cannon impact to send in chips, you probably didn't need that long, anyway. "And now we're going for something just a little different! Battlechip, AquaNeedle! Slot in!"

At last, SplashMan could set his extremity down, and watch (or at least try to) as three barely visable projectiles seemed to magically drop from the sky. They almost seemed to be falling through dimensions as the lack of lighting made them appear to vanish without a trace, only to reappear moments later in the exact same path. Eventually, the sounds of three needles hitting something echoed throughout the area. But whether it had worked, only the darkness and a certain Fatty virus knew.

And this was the point where she usually sent over defense...but this time, Sabrina chose not to, for a change. "SplashMan, think you can wing it for a little bit? I mean, their attacks spread out if they hit something, right? So I don't think IronShield's a good idea..."

"Gotcha!" Hoo boy. Between defending Blub and fighting giant sharks underwater, he wasn't terribly used to regular, land-based dodging. The fact he couldn't completely see didn't help matters, either. But, if he recalled correctly, their attack was sound-based, so maybe he could hear it? It was worth a try at least. He suddenly stood completely still, trying to look and listen for any sign of an incoming attack...

[Order of Turn:
1-MarkCannon1 chip attack on PulseBat2A (70, Lock-On)
2-DoubleNeedle chip attack on PulseBat2A (50, hits twice)
3-MarkCannon1 chip attack on PulseBat2B (70, Lock-On)
4-AquaNeedle1 chip attack on PulseBat2B (20+15, Aqua, hits 3 times) (Aqua Boost)
Cleverly letting his MarkCannon guide his shots, the first Pulsebat was located and shot at once before being skewered by a pair of spears. Another Pulsebat was uncovered by the second MarkCannon and deleted in a similar fashion by a hail of Aquaneedles. Splashman attempted to wait and dodge away from the next incoming attack, but failed to realize the attack wasn't preceeded by sound; it was the sound. A powerful sonic disruption struck Splashman harder and faster than he had anticipated while the leathery flapping of wings seemed to indicate one of the bats escaping to a high perch.

PulseBat2C: 160 HP
PulseBat2D: 160 HP [high altitude]

Terrain: 100% Normal

Splashman.EXE: 170 [Darkness: -1 Accuracy / -1 Evasion]
More darkness, more pain...and less Fatty to worry about. Unfortunately, that 2 out of 3 wasn't great. Probably still good, considering the plan had worked, but..."Ugh, who would've guessed that sound could hurt so much...?"

"I guess there's a reason they kept these things out of the regular Net..." Sabrina stared at her PET thoughtfully, trying to figure out how to continue with the lighting things up now that their folder MarkCannons were fresh out. "Okay, so, I think we've established that regular explosions can light things up for a sec. What else do we have that could do that..." Hmm...oh yeah, they just got a TankCannon not long ago. At least it qualified as an explosion, possibly moreso than any other chip they had..."Okay, let's try this. Might not hit, but...it'll probably make things nice and bright! Battlechip, TankCannon! Slot in!"

SplashMan's entire right arm disappeared, allowing a giant cannon the same color as his surroundings to appear in its place. Let's see...blast range set to 'wide'...cannon barrel pointed towards about where the bat virus was after MarkCannon's last light-up, though he wasn't even close to 100% sure...okay, time to brighten the area! He let loose the explosive shot, which quickly sailed over and lodged itself in...something he couldn't make out. A large explosion fixed that, allowing him to find out exactly what the shot had hit: the ground. The explosion possibly could've hit that one Fatty, but more importantly, he had a good idea of where it was.

And to make sure it'd go down, he decided to attack it himself. He lowered his back cannons into a firing position, as the large cannon on his arm transformed back into its usual form. Pressure quickly built up inside the twin nozzles, before engaging in an enormous water wave shooting out of them, headed for where he believed he saw that bat virus. Unfortunately, by the time he heard it hitting something, the area had gone dark again, thus preventing him from knowing for a fact whether that was another one down.

Either way, the operator was in a jam. She didn't see anything else among that could explode...at least, one that could explode and create more precious light. "Ugh, I think we're out of options...I think we're going to have to beat that last one the hard way..."

"Yeah, I-" SplashMan suddenly halted his sentence, having suddenly come up with an idea. "Wait, I just thought of something. We need to make light...but there's other ways to do that besides explosions! Can't we do something different to do that?"

Hmm...he was onto something. AquaSword glowed a little bit, so maybe it could work? ...Actually, scratch that. There was something WAY more obvious they could use. In fact, she had to wonder why she hadn't thought of it to begin with..."Wow, I can't believe I missed that...well, you got your wish! Battlechip, Arrow! Slot in! And you complained when I put it in..."

A crackling noise suddenly pierced the air, as what looked like an Elebee suddenly appeared in front of the Navi, who almost had to shield his eyes from the brightness of its electricity. It flew forward for a few moment, before suddenly shifting skyward, which made sense considering he knew that particular Fatty had flown up high. Now he just had to wait for it get close enough where he could see it...

And just to make sure he had something for then..."Here's a little something to help you out! Battlechip, LilCloud! Slot in!"

Appropriately, a small cloud appeared high above SplashMan's head, waiting for the internal command to move forward...just had to wait for the right moment...there! He was sure he saw something near the pseudo-virus! He allowed the cloud to quickly jet forward towards the Elebee's destination, and quite harshly raining on its parade. And now, for the part where he desperately tried to not get hit...

...Or not, if his operator had anything to say about it. "Hang on, SplashMan, I'll send your some healing! Battlechip, Recover120! Slot in!"

Another form of light covered the area of the Navi, as his forms of injury from the sonic attack vanished. However, there was the unintentional side effect of him being a sitting duck, and not to mention the glow made his location painfully obvious to any surviving viruses...at least if there were any.

[Order of Turn:
1-TankCannon1 chip attack on remaining PulseBat2 (80, Blast 2)
2-Water Splash sig attack on PulseBat2C (160, Aqua)
3-Arrow1 chip attack on PulseBat2D (100, Elec, Homing)
4-LilCloud chip attack on PulseBat2D (70+15, Aqua) (Aqua Boost)
5-Recover120 chip on SplashMan (120, Recovery)]
Lit up by the TankCannon's blast, the Pulsebat's position was revealed for a moment in the pitch darkness. That was all Splashman needed to attack and the virus was deleted by a single watery burst. The sound of more flapping gave away the last Pulsebat as it dropped back down to Splashman's level. Splashman unleashed an Elebee, using it to track down his target. The Pulsebat was stung repeatedly but refused to go down. It counterattacked with another sound wave that ravaged the navi's delicate hearing even more. Fortunately, the bat was destroyed by a sudden downpour above the virus. Splashman then quickly used a recovery chip before his battle routines completely ended.


Terrain: 100% Normal

Splashman.EXE: 220 [Darkness: -1 Accuracy / -1 Evasion]

[Battle 2 - Victory!]

Get: 600z + Pulsar2 battlechip
Well, he could safely say that that was the toughest 4 virus fight he'd even been a part of. Nonetheless, he made it relatively unscathed. As such, he sent over the cash and chip data, conversed with someone Sabrina had met a little earlier, and started to move deeper into the Net. But just to be sure..."Sabrina? Should I keep going, or should I go ahead and jack out? These battles are probably gonna get even rougher..."

"Yeah, but we might as well see how far we can get, right? And I think we're doing pretty good so far, anyway. Besides, think of the strong chips we could get!"

"I guess..." He had to admit, getting some upgraded chips would be pretty nifty, especially if they managed to get some Aqua ones...hmm, note to self: get Sabrina to have him check out Yoka's Rogue Net later. But to do that, he'd probably have to clear another couple of battles here first...so, he picked up his pace, so he could bump into some more viruses a bit faster.

(searching for Battle #3)
Splashman, ever vigilant, walks across the baren landscape of ACDC town's Rogue Networks before seeing swordies, several swordies, in completely different colors from their normal network counterparts.
They were pumping their swords into the air and, thanks to our virus translator, which Splashman doesn't have access to, we can listen to their chanting. "WE ARE THE MASTER RACE! DELETE ALL NETNAVIS!" Ech...good thing Splashman hasn't been detec- OH FOR THE LOVE OF- One of the swordies turns to see Splashman, alerts it's comrades and battle routines set in.

Swordy-N2A: 120
Swordy-N2B: 120
Swordy-N2C: 120
Swordy-N2D: 120
Swordy-N2D: 120

Splashman: 220


Rogue battle 3-BEGIN!
Looked like Swordy was up next in 'Otherwise Harmless Viruses From Heck'. Once he found himself in a stationary position, SplashMan started to lower his cannons down to firing level, despite having no clearance from his operator to do so. "Gotta beat these guys quick, before they can get close!" Each back artillery piece blasted a torrent of water towards one of the knight viruses, proving to anyone nearby why he had his name...especially a certain operator/Navi pair that might be watching.

"You know, you really should talk to me before you do stuff like that. Even if it's probably what I would've had you do anyway..." Hmm...a lot of their chips couldn't beat these Swordy in one hit. That...made life slightly harder. Ah well, there was always one they could use for quick, easy, and lots of damage. "Well, while we're doing really strong attacks that can take a virus out in one hit...Battlechip, BigHammer! Slot in!"

Perhaps counterintuitively, instead of an oversized hammer simply appearing on the Navi's arm, a gray Gaia virus suddenly appeared next to a Swordy. It promptly turned from gray to purple, then lowered its weapon down from above its head to the ground, smashing anything in its path. That weapon, appropriately, was a large hammer, which went a long way towards justifing the chip's name. Regardless, it was less work for him. "There's the easy part. Now we've gotta be careful and do the stuff that won't insta-delete these guys..."

"Yep...but I've got faith in you! So just relax and concentrate on hitting these guys!" At this point, it seemed wise to use something that could hit a lot of the viruses...possibly even all of them. And in her experiences, attacks that exploded in a wide area had a tendency to backfire when it was actually important. Which left...not very many choices if she wanted to try and attack them all. And in this case, not very many equaled one, so that made that decision easier..."Okay, get ready to jet! Battlechip, DashAttack! Slot in!"

This time, SplashMan's hand actually did fade way, to permit what looked like a Fishy virus to occupy that space. Extending his arm forward, the Fishy's wings spread, causing it and the Navi it was attached to to rocket forward towards the group of Swordy. Fortunately, by now he was used to being self-propelled at high speeds towards potential danger, so he calmly adjusted the flight path by leaning a little towards one side, so that he careened towards, and possibly through, the virus gang. Once he was clearly past the final one, he made one last turn, eventually landing near the same spot he had begun after some minor skidding.

And now, to continue the assault. Hmm, they hadn't used any water-based chips yet, and they had a few that'd work nicely. They COULD use WideShot, but they used it a lot, so eh..."All right, here's the next one. And I want you to focus really hard when you use it, to put even more Aqua power in it than usual! Battlechip, WaterLine! Slot in!"

To continue the virus-related fun, the Navi's hand turned into what looked a lot like a RainGear virus, which opened its mouth after a second or two of charging water energy into it. Almost immediately afterwards, water formed beneath several panels, then rose upwards and erupted in a giant watery burst. The mini-geysers themselves kept him from seeing exactly what was left, but-hmm? The ground felt kinda wet all of a sudden...a look down revealed that the panel he was standing on was now occupied completely by water. Just like that other time..."Why is there a Sea panel here now? ...Actually, I can worry about that later. Should I take a dive, Sabrina?"

"Well, that's the plan."

The plan? She knew that a Sea panel would magically appear there? He had some serious questions for her after this battle...but for now, SplashMan dropped down into the stuff he was designed around. Hopefully Swordy couldn't swim...

[Order of Turn:
1-Water Splash sig attack on SwordyN2B (160, Aqua)
2-BigHammer1 chip attack on SwordyN2A (160, Break)
3-DashAttack chip attack on SwordyN2 group (90, Impact)
4-WaterLine1 chip attack on SwordyN2C, SwordyN2D, and SwordyN2E (80+15, Aqua) (Aqua Boost) (Terraform: creates Sea terrain beneath SplashMan, and possibly the Swordy2N)
5-Submerge into the Sea panel]
Splashman's Water Splash was fast and wiped out the Swordy in an instant. The others started to close in slowly as Splashman summoned a Gaia to attack for him. Unfortunately, the Swordy's range was well over that of a simple hammer and Splashman felt the sharp sting of the virus's blade before his Gaia attacked. Another Swordy was deleted, leaving only three remaining. Splashman then sped through a pair of Swordys with his DashAttack before they could react leaving them heavily injured but still intact. When Splashman returned to his starting spot, he found that two of the Swordys had reached him and prepared to attack with wide swipes of their swords. He struck first, drawing first blood with a Raingear's powerful water jets. One of his would-be assailants was deleted but the other endured and finished its attack, drawing a huge gash across Splashman's chest. Having created enough water around the area with his Waterline, Splashman sank into the body of water, leaving a trail of leaking data as he did.

Swordy-N2C: 25
Swordy-N2D: 30

Terrain: 85% Normal, 15% Sea

Splashman: 40 HP
Pain...pain...PAIN...if he wasn't making Sabrina's PET make its low HP warning noise now, it was obviously busted. He was underwater, for crying out loud, and all he could manage to do was float. "...Need...recovery..."

"Eh?" Sabrina looked down at her PET for a second, immediately noticing the annoying sound and HP turning red. "That...looks painful. I'd ask what happened, but I think it's kinda obvious..." Hey, at least she avoided the horribly obvious pun of 'painfully obvious'. "You know what's coming. Battlechip, Recover120! Slot in!"

For the second straight battle, SplashMan found himself surrounded by healing energy, and more than gladly used every last bit of it on his various slash wounds. Sure, it didn't make them competely go away, but at least it stopped him from leaking any more. "There, now I can fight again! And since I'm underwater, I don't think I lost too much water, either."

"Not to mention that really annoying noise it makes when you're low on HP is gone, too!" Seriously, like your Navi being in critical shape wasn't enough to make you heal them? They had to give you even more incentive by making a noise that wouldn't go away? Geez. "Anyway, we've still got those two Swordy to deal with. I figure that we should just stick to the basics with them! Battlechip, Bubbler! Double slot in!"

In order to use the most basic of Aqua-elemental chips, the Navi's hand transformed, becoming the hose nozzle he was quite familiar with. He pointed it straight ahead, and then...nothing? Instead, he began to slowly rise from his spot underwater to the surface, oddly enough in a perfect standing position. Soon enough, he began to feel slightly cooler from the top down as he rose from the depths, and stood atop the water in a blatant mockery of surface tension. Now, for the fun part. His arm still pointing forward, he adjusted its direction to face one of the remaining, badly wounded Swordy, and let out a single large bubble from the nozzle towards it. He then prepared to blast the second one...but suddenly thought better about it, and started to move around a bit.

This, quite obviously, got his operator's attention. "Hey, what are you doing? Just shoot the other one already!"

"Yeah, but the reason I took so much damage before was because I wasn't moving, and couldn't get underwater in time! This way I bet I can avoid another hit!" Besides, he could still shoot while moving...it just wasn't quite as easy. But considering some of the circumstances he'd been through, it was a relative piece of cake to position it towards that final virus, releasing the burst of bubbly damage goodness towards it...

[Order of Turn:
1-Recover120 chip on SplashMan (120, Recovery)
3-Bubbler chip attack on SwordyN2C (50+15, Aqua) (Aqua Boost)
5-Bubbler chip attack on SwordyN2E (50+15, Aqua) (Aqua Boost)]