Melee and Rass Take to the Streets

MeleeMan appeared in his usual display of smoke, rising from one knee to his full height. He looked slightly abnormal in his armcast and head bandage, helmetless with his flaming orange eyes showing, but he tried to act natural. "Well, what a pleasure it is to have Rass, a warrior of true spirit, covering my back once again! Without this, fighting crippled is of no consequence. My friend is as valuable to me as my second fist!" he shouted, flexing his arm experimentally.

"You consider your friend as valuable as a single appendage? Well... I guess that's something, anyways," Rania sighed, still irritated at the return of MeleeMan's meatheaded personality. "Remember, don't overexert yourself. If you push yourself too hard, it's going to hamper the recovery of your arm; it may even cause permanent damage."

"Yeah, yeah. I'm sure I'll get that line a million times before this is all over," MeleeMan grumbled, frowning and looking forward into the Scilabs net.
The familiar black beam of light crashed down onto the network, rapidly reforming itself into a humanoid form. Four lightly glowing orbs streaked down shortly thereafter - one red, one blue, one green, and one pink - and slammed one after another into the dark form. A blinding burst of light later, a rather unbalanced-looking Rass stepped forward, glancing furtively around as he flexed his fingers experimentally. "I'm n-never going to get used to th-that..." he muttered, apparently still off-kilter from the rapid regeneration procedures Suien had employed. With a nervous adjustment of the helmet and the straightening of his scarf, Rass took a few steps forward...

...and bumped into MeleeMan's damaged arm!

"Ahh.. uh... hey, MeleeMan!" shouted Rass, no longer outright terrified of his puglistic partner, but still slightly intimidated by the navi's firey eyes, "That's a... n-new look you're s-sporting, isn't it? It's very uh... manly!"


Outside, Suien sighed and adjusted his glasses. Flipping through his chip folder to take inventory, he paused as he noticed several small blips moving toward Rass' position on his PET's tracer. "Look sharp, Rania," he said simply, withdrawing the rockcube in preparation, "Looks like we've got company."

Look Sharp? Who the hell says that anymore? he thought, cringing as he tapped his PET nervously, Come on, Suien.... be more hip... or something.
Viruses! Look sharp, hipsters!

MarkcannonA: 60 HP
MarkcannonB: 60 HP
MarkcannonC: 60 HP
BoomerA: 60 HP
BoomerB: 60 HP
BoomerC: 60 HP
ElecOgreA: 120 HP
ElecOgreB: 120 HP
ElecOgreC: 120 HP

Meleeman.EXE: 180 HP

"Au-Augh! Watch the arm, Rass! I wish the damn thing would have recovered just a bit more slowly, because that... er... stuff in your muscles that makes you feel pain is working overtime right now!" MeleeMan cringed, drawing his elbow in further.

"If you can't handle a little nudge from your allies, MeleeMan, how do expect to stand against hostile opponents?" Rania sighed, frowning at her PET. "Maybe I ought to just jack you back out."

"No, hold on, Rania! I may have let my frustration cause me to exaggerate a little," MeleeMan explained, trying to fake a smile. "It barely hurt at all! Ha ha ha! No worries, no worries!"

"Okay, I guess," Rania replied with another low sigh, rummaging through her chest pocket for chips. "How about we focus on the Boomer viruses? I think that Suien has both a bamboo lance and a boomerang himself, so he'll probably take care of the elecogres. I think if you try, you should be able to take out quite a few viruses while he handles the others."

"Sure, sure. You know I have no problems with being aggressive, Rania," MeleeMan responded with a nod. "Just go ahead and send me the chips." Recieving the data, MeleeMan hurriedly summoned a heatshot weapon onto one arm. "This should do pretty well for the boomers," he grunted, lining it up and firing it off toward the viruses quickly. "Okay... that's no problem at all. Good so far. I never really needed my right arm for firing guns anyways, did I?" he thought to himself, switching over to his regular fist. "Preforming an uppercut... that could be a bit harder," he gulped, running for the Boomers. As he approached the enemies, he broke into a skid, bring his fist downward until it reached below his knees. With a tight upward motion, he attempted to ram the enemy upwards into the sky in a burst of flames. "It may not be right-handed, but there's a Soul Fist Uppercut for you! Nothing less than the best!"

"Ah, that's good," Rania sighed, smiling toward Suien. "I was a little worried he wouldn't still be able to perform that move, since he's always used his right for it, but I see now that it worked out fine." Crossing one leg over the other the other, she regained a bit more of her optimism about her navi.

"What's with that smile, Rania?" MeleeMan spat, still utterly lacking any charm other than his masculine physique.

"N-Nothing," Rania returned, dropping her head a bit and looking once again thoroughly displeased.

"Aw, cheer up," MeleeMan laughed, raising one eyebrow and smiling. "Watch this maneuver. Hrungh!" he shouted, hurling a boomerang one-handedly with a slight crank of his torso towards the group of cannons. "I'm the same great fighter, even with this little handicap, you see?" MeleeMan got into a stance to prepare to dodge enemy attack, stretching his legs briefly and then straightening back into an upright position with his fist raised to his face.

1) Heatshot to BoomerA and splash [90 elemental bonus]
2) Soul Fist Uppercut to Boomer C [140 damage elemental bonus + lower accuracy]
3) Boomerang to Cannodumb group [60]
4) Dodge
Rass drew backward as MeleeMan howled in pain, oblivious to the viruses that threatened to surround the two of them. "Ah... uh... s-sorry about that, MeleeMan! I... I'll t-try to f-f-fix y-your arm if you'd..."

Quote ()

"No, hold on, Rania! I may have let my frustration cause me to exaggerate a little," MeleeMan explained, trying to fake a smile. "It barely hurt at all! Ha ha ha! No worries, no worries!"

Pausing to process the larger navi's explanation, Rass sighed and shook his head. "If you say so..." muttered the fusion navi, taking a few steps forward while turning his helmeted head to face MeleeMan, "I... I don't know though, sh-shouldn't you be taking b-better care of your..." Rass' voice trailed off as he narrowly avoided bumping straight into a red-faced ElecOgre. The menacing virus glowered down at the quivering navi until Rass' self-preservation coding overrode his fear routines and the fusion navi ran away in terror, seeking cover behind the larger navi.

Rass, what do you think you're doing? quipped Tem's familiar voice as a patch of blue swirled onto his chest, Don't you think that you should be helping your meatheaded little friend over there? He's injured, after all. She whirled around, settling in Rass' right arm, transforming his normally-black hand into a deep shade of azure. Of course, if you would allow me access to the system administrator function, I'm sure that I can make sure that nothing bad happens to us.

"T-Tem?" gasped Rass in an odd combination of relief and nervousness, "Y-You're okay? That's... That's..."

Of course I'm okay. You didn't think a little blast like that could fully incapacitate someone like me? replied Tem in a curt tone of voice, Although I have to admit, you must have done a superb job holding off that Cybeast after I... decided to leave things in your hands. Not that I had any doubt that *I* could do better, but good job nevertheless.

Rass looked confusedly down at his hands. "Um... Tem?" he mumbled, "I... wasn't in control during the end of the Riccio battle. I think... I think control passed to the only other system that wasn't active when we took that last blast."

Tem stayed silent for a moment, but a moment later, a pair of angry-looking eyes materialized on the back of Rass' hand. You mean to tell me, she scowled in a rather edgy voice, That Argo, of all people, was functioning as the system administrator in my absence? You LET him be system administrator when I... when I...

"Tem! Now's not the time!" chided Suien, slotting in a quartet of battlechips as he spoke, "It looks like MeleeMan is capable of handling the cannondumbs, so your first priority is those ElecOgres. I'm sending you the boomerang and the bamboolance, so make good use of those. Tem, I want you to assist Rass with the shotguns in order to ensure that everything is covered. If you coordinate your attacks with MeleeMan, there's a good chance that you'll come out of this on top!"

Tem said nothing as the chip data was downloaded into Rass' circuitry, and the fusion navi looked downward uncomfortably as a large green boomerang formed itself into his right hand. Suddenly, Rass felt his arm move with a speed and grace like never before. Furious over her being passed over in favor of Argo, Tem had decided to take matters into her own proverbial hands. Swinging the scything green weapon around in a clean arc, she hurled the boomerang toward the ElecOgres, releasing the boomerang at the apex of the rotation. The weapon sang as it sailed through the air, whistling across the battlefield toward the red-faced adversaries. Turning Rass' body around disdainfully, Tem scowled darkly as she balled his hands into a tight fist. Rass glanced nervously as a large amount of wood energy collected into his hand, sending out green coils of electricity up and through his entire arm. Of all people... ARGO? grumbled Tem as she sent a verdant blast of bamboo erupting from the ground, aimed to utterly destroy anything that had survived the previous onslaught.

Sweeping Rass hands outward without bothering to confirm the hit, Tem took aim with the dual shotguns. Pausing for a split-second to draw a bead, she sent several tiny energy bursts lancing toward the damaged Boomer group, hoping to clean up any stragglers that MeleeMan had missed.

Rass, for his part, gulped. If now wasn't the time for Tem to "discuss" her opinions on Argo taking command, he hoped that time wouldn't be anytime soon...

1: Boomerang (60, 120 Wood) ElecOgreA, ElecOgreB, ElecOgreC
2: BambooLance (130, 260 Wood) any surviving ElecOgres or MarkCannons
3: Shotgun (50, Splash) Surviving Boomers
4: Shotgun (50, Splash) Surviving Boomers
Meleeman charges in, torching a pair of Boomers--in his ardent wish to prove himself, he uppercuts a flaming corpse into the air! Not realizing his mistake, he hurls a Boomer into the MarkCannon ranks--severing two!

Meanwhile, RASS engages in meanful internal dialogue and then proceeds to lay waste to the ElecOgres, one survivor releasing a bolt of energy--only to be immediately impaled by a bamboo spear. With a hushed curse, Meleeman barely jumps out of the way of the energy bolt.

RASS lets loose a hail of metal shards into the Boomers, the shotgun rounds ripping the remaining Boomer apart.

A lone Markcannon makes a brave statement by blasting RASS in the face, knocking him out of his inner monologue.

MarkcannonA: !DELETED!
MarkcannonB: !DELETED!
MarkcannonC: 60 HP
BoomerA: !DELETED!
BoomerB: !DELETED!
BoomerC: !DELETED!
ElecOgreA: !DELETED!
ElecOgreB: !DELETED!
ElecOgreC: !DELETED!

Meleeman.EXE: 180 HP
"Argh! Hey Rass, didn't I tell you to watch it? You nearly hit me with that lightning attack!" MeleeMan snarled at his partner, landing a little clumsily and resting his knee and palm on the ground for balance. "That thing was headed straight for me!"

"MeleeMan, really, be quiet!" Rania grumbled. "Be thankful you didn't sustain any damage. Rass is the only one who was actually injured in all of that," she sighed, tapping her fingers irritably on the armrest beside her. "I'm sending you some new chips, so please try to just be friendly and fight, okay? How can you be angry at Rass after all the help he and Mr. Suien have given us?"

"Hmph. You're right. It must be this one cannon here. It's bugging me... look at it, just standing there... makes me want to hurl!" MeleeMan defended, sounding even less credible than usual. "Ahem, yeah, so watch this," he shouted, moving forward for the cannon.

"MeleeMan's turned out better than I could have imagined so far as his fighting spirit and capabilities are concerned," Rania thought to herself, "but I've got to find a way to make him drop his pride. I've seen first-hand that navi's benefit from teamwork and companionship. If he keeps on like this, I doubt he'll ever be able to unlock the true potential of his bond with Rass, no matter how much time they spend fighting together."

As Rania was thinking to herself, MeleeMan ran for the final cannon with his fist ablaze. "Here we go! One! Two! Firehit, hrah!" he shouted, swiping his arm in two club-like motions toward the sides of the cannon's head. "This ought to knock any remaining fight out of you!" In case of any sort of retaliation, he decided he still ought to prepare himself, and made himself ready to perform a roll.

1) Firehit1 to MarkCannonC [70]
2) Firehit1 to MarkCannonC [70]
3) Dodge
4) Dodge

As the dust kicked up by the powerful cannon impact cleared, Rass struggled to his feet and brushed himself off, coughing and hacking as he went. The impact had definitely stung, but other than a slight dazed sensation, there didn't seem to be any lingering effects of the blast. Straightening his helmet once more, Rass hastily mumbled an apology to the antagonistic MeleeMan, resolving to stay out of the powerful pugilist's way for the duration. Balling his hands into fists and allowing his internal generator to accelerate, Rass began charging up his own buster, directing the recovery energies within himself to undo the cannon's damage. A pale pink light began to emanate from the fusion navi's body as wisplike coils of the aura began to collect upon his chest. The light accelerated the self-repair protocols, allowing the dark protoplasmic skin to rebuild itself little by little.

Realizing that standing still would likely undo any and all good he had done for himself through the recovery maneuver, however, Rass braced his legs and dashed to the side, glancing at the MarkCannon through the corner of his eye. As his body continued to glow with the pink aura, he continued his evasive maneuvers, placing his faith in his larger partner.

Feh, muttered Argo, appearing briefly in a patch of green upon Rass' chest, Coward.

1-3: Charge Attack Conversion (44 heal to self)
4: Autododge
The Markcannon took a shot at the oncoming assailant, who promptly rolled to avoid the attack and delivered a crushing blow to the virus.

Rass, meanwhile, took a breather to recover his energy.

MarkcannonA: !DELETED!
MarkcannonB: !DELETED!
MarkcannonC: !DELETED!
BoomerA: !DELETED!
BoomerB: !DELETED!
BoomerC: !DELETED!
ElecOgreA: !DELETED!
ElecOgreB: !DELETED!
ElecOgreC: !DELETED!

Meleeman.EXE: 180 HP


Meleeman: 400 zenny, Markcannon1
RASS: 600 zenny
"Ha ha! My fist isn't lacking any power! That's what real fighters need, right Rania?" MeleeMan cheered, waving his fist briefly in the air beside him and extinguishing the fire while expelling smoke strongly from the gauntlet.

Rania clapped sarcastically with a deliberate slowness, then pocketed the new chip data. "Well, the two of you came out of that no worse for the wear, so I guess you're doing right so far," she nodded. "Just don't let yourself fall into any kind of trap by the enemy. Keep alert, especially while you're just walking around."

"Hmph! You think I'd let a virus get the upper hand on me, just like that?" MeleeMan scoffed. "And you think that if, say, the viruses did get in a preemptive strike, that I would be unable to recover? Oh ye of little faith!" he laughed, walking on further into the net area. "Come along, Rass, there is much more to be done yet!"
Rass sighed heavily as his protoplasm calmed down, smoothing out into a lusterous sheen that reflected the Scilab network's artificial lighting. The fusion navi gingerly patted his chest, checking to see if any core damage had been sustained. Satisfied, at last, he shuffled up alongside MeleeMan, only to be backhanded a few meters back by the larger navi, who was waving his arms carelessly around.

"R...Rass! Get up! You're not going to let him do that to you, are you?!"

Rubbing his hurt jaw gingerly, the pink wonder ignored Tem's rather shrill voice and wordlessly continued alongside his larger comrade.
The pair ran upon a number of other viruses, even more than before!

ElecOgreA: 120
ElecOgreB: 120
ChampuA: 60
ChampuB: 60
ChampuC: 60
ChampuD: 60
ChampuE: 60
ChampuF: 60

Meleeman.EXE: 180 HP

"MeleeMan... you just hit Rass. Again," Rania sighed irritably, banging her fist on the armrest.

"H-Hey! I'm man enough to admit that one was my fault. I just didn't realize it! Sorry friend," MeleeMan defended, patting Rass on the back to apologize. "I don't just hit people for no good reason, you know?"

"Is that a fact?" Rania grumbled, resting her head on her fists. "By the way, you've got company."

"Holy-!" MeleeMan exclaimed, noticing the huge gathering of viruses at last. "Ah, all of those flaming fists! They've sent out a real challege for us this time, haven't they Rass? I guess they finally know our calibur, eh?" the navi laughed confidently. "Let's take as many of them out as we can immediately. Raaah!" he roared, charging for the group without hesitation.

"Wait just a minute there. At least pretend like you're going to make some kind of plan, MeleeMan," Rania groaned.

"Of course I had a plan! Damn, don't be so judgemental, Rania!" MeleeMan snapped back, obviously lying about the presence of his careful consideration beforehand. "Now, what are you planning to send me?"

"I've got a boomerang, a heatshot weapon, and a rageclaw to start you off. The boomerang is obviously for the ogre viruses, but I'll let you think up what to do with the rest of them yourself, okay?" Rania responded, slotting in the chips quickly, perhaps more quickly than he would have liked.

MeleeMan nodded, squinting at the viruses and rubbing his chin warily with his good hand. He was a little irritated that Rania had sent him the chips without thoroughly explaining a strategy. More and more his eyes strayed toward the group of Champus: good fighters garbed in flames, readying their fists for closehand combat, jaws taught and prepared for struggle. There was no way as a fellow fighter that he could neglect their challenge. After sending a boomerang swirling towards the smarmy looking Elecogres, MeleeMan charged the group. "Hrah! This is the way that I meet your challenge! One fist vs. twelve; I like those odds!" he laughed, firing a heatshot toward the group and then jumping in with his rageclaw. With razor edges lining the knuckle of his claw, he swung his fist powerfully, attempting to knock the viruses into each other with his brute strength.

"MeleeMan, that was just the sort of brash decision I warned you against! Now you're surrounded by hostiles who are likely just itching to beat the snot out of you in your injured condition!" Rania exclaimed, feeling a genuine concern for MeleeMan's safety in such a dangerous placement on the battlefield.

"No way. The day I let another fighter take me down by his fist is the day I eat my own!" MeleeMan guffawed, readying himself for a rolling dodge.

1) Boomerang to ElecOgre group [120 elemental bonus]
2) Heatshot to Champu A and splash [45]
3) Rageclaw to Champu B [20], into Champu A [20]
4) Dodge
Rass gulped instinctively as the large group of viruses descended upon the unlucky duo, but he quickly caught himself and adjusted his stance from a cowardly hunch to a more effective defensive position. Flexing his fingers experimentally and bending his knees, he crouched down, fully prepared to accept the inevitable chip data and defeat his foes. His focus was absolute; he knew what he had to do. He saw the weaknesses, he forumated the strategies, he blocked out all external sounds...

...and then realized he still had the internal sounds to worry about.

Gyahahah, Rasshole! You think you're all badass and cool now? Pah, you're pathetic! shouted Argo, breaking Rass' focus and whirling around to the front of the fusion navi's dark torso, Everyone knows that you're nothing but the little pink coward you always have been! Forget it! You NEED us to survive, you know! Why not just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show! Rass' right arm extended upward independent of his will and flashed a bright green as a his 3L3M unit began to vibrate. Gasping in shock as his arm began emit a bluish aura, Rass could do little to prevent Argo from slamming his fist into the Scilab network, releasing brilliant beams of light that flooded the area in an azure glow. Slowly but surely, frost began to spread around the surrounding area, coating the ground with a thick layer of ice. Before long, the fusion navi found himself perched atop the frozen mist generator, obscuring the battlefield with a foggy layer.

Rass glanced downward, somewhat annoyed, "A...Argo! W-W-What on did you do that f-for?" he asked, crossing his arms and glaring at the green patch on his chest, "I... I th-thought that w-we were s-supposed to wait for S-Suien to give the order t-to attack!"

Rass, if you're not going to take initiative, I'm afraid that we're just going to walk right over you. It's quite simple. We all have a job to do and to survive, we need to execute those functions, regardless of whether or not Suien says so. You can't always just depend on others to fight your battles for you, commented Tem icily, swirling into existence within Rass left hand, But then again, I suppose that's what you've been having us do, no? Even Argo apparently is a more capable administrator.

H-Hey! protested Argo, What's with that tone?!

Rass sighed, and exited his defensive pose. Looking downward at the ground dejectedly, he took small comfort in the fact that despite their constant insults and jeers, Argo and Tem were, for better or for worse, not going anywhere anytime soon...


Suien, meanwhile, was watching Rania interact with MeleeMan with a mixture of amusement and amazement. Despite the fact that he had just engaged in a rather intensive battle against a networked nightmare that taxed their teamwork abilities to the limit, Suien still had trouble linking the Rania and MeleeMan together in his mind.

I suppose one must look deeper to understand the link between operators and their navis, he thought, taking a moment to wax philosophical as he watched Rania bicker and sigh, clearly irritated at her navi's actions, Perhaps the two of them are more alike than they realize... Shaking his head but maintaining the smirk on his face, he withdrew a pair of battlechips from his folder and checked the status of a third battlechip that had been inserted into his wireless slot. Sure enough, "Alexander" had transferred the areagrab battlechip data as promised. Sliding the three chips into the tray, Suien cleared his throat and, with another furtive, sidelong glance at Rania, began to convey orders to his own navi...


...I mean honestly, Argo. Do you think that he's ready to tackle something even this simple? You of all people should understand how incompetent he is.

Hey, I'm not sayin' Rasshole's competent, I'm just sayin that you shouldn't lump me into the same category!

Uh... guys, thought Rass, feeling the chip data download into his circuitry, If you're going to insult me, do you think you could do it behind my back and during a time when we're not in the middle of battle?

Neither Tem nor Argo spoke for a moment as an awkward silence ensued. He couldn't actually see either of his subsystems, but Rass had a sneaking suspicion that Tem and Argo were both glaring at him. Thankfully, Suien's voice shattered the silence and galvanized the fusion navi into action. "All right guys, three chips heading your way. Rass, you should know how to work the boomerang at this point, so you're going to have to take care of that one. Tem, I'm assuming you have tactical protocols for an areagrab battlechip, so I'm going to let you run those..."

The blue patch on Rass' chest seemed to straighten at the words. You... You got one of those? she stammered, breaking her businesslike demeanor but quickly recomposing herself, I... I see... leave it to me.

"...Rass, as soon as she initializes the Areagrab, you're going to need to discharge that ElecReel of yours. Make sure you don't waste any time, because you'll only have a split second while your opponents are distracted."

As the green bladed weapon materialized itself on his arm, Rass gave a furious nod that knocked his helmet askew. "G-Got it, Suien!" he shouted, raising the boomerang over his head and taking careful aim, "Execute!"

The deadly spinning blade flew forward, propelled by the most powerful throw the fusion navi could muster. The boomerang made a clear whistling sound as it formed a wide arc, seeking to rend the offending viruses with its razor edges. Rass leaned forward, squinting toward the DblCubes in an effort to see the results of the toss. Before he could determine whether or not he had scored a hit, however Rass felt something click inside of him.


What the...

The poor pink navi felt his stomach lurch as though a cable had been attached to his chest and yanked forward at a sickening rate. All around him, the battlefield seemed to melt into a blur of motion, and Rass could feel a burst of wind explode against his body. Everything went fuzzy for a split second as the landscape flew by... and suddenly stopped. Rass fell backward onto his butt, his body feeling dizzy but his viewfinder displaying everything with crystal clarity. As the two cubes slowly turned around on their axis, the fusion navi sat there, mouth agape as it suddenly dawned on him where exactly he was.

What are you doing?! shrieked Tem, The ElecReel! Use it now!

Rass jolted back to reality and instinctively forced both arms forward, discharging a large web of yellow electricity in the process. The acrid smell of ozone was everywhere as the ElecReel was released, sending countless spirals of electrical force across the battlefield. The lightshow that erupted in front of him momentarily blinded him which, coupled with the already-dense fog that obscured his movements from the enemy, made it extremely difficult to see if any of his attacks had connected.

Frowning, Rass crawled to his feet amid the lightly smoking network. Did he do it?

1: Terraformer: Ice (Creates 60 HP Mist Generator, reduces accuracy of all enemies. Cannot use aqua or melee chips for the rest of the turn)
2: Boomerang (120 Elemental) DblCubeA, DblCubeB, ElecOgreA
3: Areagrab behind DblCubes (Dodge attacks, boost accuracy of next move)
4: ElecReel (100) DblCubeA, DblCubeB
Argo's attack immediately covered the area in a dense mist, as Meleeman's early boomerang followed by the one Rass launched tore through a sizable portion of the virus body. As Tem sent Rass speeding across the battlefield, MeleeMan engaged in close-range combat with the Champu forces. Though he did his best ducking and weaving as he clobbered two Champus in the all out brawl, two punches did eventually land on his hulking frame in the mist. Meanwhile, the cubes, now red and charging their laser weapons, fired without much success at the mobile Rass. Now behind the two viruses, Rass unleashed an Elecreel that surged through the enemies.

ChampuC: 60
ChampuD: 60
ChampuE: 60
ChampuF: 60

Meleeman.EXE: 140 HP
MistGenerator: 60 HP
Suien visibly winced as he watched MeleeMan take a savage hit from one of the champu viruses. For an instant, he thought about reprimanding Rania for recklessly sending her navi into battle in his damaged condition. However, one look at her face gave him all the information necessary to stop him from doing so. She seems very concerned for his safety, above everything else, he thought, nodding, She's probably more worried than I am at the moment. Best to alleviate her stress rather than to exacerbate it. His musings were quickly dispelled by the realization that, in the course of the numerous battles that had been conducted, he had found himself extremely close to the red-haired young female. Blushing slightly, he edged away with as much tact as he could manage and redirected his attention to the small device in his hands.

With renewed fervor, Suien put away the powerful attack-oriented battlechips he was about to employ and instead, typed a few furious commands into his PET. "Rass, I'm activating your fusion protocols, so get ready. I'm going to have you support MeleeMan since your system resources won't hold under that sort of pressure. Initializing fusion protocol 13B - Fusion Force!" he announced, looking content for an instant before hastily slipping in a pair of battlechips at the last possible moment, "Oh uh.... here's a minibomb and a guard too. Go nuts."


Rass, meanwhile, was flustered beyond belief. As the red-and-blue cubial opponents fell apart in front of him, several brilliant blue coils of lightning erupted from his chest, latching onto the viral remains and dragging them slowly toward his body. Gulping and stepping nervously backward, he was unable to evade the storm of debris that surged toward his body. For one terrible instant, the fusion navi found himself buried under a mass of shattered boxing gloves, broken blue-and-red panels, and chipped ogre horns. Shortly thereafter, however, Rass emerged, looking no different from a physical standpoint, but surrounded completely by a vibrant orange aura that wavered fiercely in the wind. The poor navi looked terribly confused by his netOp's order, and turned to his subsystems for clarification. "Umm... do any of you three know what p-protocol 13B is?" he asked nervously, glancing down at his chest.

You don't even know that? I thought that a system administrator was supposed to know and understand all functions perfectly and instinctively. To think that you don't even know one of the major capacities of your combat protocols is a travesty. snipped Tem accusingly, After all, what would become of you if you one day found yourself in a situation where protocol 13B were central to our continued existence? Being the system administrator, it would be your responsibility to understand the options available to you and execute them quickly and...

But Tem, I thought you said that you didn't know what protocol 13B meant! interrupted Argo dumbly.

Tem didn't respond for a long while, but Rass could practically feel her annoyance. Well, she said finally, If I WERE system administrator, I WOULD know.

AFFIRMATIVE, CORE SYSTEM shouted Argo, transferring his presence into Rass' hands and forcing the fusion navi toward his larger counterpart, FUSION PROTOCOL 13B IS DESIGNATED AS FUSION BOOST. TECHNIQUE IS CAPABLE OF UTILIZING ACQUIRED DATA TO CONSTRUCT MAKESHIFT BUSTER UPGRADES. CORE SYSTEM IS DEEMED INCOMPETENT, TRANSFERRING BOOST TO MELEEMAN! With that, Rass felt his hands being plunged into MeleeMan's back, transferring the aura to the large, puglistic navi. MeleeMan's body erupted into orange flames as a pair of dangerous-looking boxing gloves, plated with ElecOgre horns and DblCube chassis, materialized on his hands. The force of MeleeMan's aura knocked Rass backwards, and the pink navi was barely able to maintain his balance.

"W...Wow," said Rass, clearly in awe of what he had just accomplished, "T-That's pretty... amazing..."

"Don't relax yet, Rass! Patch MeleeMan up with the minibomb and provide cover for him!" shouted Suien from the real world, "Don't just stand there! Make sure you're helping him out!"

"G-Got it!" replied Rass, slightly embarassed for breaking his focus. Following his supporting maneuver, Rass disintegrated the minibomb that had since appeared in his hand, transforming it instantly into a mass of bright pink energy. As his scarf billowed in the wind, the fusion navi squared his feet on the ground and held the healing energy in his right arm, cradled and stabilized by his left. As wisplike strands of pink energy collected themselves into the orb, Rass took careful aim at MeleeMan and squinted. The sparkling orb launched itself at the larger navi, basking his already-gleaming body in a shimmering mass of restorative energies. The wispy coils played across MeleeMan's burns, restoring them to their original configuration.

Finally, Rass moved alongside the larger navi, shield extended, and prepared to deflect any attacks that may come their way...

1: Fusion Force/Armor Absorbtion: DblCubeA (100FP) + ElecOgreA (60FP) + ChampuA (30FP) + ChampuB (10FP) = 200 FP
2: Fusion Force - Fusion Boost MeleeMan: +4 attack, +4 Rapid (Add FP/25 buster points to a navi's buster for this turn. Cap is 7. 9TC)
3: Conversion - Minibomb MeleeMan (30 Heal)
4: Guard: Protect MeleeMan/self
((Sorry, I seem to have forgotten this in all of my Makai Empire fervor. O_o))

MeleeMan spat on the ground once more, wiping the moisture from his face with his good arm sweatily. He clenched his teeth tightly, then coughed out gruffly, "Yeah, okay, you were right, Rania." He clutched the injured arm with a look of pain, but then drew up his lip and shirked off the pressure. "I'll get them back for that." He waited, half expecting his ally to destroy the Champus before he even had to deal with them. To his surprise, nothing came. "Rass, you gonna help me out or what?" he shouted, but as soon as he heard, he felt his fist begin to feel heavier, not to mention warmer. As he brought his hand up, he noticed that a bright, nearly translucent boxing glove had formed over one of his hands. He smirked happily, then gave a thumbs up back to Rass, although it was hard to tell with his hand covered, rendering his fingers rather formless. "Ah ha ha! I knew I could count on Rass!" he sighed, feeling his body being rejuvenated by Rass' technique.

"You really do have a lot to thank Rass for. You've been lucky to have him around; your meatheaded strategies only get by because of that saving grace, you know," Rania scolded him, shaking her head from side to side, not noticing that Suien had been unintenionally encroaching her.

"And is that not what I just did, Rania? I think all that hair's blocking up your ears," MeleeMan laughed, moving in for the Champus. "You guys, you were tough before! Let's see how you like my glove in your faces for a change!" he shouted, moving from Champu to Champu and delivering blow after blow toward the viruses, heaving with every strike. The glove was heavy, but he was confident that it must be improving his game. After all, Rass was a smarter guy than he was; there's no way Rass'd put something on him that was going to hamper his fighting ability.

"Phew... that was a relief. In all of our fights so far, we've had Rass around to bail us out... I just hope that we'll still be able to perform as whell when Rass and Suien are not around to help," Rania thought to herself, looking back over at Suien with her eyebrows creased a little worriedly.

1) Buster to ChampuC [72]
2) Buster to ChampuD [72]
3) Buster to ChampuE [72]
4) Buster to ChampuF [72]
((Oh gawd oh gawd oh gawd, really sorry this moddage took so long... I started to expect someone else would take it over but it appears that didn't happen. o_o; I'm going to delete all your bumps to make this topic pretty again, Sky, but so it doesn't appear I'm trying to shirk blame on that, Sky had to bump 5 times since March 27th with no results.))

The Champus were having enough trouble duking it out with MeleeMan before Rass stepped in to help, and as their final resort fell back on gang tactics. Even attacking from four sides didn't work, however, as MeleeMan quickly boared his way through his first three opponents. Rass guarded MeleeMan's back well enough for the bruiser to deliver the final blow with his pugilistic new weapons.


Meleeman.EXE: 170 HP

Both: 650z, Firehit1
"Ha ha ha ha!" MeleeMan roared with laughter, beating his gloved fist against his chest heavily, then raising it into the air. "Nobody can outmuscle me! Nobody! All opponents fear my strength!" A wide grin spread across MeleeMan's face as he continued to guffaw, breathing heavily but contentedly and holding his head high victoriously. "Nothing can stop me! I'm a juggernaut!"

"MeleeMan," Rania sighed once more, holding one hand to the side of her head. "Are you still not giving your ally respect? You should recognize that Rass is the one who gave you this power," she muttered, trying not to sound like she was calling him out on anything. Her attempt to stay non-argumentative failed, however, as MeleeMan defended himself with his usual stubborn attitude.

"I was thanking him! I was just... er... also acknowledging the man behind the fist! Is that so wrong, huh Rania? Do you think a little self acreditation is so wrong in a situation like mine?" MeleeMan snapped, although, as usual, he felt a little guilty about the whole thing. Still, he couldn't drop appearances. "You helped, Rass, and I thank you for that," MeleeMan nodded, acknowledging Rass with a nod. "But I'm not going to let any little red-head tell me that I couldn't have taken out a couple of viruses without the help of another navi!"

"Fine then, but you know yourself how injured you really are. I guess I'll leave the matter to your own judgement," she replied, looking the navi straight in the eyes.

MeleeMan gasped heavily, realizing once again that he couldn't support any sort of facade against Rania. "Damn. Damn this arm of mine! Damn it! MeleeMan depends on no one! Don't take this the wrong way, Rass," MeleeMan muttered, looking toward the ground next to his friend and drawing up his lower lip proudly, "but I can't allow myself to become reliant on you. I'd never be able to respect myself again if I got to the point where I was dependent on another navi." With that, he turned his back and continued on.