Mini-break in the Lab

((Mini-break: To win a point from the opponent's serve in a tiebreak without losing points on your own serve.))

"So it worked then?" Desmond asked.

Tennisman found himself in an entirely new network, unlike any ACDC town had to offer. Everything seemed sleeker and more high-tech. Wires suspended in the air seemed to be transmitting data back and forth from unknown locations while the navis seemed to walk about very busily.

"I am now on the Science Lab Net," Tennisman said, "The test was successful. Shall I jack out now?"

"No, no, no..." Desmond replied, "Let's look around a bit just to make sure you don't lag out or something."

Tennisman nodded and ventured into the less populated areas.

((Battle 1))
Tennisman paddles on some metallic panels and encounters what seems to be a lone, sleeping Hardhead. Hm, nothing interesting...

He feels a quick tap on his back and turns around, only to find.... nothing. Huh....?

Another at his feet, left shoulder, right shoulder.... and no assailant to be found. Frusturated, the sportsman whacks the ground, which coincidentally happened to be where a Handy was rising up to trick him again. The virus was sent flying into the Hardhead, who woke up with a start. The two eye Tennisman and grin. If viruses could chuckle, they would be doing so now.

Two other Handies surface. The viruses walk on their fingers around Tennisman while the Hardhead starts up, loading something with a loud *CLUNK* in its body.

Hardhead: 60 HP
HandyA: 80 HP
HandyB: 80 HP
HandyC: 80 HP

Terrain: 100% Metal

Tennisman.exe: 190 HP

At the start of the battle, Tennisman realized that he had forgotten to bring Deuce out along with him. It would take only a second to start up his program, but it was still an inconvenience. He silently activated the routine to bring his support program online.

A flash of light marked Deuce's entrance onto the new network. However there was the added introduction of a bubble coating his hull.

Desmond explained, "Hey, I gave Deuce a shield. It uses a little of the PET's memory but I didn't think you'd mind."

"Hey! COOL!" Deuce said, admiring his new feature.

"Anyways, what kind of panels are those?" Desmond asked.

"Metal." Tennisman answered.

"So do they do anything special?" Desmond asked again.

"I am unsure," Tennisman said, "Zapring and Kunai."

The sound of the two chips materializing was followed by a wave of his arms. The Zapring and Kunai flew straight to a pair of Handys. Tennisman was hesitant to try and delete all four viruses at the same time and kept his eye on the Hardhead.

1 - Summon Deuce
2 - Zapring HandyA (40 + stun) x2?
3 - Kunai1 HandyB (3 x 30 damage)
4 - dodge

Deuce - Overwrap (40 HP barrier)
((What's Deuce's HP at? I don't see it listed in summery or signature, though I could just be missing it.))

Tennisman starts off by bring out his SP, which puts up a shield for itself. He then zaps one of the hands to make sure it doesn't do anything nasty and it tears through another with a spinning knife. The Hardhead fries a cannonball at Tennisman, though he steps back in time to avoid it. However, once it hits the floor, it leaves a dent and then keeps rolling, right into Tennisman's leg. The impact is lessened, though.

Hardhead: 60 HP
HandyA: 40 HP
HandyC: 80 HP

Terrain: 100% Metal

Tennisman.exe: 178 HP
Deuce: ?? (40 Barrier)
((Deuce has 60 HP. I'll add his info stuff to my signature. I don't have it listed anywhere; he's only at level 1. Also I think elec damage is x2 on metal panels.))

"SHOOT IT NOW!" Desmond shouted.

Tennisman's attention was drawn away just as the cannonball rolled into his shin. He tried to cover his injury but his arm had already converted into a Shotgun. He winced and fired a focussed burst at the virus that had just attacked him.

"Those are Hardhead viruses," Desmond said, "I read about them on a BBS. You can't hit them unless they attack first... Or something like that."

"I will remember that." Tennisman said, still in considerable pain.

"Well, this should be easy," Desmond added, "Have guns."

Tennisman raised his arm and commenced saturating the viruses with various chips that Desmond seemed to supply non-stop. Deuce seemed to have also gotten into the spirit of things and joining in the bombardment, complimenting the attack with his own fired shots.

1 - Shotgun Hardhead (50 damage + spread 1) + untapped potential (15 damage)
2 - Cannon HandyC (40 damage)
3 - V-Gun HandyC (50 damage + spread 2)
4 - Cannon HandyA (40 damage)

Deuce - Attack whatever (10 damage)
((Yeah, it does.))

The Handy from before suddenly gets backlash from... something, and gets deleted.
Wincing through his pain, Tennisman powers up his Shotgun and sends the Hardhead to kingdom come! Take That!
The sportsman soon follows up with a blast to the last Handy, who... shrieks? in vain (it looks more like convulsive twitching) actually, before sinking into the floor, the V-gun just barely missing it.
Something comes up, and Tennisman and Deuce blast it, and... luckily its just a normal bomb. Whew.
The Handy appears again, cackling... or something to that effect.

Hardhead: DELETED
HandyC: 40 HP

Terrain: 100% Metal

Tennisman.exe: 178 HP
Deuce: 60 HP (40 Barrier)
"Frig, so annoying..." Desmond noted.

Deuce chimed in, "How the hell did you miss that one? You're blind in one eye aren't you? It's okay, you can tell me."

Ignoring all else, Tennisman took a deep breath and took up a serving stance. There was only one virus left and he could easily handle it on his own. A clipful of tennis balls were shot into the air and served fiercely into the Handy at top speed. Desmond didn't even bother to send chips after seeing that display and even Deuce just simply waited for the battle to end.

1 - Ace Serve (4 x 30 damage)
2 - dodge
3 - dodge
4 - dodge

Deuce - idle
Tennisman readies four tennis balls as the enemy readies another bomb. The first shot flies at the enemy as it begins to sink into the ground, barely ricocheting off of its fingers as it descends, but for long enough to deal damage. The second ball follows soon after, but it is too late to strike the disappearing enemy. Two balls left, and Tennisman has to strike with one of them. The enemy rises up, laying a bomb in front of it, and Tennisman readies the balls. One for the bomb, one for the enemy. But he hesitates. What if that bomb is programmed to go off as soon as it's hit? Wasting little time deciding, he fires the third and fourth serves not into, but over the bomb, deleting the enemy. As the bomb disappears, Tennisman thinks he might have seen the faintest trace of an X on its countdown screen...

Hardhead: DELETED

Terrain: 100% Metal

Tennisman.exe: 178 HP
Deuce: 60 HP (40 Barrier)

Rewards: Timebomb1, 300z, 4 Bugfrags
Fortunately, the battle ended quickly in his favour and without further injury to his body or pride. Though he thought it strange that the fight took as long as it did, he decided not to dwell on it and went to collect the rewards. Deuce was happy to find small bugfrag bits scattered about and Desmond seemed immensely pleased by the leftover chip data.

"Huh." Desmond said.

Tennisman perked up, "What is it?"

"I think the chip folder's full." Desmond replied, "I don't think I can fit in another chip in here."

Tennisman could hear mild grunting and added, "Do not attempt to force it."

"Whatever, I'll just take out a Cannon. We have 3 of them and they're not so great." said Desmond.

Tennisman nodded in compliance and asked, "Shall I jack out now?"

Desmond thought for a moment, "Mmmm... Let's look around just a liiiiittle longer. I wanna see this Countbomb in action."

Not having a problem with the request, Tennisman nodded again and continued to comb the area for more viruses.

((Battle 2))
Tennisman meets some Brawlers with fiery fury and a deceptive looking virus that seems to have multiple mines on his back. To the sides are two Gunners, readying their machine guns.
A Windbox blows annoyingly in the back.
The clunk clunk sounds of Tennisman's footsteps indicate the same Metal terrain. What nice structuring.

GunnerA: 60 HP
ChampuA: 60 HP
ChampuB: 60 HP
ChampuC: 60 HP
GunnerB: 60 HP

Miner: 100 HP
Windbox: 100 HP

Terrain: 100% Metal

Tennisman.exe: 178 HP
Deuce: 60 HP

It was going to be a tough fight. The wind in his face was no small matter as he found it increasingly difficult to keep his footing and see clearly. Blocking the weathering effects with his forearm, he could make out the Windbox's approximate location. It was clear he needed to stop it first.

"Zapring!" Tennisman shouted, trying to compensate for the loud wind blowing past him.

He raised his arm up and only now realized how troublesome the wind truly was. His arm blew straight up and back as soon as he thought he had a lock. The varying air currents were unpredictable and it took both his arms to steady himself again, but it still wasn't enough. He tried to stabilize his aim and inadvertently called on a surge of power. It welled up in his chest before shooting down his arms and collecting in his cannon. The Zapring flashed bright before rocketing out of his hands and nearly knocking him over with its recoil.

That was a little too much power...

"Hey! Hurry up and use the Countbomb!" Desmond ushered.

He thought he felt the wind dying down a bit but with the random bursts of wind, he wasn't sure. In any case, he activated the chip data, summoning a heavy looking bomb onto the field. It looked fairly immune to whatever winds were still blowing and immediately began its countdown. A green 3 blinked on its large screen.

"Guard and Boomerang." Tennisman said.

His racket flashed yellow as a show of the Guard chip's activation. Tennisman looked over his possible targets. The boxer viruses looked pretty mobile but the Gunners were mounted and couldn't dodge at all. Trying to take advantage of the small lull in interference, he quickly launched the Boomerang wave at the turret before the weather picked up again. It spun out viciously, slicing its way all the way past the back of the field.

"HAH!" Deuce laughed, erecting another barrier around himself, "That was TERRIBLE."

"Did you mess up the swing there?" Desmond asked, "It doesn't look like it's-"

Tennisman interrupted with a simple, "Now."

As if on cue, the wave returned with a vengeance, swooping down the opposite side of the viral group before blowing past Tennisman's head and disappearing into the distance.

"Haha, wow." Desmond chuckled, "Okay, that was nice."

1 - Zapring Windbox (40 damage + stun)x2? + untapped potential (15 damage)
2 - Countbomb1 (100 after 2 turns, 50 hp)
3 - Guard1 (reflect 60)
4 - Boomerang GunnerA, GunnerB (60 damage)

Deuce - Overwrap (40-HP Barrier)
Tennisman fires a sparkling, crackling chakram of doom at the Windbox at the back as a Champu warps in front of him, deleting the weather machine, but getting a punch in the face while setting up the Countbomb, but the second hit came upon a yellow shield, forcing the Champu back. Undettered, the sportsman flings his racket at the two Gunners, slicing them in quite an elegant fashion.
Oh, and Deuce forms a barrier.
The Miner cackles ominously, digs into the ground for a while, and then comes back up. Hm... is it just me or did he lose weight?

ChampuA: 40 HP
ChampuB: 60 HP
ChampuC: 60 HP

Miner: 100 HP
Windbox: DELETED

Terrain: 95% Metal, 5% ???

Tennisman.exe: 158 HP
Deuce: 60 HP (40 HP Barrier)
Countbomb: 50 HP (0/2)
((Dude, Where's My Countbomb?))

The winds finally died down indicating the Windbox had been swiftly dealt with, but the rest of the Champus seemed alive and well. Meanwhile, the Miner virus standing in the back tried to remain inconspicuous but wasn't fooling anyone.

Tennisman was about to move in closer when suddenly Desmond shouted, "STOP!"

Tennisman froze in his tracks, his foot hovering over the next panel.

"It already dropped a mine somewhere. Don't. Move." Desmond said, "AT ALL!"

"Hahahaha..." Deuce laughed.

"YOU TOO, YOU TIN CAN!" chastised Desmond.

"...hahah.. What?" Deuce uttered.

"Both of you just stay where you are and keep attacking. There aren't that many guys left." Desmond said.

Tennisman nodded and knew who his next target would be. Looking past the Champus, he set his sights on the Miner.

"Ace Serve." He said, smashing a cluster of balls at the lone virus.

"Guard, slot-in!" Desmond added, backing up his navi with some more chip data.

Moving his racket aside, Tennisman aimed his arm cannon straight and called out, "Shotgun and V-Gun."

More chips loaded, more shots fired.

"Not good enough!" Deuce snapped and fired a few fast balls himself.

1 - Ace Serve Miner (4 x 30 damage)
2 - Guard1 (reflect 60)
3 - V-Gun ChampuB (50 damage + spread 2)
4 - Shotgun ChampuC (50 damage + spread 1)

Deuce - Attack ChampuA (10 damage)
The first two balls promptly whacked the Miner in the head, but the virus quickly went underground, the next two balls missing him.
Another Champu went in for the punch, but got its fists back at itself. It then became subject to V-gun fury. Ouch.
The other Champu was blown back a bit by the Shotgun, but moved in for the kill, fists pounding into Tennisman's chest, the second hit missing a little bit.
The Miner resurfaced, cackling a bit.
The Countbomb ticked down as Deuce stunned one Champu with a headshot.

ChampuA: 30 HP
ChampuC: 10 HP

Miner: 40 HP
Windbox: DELETED

Terrain: 95% Metal, 10% ???

Tennisman.exe: 138 HP
Deuce: 60 HP (40 HP Barrier)
Countbomb: 50 HP (1/2)
A fast sucker punch caught Tennisman off guard and knocked the wind from out of him. He winced and swung his racket but his attacker had already retreated to a safe distance. He envied their ability to dash in and out of range instantly. It was such a useful ability, he wondered if Desmond could program one for him.

"Alright, screw this guarding crap." Desmond said, "All out."

A fast series of clicks alerted Tennisman to a handful of chips being slotted-in. He readied himself for the influx of data. The first attack fell from above the viruses without Tennisman having to move a muscle. A trio of bubbly spires dropped down and crashed into the ground like meteors, leaving large dust clouds on impact.

Luckily, the next two chips were bombs and didn't require any precise aim. Tennisman served the DoubleBomb pair and smashed the LilBomb into the clouds, hearing them explode one after another. The movements reminded him of his old Ace Serve, and he realized that it was now at least twice as powerful as it was when he began virus busting. It didn't seem like that long ago but time seemed to have passed him by quickly.

"KEEP YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME." Desmond shouted.

Tennisman nodded and finished up with the Shockwave chip. He slammed his racket down and sent the small wave past where his bombs had landed, straight to the back to the Miner.

"That better be it." Deuce said, apparently having joined in the attack somewhere along the line.

Then the final beep on the Countbomb went off, showing off a big green zero.

1 - AquaNeedle ChampuA, ChampuC (20 damage)x2, Miner (20 damage)
2 - DoubleBomb ChampuA, ChampuC (2 x 20 damage + blast2)
3 - Lilbomb ChampuA, ChampuC (50 damage + blast 2)
4 - Shockwave Miner (40 damage + piercing)

Deuce - Attack ChampuC (10 damage)
The Countbomb explodes before Tennisman does anything.
Rewards fall from the sky, oh look, pretty explosions.


Windbox: DELETED

Terrain: 100% Metal

Tennisman.exe: 138 HP
Deuce: 60 HP
Countbomb: BLOWN UP

Get: Firehit1, 400z, 25 Bugfrags
"Sweet! We're done!" Desmond said.

"Shall I jack out now?" Tennisman asked.

"YES!" exclaimed Desmond.

Tennisman was a little curious as to why his operator suddenly seemed so intent on leaving now. However, he had no time to think about it before he and Deuce were whisked away by a beam of blue light.

((jacked out))
Tennisman re-entered the Science Lab network to find a relatively more relaxed atmosphere compared to his earlier visit.

"Where are you?" Desmond asked.

"The Science Lab Network." Tennisman replied.

"Again?" Desmond asked, "I thought you were going to go somewhere new."

Not seeing a need to argue with his operator about their destination, Tennisman decided to question his updated support program, "Deuce, what was the last thing you remember?"

"Remember? Remember what? I just woke up today." Deuce replied.


"Why? Was there something I should remember?" Deuce asked.

Tennisman thought back to his old foul-mouthed partner and shook his head. Perhaps it was better this way, but he felt that something very important had been lost in the process.

"Hey, who's that?" Deuce asked, "She's been staring at you for a while."

The racket rose up and pointed straight to a female navi hiding behind a pillar. Surprised that she had been discovered, the navi dashed off into the net. Tennisman reacted to his arm being pulled up before he saw her run off. He only managed to catch the briefest glimpse of her, but that was enough for him.

"Jadia?" Tennisman said.

"Hey, she's pretty hot." Deuce commented.

"Jadia! Wait!" Tennisman called out and bolted off to give chase.

((Battle 1))
Tennisman runs after the familiar normalnavi, but is quickly stopped as an energy round bounces across the ground in front of him. A group of viruses were attracted by the commotion and came in to investigate.

Viruses Identified!

CanoGuardA: 60HP
CanoGuardB: 60HP
CanoGuardC: 60HP
TwistyA: 80HP
TwistyB: 80HP

Terrain: 100% Metal

Tennisman.EXE: 190HP

<(Battle #1: Get outta my way! Ready, Fight!)>
Not now!

The small group of viruses in his way seemed intent on keeping Tennisman from his task at hand. He considered running past them but he wasn't one to simply leave dangerous elements such as these alone. But if he spent time dealing with them he could easily lose track of Jadia's trail.

"Delete them." Deuce said with a reserved tone, "Delete them and move on. Quickly now."

There was no time to hesitate. "Desmond!" Tennisman called, "Two Windrackets and a Sword!"

Taking Deuce in his hand, he could feel a pulse of energy exuding from the frame as the first Windracket loaded - It was a definite upgrade from his old racket. He dashed straight into the group, meeting with the row of cannon viruses. They would be the first. Tennisman made one wide fanning motion, slashing a perfectly horizontal wave of wind at the trio.

"Excellent work..." Deuce commented.

The praise was a nice change of pace and motivated Tennisman to load up the second Windracket without even taking another breath. A second torrent of air burst towards the red and blue box virus. Though Tennisman had never seen one before, he wasn't much in the mood to analyze it.

"Such skill." continued Deuce.

The windrackets were spent but the Sword chip had only just finished slotting in. A transformation overtook Deuce and his strings warped and stretched, conforming to a new shape. The racket face solidified into its new form almost instantly, giving it the form of a vicious two-headed axe.

"Now! Finish them!" commanded the racket.

Tennisman wasn't sure what to make of his support program's new personality, but as long as they shared the same goal, it wasn't an issue. He raised the racket over his head and looked down at the emotionless Twisty, unable to move from its position. There was only the time taken to aim the attack and none to regret the action. He brought it down hard and turned to the other virus. He repeated the same crushing strike and resumed his chase.

However, Deuce wasn't as sure their work was done and cried out, "Wait!"

Deuce - Overwrap (40 HP Barrier)
-GATTAI! (equip)

1 - Windracket CanoGuardA, CanoGuardB, CanoGuardC (100 damage)
2 - Windracket DBLCUBE (100 damage)
3 - Sword TwistyA (80 damage)
4 - Sword TwistyB (80 damage)
5! - dodge =__=