Mission: Beat's Delivery Service

Blue metal plates spun in midair, and a yellow Navi materialized in the centre. Beatnik rolled her neck and cracked her knuckles extensively.

"Navis don't need to do that," Toni said drily. The grin slid off Beatnik's face. Well, that was a new record for fun-wrecking.

"Just warmin' up," she shot back. "So we got us a gig to drop off some stuff, huh? What're those co-ords sayin'?"
"A reply was just posted on the BBS," Toni said after a moment. "Two attachments. One is the package. Here you go."

A manila envelope bound shut with a zipper materialized in Beatnik's hand. She gave the zipper a tug. It didn't move. "No peeking. Bummer."

"And the second attachment is our co-ordi..na..t.."


The line was silent for several seconds. Beatnik squinted up into the sky.

"Is the name Bastion at all familiar to you?" Toni managed slowly.

"Aw crap."

"It is, then."

"It sure as hell is! You think I forgot all those reports? Oh damn if he knows who I am then I am hella screwed--"

"Calm down," Toni cut in. "How can you be so sure that he knows you on sight?"

"Bastards like that, they know the name and face of everybody they're up against. He was practically in charge, he's runnin' SciLabs, he's--"

"So what if he knows your face? You can change it."

Beatnik finally caught up with herself. "What? Change my face?"

Toni rolled her eyes. She wasn't really this stupid. She couldn't be. "Remember the part where I turned you into a fridge?"

"I sure friggin' do." Beatnik's face contorted in anger at the memory.

"Well, that can work in your favour. The NetMafia never employed a refrigerator."

Her scowl cleared, replaced by comprehension. "Oh. Ohhhh."


"Yeah. That...that should work. Hook me up, Toni."

The Operator opened up the .GMO file. Beatnik's body reconfigured itself into the shape of a refrigerator. The floating metal plates stuck themselves on in fridge magnet form. A face emerged on the freezer door.

"That should be fine," Toni said. "Where's the package?"

The fridge swung open. The light popped on. The zippered envelope lay on the otherwise empty rack inside.

"Awright," said Beatfridge. The door shut itself, and the Navi went squeaking away into the Internet on tiny wheels, a green electrical cord flapping behind.
As it happened, two other navis, dressed in generic orange armor, were passing at the time that Beatnik turned into a refrigerator.

"Hey, did that navi just turn into a fridge?" Asked one, nudging the other.
The other glanced, then turned away and continued walking. "Could be. Don't pay attention to weird people."

The two navis then wandered off, in a direction not far off from where the GNA's coordinates put Beatnik's target location.

As she continued, Beatnik would notice most navis she passed either staring or deliberately avoiding staring at the sentient refrigerator. She was also, however, attracting the attention of a group of viruses, who were following the moving fridge and trying to grab the cord that trailed behind it.


Beatfridge: 100 HP

BunnyA: 50 HP
BunnyB: 50 HP
RedUFO: 80 HP
EleballA: 80 HP
EleballB: 80 HP

80% Normal, 20% Glass (Glass area begins about two moves ahead and is square-shaped.)

<Combat has not yet begun>
It took a couple of tugs on the extension cord for Beatfridge to realize that she was being followed. Because she was a refrigerator, turning to confront her enemies and maintaining her speed at the same time was more or less out of the question.

"I got some friggin' chasers, Toni!" Beatfridge yelled. She kept squeaking along at top speed, which was barely enough to keep ahead of the viruses.

Toni scrolled the PET camera around. "Two Bunnies, two Eleballs and a UFO."

"What colour?"


"Okay, gonna waste dese mooks. Uh, gimme a—"

Toni had already plotted a path to victory. She slotted in two chips. "Enjoy yourself."

The refrigerator stretched, warped, and turned back into Beatnik. She just managed to catch herself before she fell and settled into a comfortable skate.

"Dat's better. Screw dis fridge biz."

She booted the first chip, and found a Bambooknife. Well, that was new. She didn't know she had one. Toni must have picked it up while she was out.

One of the floating metal plates turned itself into a little blue falchion with flowers blooming down its length. Beatnik grabbed the sword out of the air, spun in mid-stride, and cannoned toward the viruses. The Bambooknife ripped two blue, flower-speckled arcs through the viruses. Those Eleballs were going to get it in a bad way.

Beatnik tossed the sword back into orbit. She twisted around and locked onto the lone UFO.

"Where's that delivery?"

Beatnik tripped over her own feet. "Crap!" She cast around wildly for the fallen envelope. She'd only had the thing for five minutes and she'd already lost it. Bastion was going to pound her into Net-dust and then take a leak on it.

No good. She couldn't see it anywhere. Her head slumped in defeat, and at last she found it. The envelope had fused itself into her chest. The brown corners stuck out at weird angles from her abdomen, shoulders, and back.

"You might want to take it out of the refrigerator first next time," Toni said pointedly.

"Shaddap. At least it's safe in there."

"I suppose."

"Awrighty, then! Back to work!"

Beatnik put the smile back on her face and booted the next chip. She brought her hand up, level with the two pursuing Bunnies, and snapped her fingers. Fire roared out of nowhere just beyond her hand and scorched along the ground. They'd be roast rabbit in a second.

For the finisher, she pulled up another metal plate. Electricity wriggled across it like stop-motion inchworms. She fixed the plate in front of her and kicked off to steamroll that UFO.

*High Gear: Improves base evasion chance by 10%
1. Bambooknife (60 x 2 = 120 WOOD dmg) @ EleballA {B}
2. Bambooknife (60 x 2 = 120 WOOD dmg) @ EleballB {B}
3. Fireburn (50 FIRE dmg) @ BunnyA, BunnyB {A}
4. Techno Waltz (100 ELEC dmg) @ RedUFO {A}
The refrigerator transformed back into Beatnik and went apeshit on the viruses, hacking the two Eleballs to pieces before they had a chance to so much as move. As she moved to attack the bunnies, however, she stumbled over herself and searched wildly for the package, before realizing it was inside her...somehow. This gave the viruses enough time to realize the refrigerator they were chasing had transformed into a navi and attacked them, and even gave one of the bunnies enough time to fire off a shot.

Unfortunately for the bunny, it missed.

Beatnik answered this shot by roasting the bunnies alive, then ramming into the UFO, deleting all three.

Beatnik: 100 HP

BunnyA: Deleted
BunnyB: Deleted
RedUFO: Deleted
EleballA: Deleted
EleballB: Deleted

80% Normal, 20% Glass (Glass area begins about two moves ahead and is square-shaped.)

Get: 750z

Ahead, and without the viruses to distract her, Beatnik could see that the glass plate that held no significance in the battle was, in face, covering a projector that showed a holographic sign pointing navis toward the server gateway. Fortunately for Beatnik, she was heading in the right direction and it wasn't far away.

Beatnik turned herself back into the refrigerator. The door swung open. "'Ey, Toni, swing dat camera around an' see if it's in dere all right."

"It's fine. Now get going."

Beatfridge squeaked off in the direction that the arrow told her.
As Beatfridge made her way toward the server gateway, more viruses started trailing behind and trying to grab the loose cord. Before she could react to them, however, a pair of automated turrets emerged from the ground of the net and gunned all of them down.

Fortunately for Beatfridge, they didn't react to her and retracted back into the net floor. Ahead, Beatfridge could see literally hundreds of navis moving between various entryways and small portals to other areas of the SciLab network. It seemed that she'd made it.
Beatfridge felt the tugs on her electrical cord. She swiveled on little fridge-wheels to mess them up, but was beaten to the punch by two pieces of the facility's defensive grid. Dual columns of plasma bullets tore through the air on either side of her.

She laughed boorishly and resumed her hurried roll into the network hub. Beatfridge weaved through research Navis, ignoring the weird looks they were giving her, and angled straight for the reception desk. She totally ignored the queue and rolled right up to the counter.

"Hey," Beatfridge called. The door popped open to show the zippered envelope inside. "Gots a delivery straight to the big man Bastion himself."

The generic female receptionist navi glanced inside at the package, as though examining it to ensure that it wasn't a bomb. It wasn't until she saw the label "RepairPkg.7z" that she looked back up at the fridge's 'face', clasping her hands together in the process. "Of course, you must be our delivery navi. She gave Beatfridge a look that clearly said that she had never seen a refrigerator navi before, followed by one wondering how said refrigerator would use what she was about to give her. Finally, she shrugged and opened her hands, revealing a datacard with directions to the dataserver which she handed to Beatfridge. "They're having some trouble in one of the servers down there, they suspect Mafia involvement. I suggest you don't try anything funny, even as a joke."
Beatfridge stared at the data card for a minute. Then the freezer door flipped open, and an icy wind vacuumed the card out of the receptionist's hand and into the ice tray. The door smacked shut.

"Awright," Beatfridge said. "Mafia. No funny biz. Gotcha."

Bastion? The Mafia? This job was getting lousier by the minute.

She wheeled away across the facility, toward the portal that the data card marked for her. Beatfridge butted line and was whisked away by the hyperlink, hoping that she wouldn't roll straight into somebody that recognized her.
The hyperlink took Beatfridge to a wide path leading into an even wider, and mostly empty area. Unlike the crowded server gateway she had just left, this area was quiet and empty save for two silver progs, two navis dressed in generic orange armor, and a third navi in white clerical robes. Eight standard network gateways, unimpressive other than their sheer size, lined the walls to either side, while a pair of blast doors closed away what was probably a ninth on the back wall. Other than these gates, the navis, programs, and a free-floating hologram window next to the robed navi, the room was completely empty. Hardly what would be expected from an area supposedly on high alert, though perhaps the blast doors in the back weren't normally closed.

Both of the programs were standing in front of the blast doors, while the orange navis were speaking with the robed one and the hologram. One of them turned and noticed Beatfridge, then stepped away from the robed navi. The second didn't appear to take the hint, and ended up being pulled away by the first.
"Yo!" called Beatfridge as she wheeled up.

She came to a jerky halt next to the Navi in white. He looked important enough, even if he wasn't the Bastion-castle that she needed to talk to. Maybe the chick at the desk had screwed up and given her the wrong directions?

"Got a delivery here for one Bastion."
As Beatfridge drew closer, she noticed that the hologram took the form of a green-tinted female humanoid in a cybernetic bodysuit, with datastreams flowing off of it in all directions. The robed navi, meanwhile, continued to speak to it...her...until Beatfridge addressed him.

"Yes, I've received word from the front desk that our deliveryman arrived a few minutes ago. You can tell Director that he'll have his repair data shortly."

The female hologram gave a short bow. "Understood," she said, turning to walk into a small portal that appeared in the ground next to her.

"Actually," the custom navi added, holding up a hand as Beatfridge 'Yo'd at him. "Hold on for a moment." He turned to Beatfridge. In addition to the cleric robes the refrigerator navi could see from the distance, the navi also sported a silver-trimmed white helmet with a deep blue crystal set into the front and a circular amulet sporting what had to be the navi's emblem: the shadow of a castle turret under the North Star, all on a midnight blue background. "I am him," he said calmly, remarkably unsurprised that the navi he was addressing was, in fact, a refrigerator. "You have the repair data we requested, correct?"
The refrigerator froze up.

Oh hell oh crap oh shit oh man oh man oh man-

She took a big, shuddering breath and choked, "Th-thazzrite. G-got it right here for ya, boss." The fridge door flipped open to show him the zippered envelope on the rack.

"Don't screw this up," Toni whispered over the private link. Even though she didn't have to keep quiet, the gravity of discovery by one of the highest-ranking members of the NetPolice weighed her voice down. "I'm surprised that the facility's sensors haven't already detected you as being registered to the Mafia. You're in the heart of the enemy. If he recognizes you, you are absolutely finished."

Beatfridge diverted a tiny process to send a text message to Toni's screen: PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP.
"Hey, that navi...doesn't she look familiar?" Beatfridge could overhear from one of the orange-armored navis off to the side, followed by a "Could be, I'll look it up," from the other.

Fortunately, Bastion didn't react to Beatfridge's stuttering or the other navis' chatter, and simply reached in, examined the zipped envelope for a few seconds, then removed it. "There doesn't seem to be any problem," he said to the hologram, handing it to her. "Could I get you to send this to Director?"

The hologram nodded and held out a hand, but rather than grasping the folder, or even the folder falling through, a portal opened on her palm, whisking the package away in a beam of light as soon as it touched.

While this short exchange took place and the package began transferring both Bastion's and the hologram's attention shifted away from Beatfridge. In the gap, the two orange-armored navis walked up to her. The armor of one, she noticed, was not the standard orange but a muted blend of orange and the silver of the tiles beneath them. It was the other, however, that spoke to her. "Sorry to bother you," he began. "I am Netpolice Recruit #238, Department of Navi Prosecutions. I'd like to ask you a few questions."
"Q-questions?" Beatfridge's eyes darted in every direction. Was she looking for backup or an escape route? "Y-yeah, sure, mang. Uh, lay 'em on me."
"Okay. This is going to sound a little strange..." The orange-armored navi hesitated. New recruit indeed. "We've recently received a lead on one of several mafia navis we've been searching for. I want to know if you have any information on this navi." He held out his hand, showing Beatfridge a readout on...


"Any information at all will be helpful."
Beatfridge's mind blanked out. In the vacuous absence, she passingly wondered why this greenhorn was trying to give her a readout when she didn't have any hands.

The need to say something hit her like a wall.

"Beatnik!" Beatfridge said - rather, shouted - in a tone of voice that was at the intersection of dumbfounded and terrified. She ratcheted down her volume. "Beatnik. Yeah. Uhhh. Lemme think here, uh, yeah, no. I've got nothing, boys. Sorry to wreck your day I'llcatchyouguyslater--"

Beatfridge spun on the spot and started wheeling off toward the hyperlink at maximum speed. Please don't be coming after me come on you're too stupid to suspect anything right--
"So you know this navi?" the one called 238 asked. Or rather, he tried to ask it, but Beatfridge was already in the process of excusing herself and running the hell away.

Unfortunately for the refrigerator, the two that she was wheeling away from weren't buying it. "After it!" she heard one of them say before also hearing the metallic footsteps of both of them chasing her.

She also heard the voices of the hologram and Bastion as she reached the edge of the room.
"Transfer complete. ...shall I deal with them?"
"Go ahead."

After the latter's words, Beatfridge and her pursuers found themselves in a silicon tunnel that carried them away from the server gateway at high speeds.

The hologram that had taken the folder reappeared before them.

"SciLab staff regrets to inform you that due to the sensitive nature of data passing through this area, netbattling is not allowed. You are currently being transferred to an area of the network away from the server gateway. We apologize for any inconvenience."

"Now what?" Beatfridge heard 238 ask his partner.

"Disable and capture the suspect. I'll send a report to Tarkel when this thing puts us down." Looking back, Beatfridge would see that 238's partner's armor had adopted the same color as the silicon speedway.

---Not you---
Infantry Recruit #238.SP: 120 HP
Infantry Recruit #239.SP: 120 HP

Beatfridge: 100 HP

---Neutral Party---
ENA.NSE: 2100 HP (Nonaggressive) (No Target)

Currently: 100% Solar


Now she was going to get it. Those two mooks were coming for her. Even though she was as slow as a Netbattle license renewal with these stupid, squeaky wheels, Beatfridge was almost sure that she was going to hit the hyperlink before—

And then, all of a sudden, she was in a tunnel. She didn't know how she had gotten there or where it was, but she was convinced that this wasn't the way out.

That Navi she'd given the delivery to popped up in front of her. Beatnik's nerves snapped; her freezer door popped open, but swung cleanly through the Navi. She was a hologram, after all.

"I don't care about any friggin' data sensitivity!" yelled the face on the flapping door. Beatfridge managed to pull it back in and shut it. "Just lemme the hell outta here! Once I'm done with these goons, I'm coming for you next!"

Beatfridge, still rolling, spun to face her pursuers. Yup, she hadn't lost them. Damn mooks were on their home ground, and they were going to turf her if she didn't do something about it.

"Toni, I can't fight like this. Switchin' back to normal mode."

"If you haven't already set off all the alarms in the complex, assuming a form that's under investigation by the NetPolice will probably finish the job for you."


The fridge fell apart. Blue magnets expanded and dropped off. The yellow metal literally reassembled itself until it was in the shape of Beatnik again. Her magnetic field caught hold of her armour plates, and they resumed their orbit around her.

Antoinette sent down a couple of chips. The first one was brand new. Beatnik, still skating backwards, gave its data packet a mental once-over.

"When the hell'd you get this?"

"Is that important right now?"

Beatnik tilted her head in a 'true' expression, then activated the chip. A little blue mallet appeared in her hand.

"That ain't right."

She gave the bottom of the handle a whack with her palm. The hammer started to grow. It ballooned until it was twice her height and far too huge for her to logically lift, but somehow she put on the brakes, hefted it above her head, unloaded a bloody roar and slammed it down in front of her.

The tunnel shook. Fissures blasted out from under the mallet's head. They raced down the corridor, up the walls, and across the ceiling. More importantly, the cracks snaked toward the two goons.

The hammer exploded into shards of colourless light. Stopping had given the two mooks a chance to close the distance, given that they hadn't been knocked on their asses. Beatnik swivelled and kicked off again. The fragments funnelled into loose cyclones around her arms.

She booted up the next chip and transferred it into one of the armour plates that just happened to swing around her back. The surface facing the mooks crackled and fizzed with stored energy. A second plate aligned itself in front of Beatnik's face. Its inner side gained a reflective sheen. Her red eyes flicked across the mirror as she lined the goons up in the path of the next attack.

A square beam of rippling sonic energy tore out of the rear plate. Beatnik skated on at full pelt. If it didn't at delete them, she'd still be able to keep up a lead on them.

*Disable Beatfridge.GMO
1. Gaia1 (100 NORMAL damage + terrain crack) @ Infantry Recruit #238, Infantry Recruit #239
2. Pulsar1 (70 + 15 [Flamenco Overdrive] = 85 NORMAL damage + object-triggered splash) @ Infantry Recruit #238, splashing to #239

(waiting to see whether they're taken out by the first two attacks)